Pulmonary rehabilitation is the best thing I've done for my lung condition

Despite living with a lung condition since childhood Annette, 67, was only introduced to pulmonary rehabilitation in 2017.

woman with lung condition doing arts and crafts

“It was the best thing that I have done,” she says. “It helped me to understand my condition, how to improve it and, most importantly, how to manage it.”

Annette has bronchiectasis, a lung condition that causes a persistent cough and excess phlegm. It is a permanent condition that gets worse over time. PR has had a significant impact on her quality of life.

“Learning how to belly breathe and to manage walking to increase mobility and muscle strength takes the fear out of going out into the community and has helped me no end. In the past I found it very depressing after an exacerbation as it felt like all the exercise I had been doing was lost.

“Now I take a deep breath and start again and enjoy the challenge of getting more mobile again. Friends offer me lifts but I always decline them now and explain why I need to keep walking and I’m sure it looks harder to them than how it feels to me.”

Annette, who lives in Norfolk, is now secretary for her local Breathe Easy group, where members discuss the benefits of PR. “We all agree that we want to see more people offered an initial programme of PR, but there should also be follow-up sessions regularly available to remind and support people to keep up with their exercises.”

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19 December 2019