Breathe Easy made me feel that I am not alone

Rachael shares how joining a Breathe Easy group has helped her

Rachael

I was diagnosed with asthma when I was about 3. I’m now 30. I was in and out of hospital until I was 11. That was when my inhaler was changed for the first time.

Right through my teens, my asthma was manageable. I never even had to go near the hospital and only had to go to doctors for reviews. I was classed as mild asthmatic.

Then, in the December of 2003, I got the flu. I can’t get vaccinated against it because I’m allergic to egg white.

I was unwell for over a month and then my asthma just wouldn’t settle. I ended up in hospital 4 times in 4 months. After this for the next several years, I was in hospital more and more. I was in hospital more than I was at home.

I couldn't breathe

Then, in 2008, I had 2 attacks in quick succession, where I stopped breathing. Since then, my asthma has been classed as severe. It’s been a battle to keep my condition stable. I still spend time in hospital regularly.

My asthma impacts my life every day. I can’t work because my asthma is so unpredictable. I can’t make plans far in advance because things can change so quickly. I have to rely on my family to do things for me. Doing things take me a lot longer than other people.

Air pollution affects me

Air pollution affects me, too. I can’t go to big cities or places that have lots of cars. If I do I have to go, I have to bring my nebuliser with me.

But this doesn’t always work and I have ended up in hospital with attacks. Whatever I do, I still get breathless when I am in areas with high levels of air pollution.

They understand what's happening

Breathe Easy has helped. I found out through my respiratory nurse. She told me that a new group in East Ayrshire was starting up. I have been a member ever since.

I was only 17 when my condition got more severe. But I know that the other members of my Breathe Easy group know how I’m feeling. They understand what’s happening to me.

Breathe Easy is just like meeting up with friends and having a nice catch-up. When we go on our summer outing, I know that we’re all in the same boat so I don’t have to try and keep up with the others. We just all take it at our own pace.

Breathe Easy has had a great impact on my life. It’s made me feel that I am not alone.

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12 June 2017