How I helped set up a Breathe Easy group
Carol lives with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). When her pulmonary rehabilitation course ended, she and her friends decided to start a Breathe Easy group.
I have COPD. I lived abroad for many years and lived a healthy, active life. I was even water-skiing into my 50s.
But it started with a cough. I thought I had bronchitis and was being treated for that. Eventually, I was diagnosed with COPD by my respiratory nurse.
I got an appointment with the specialist consultant at our local hospital. She’s become a vital part of my recovery plan. She advised me to have a double lung transplant.
In the meantime, she referred me to pulmonary rehabilitation (PR).This is a programme of exercise and education for people with long-term lung conditions.
I believe that the best things for anyone with this lung condition are exercise and being positive every day. I've had 3 sessions based on a 6-week programme.
After the first initial 6 week course of pulmonary rehab, we were at a loss. We no longer had classes to go to.
So we decided to set up a Breathe Easy group.
We met in the local coffee shop. And 6 of us voted on who was going to have each role in the group – who was going to be the chair, the treasurer, and the secretary.
We got in touch with the British Lung Foundation and they helped us. With that, our group started. We approached our local community centre and booked a room for every month. There are about 30 of us now going to the group. We have weekly exercise classes too.
I do all this on oxygen.
I was diagnosed in 2013. I’ve been on the transplant list for a year. I hope I won't be waiting much longer. I have a life to live. I want to see my grandchildren abroad. I want to be able to go out and socialise more. I’d love to give back in some way.
But doing pulmonary rehab is such a good thing. And our Breathe Easy group has helped us all bridge the gap that was left when our course ended. The exercise classes help us keep active. It is such a good feeling, and the meetings help us all have a chat and socialise.
You can search for your nearest Breathe Easy group using our website.