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Active Steps gave me my breath back

After being diagnosed with a lung condition, Eamon was constantly breathless and started to give up. Finding the Active Steps programme gave him a new lease of life. 

Living with my lung condition made me very depressed about my low quality of life. Before I was diagnosed, I had gone for regular walks, been shopping, and helped with all the daily household chores without struggling.

But that changed. After my diagnosis, I found that all of these activities were beyond me. I was now breathless when doing even the tiniest of activities. Washing the dishes, walking up the stairs and hoovering were now too hard. 

As for walking and shopping, I stopped doing those altogether as they made me painfully short of breath. I became housebound and reliant on friends for help around the house, and I needed to get my shopping delivered every week by Tesco.

Active Steps turned things around 

I found out about Active Steps on the BLF website. I read about how they would support me with regular phone calls, information and resources to help me become active again. I decided to take a chance and give the programme a go.

Eamon after taking part in the Active Steps programme. He is in the countryside, sat on some rocks.

After a few weeks, I found I was beginning to improve in many ways. The programme inspired me to set my own goals, and I’ve found myself working towards achieving them every day. It’s the encouragement and support I received from the team at Active Steps that made this happen.

The regular phone calls to find out how I was getting on gave me the incentive to continue and made me feel like I wasn't doing this on my own. It made me feel less isolated.

I have already started a daily routine of walking and doing more and more household tasks. I’m shortly hoping to start doing all my shopping on trips out to the supermarkets like I used to.

Changing the way I think

Active Steps changed the way I think about myself.  Before I joined the programme, none of this would have been remotely possible for me. I'd totally given up on all activities and resigned myself to a life indoors - depressed and housebound.

Had I been left to my own devices, I think I'd have been a lost cause. I had a really strong feeling of powerlessness, which was very hard to overcome. Now, I have the mental strength conquer that depressing feeling and continue to challenge myself to improve more. 

Since I started, I find that I'm looking forward to my daily, weekly and monthly improvements. The targets I'm setting myself and the support I receive is helping me think about the best way I can live my life until I reach my end. 

Thank you to Active steps

Finally, I'd just like to say thank you to Claire and Abi from the Active Steps team. I'd recommend the programme to anyone as it has given me new hope – and I thought I was a total lost cause before I joined up!

I still struggle and have a long way to go, but with Active Steps helping me along the way I know I’ll get there in the end.

Do you have a story to tell? It could be about your lung condition, a friend or relative you know who lives with one, or how caring for them impacts your life. We'd love to hear what you've got to say!

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8 July 2019