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How I cope during winter

Catherine has lived with a lung condition her whole life. She explains how it can be a struggle to live well during winter. 

At this time of year, most people are looking forward to Christmas – meeting up with friends, spending time with their families or just having a well-earned break from work.

It can be more difficult for people like me who have lung disease. I still love Christmas. But, with coughs and colds going round, I worry about getting a chest infection. I know if I do, I won’t be able to just shrug it off. There’s a real danger I’ll get ill and I know for other people it’s harder still. They know their condition could worsen or ‘flare-up’, and that could mean Christmas in hospital.

I remember being just five years old and spending Christmas in hospital. Back then, you were only allowed visitors on a Sunday – it was very hard to be away from my mum and dad. When finally I came home, my family celebrated another Christmas just for me.

Catherine and her family stand in front of Christmas trees.

I wonder if that’s why being part of Christmas is so important to me today, despite the difficulties it can bring.

One tradition I love to keep is taking my granddaughter, who is now six, to a Christmas show – something like The Snowman.

I often take precautions, like finding less polluted routes to prevent me from coughing, even if they take slightly longer. Or travelling at less busy times to avoid traffic and people who may have coughs and colds.

Adapting and planning are key to me living well with my lung condition. And I know they are familiar to many others like me.

That’s why I’m supporting the British Lung Foundation’s Christmas Appeal to help make sure people have access to advice and support to live well with their lung condition.

Please donate today.

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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7 November 2019