Exercise has given my life light after sarcoidosis
Natalie had to give up work after she was diagnosed with sarcoidosis. Now, she’s back at work after joining our Keep Active, Keep Well programme.
I first noticed something wrong in June 2012. I was commuting to work when I suddenly got really out of breath. I thought it was hayfever at first, but I also had a pain in my leg, which didn’t make sense.
After being sent to hospital, I had a scan on my leg, but that didn’t reveal anything. Then, everything got suddenly worse and I had to be admitted to A&E. I couldn’t get out of bed. It was terrifying.
I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, which is a condition where cells in your body clump together to make small lumps.
It was such a relief to get the diagnosis, because it meant I knew what was causing my pain. But I didn’t really understand what sarcoidosis was.
A battle to get the right treatment
It was a battle to get the right treatment at my local hospital, because the consultant had a limited understanding. I pushed to move to another hospital, where I was met with much more understanding, but there was still no time to get to grips with what my condition was.
I wasn’t in a good place and felt quite depressed. I was struggling to be physically active and was referred to see a psychiatrist.
Much better place
But then someone told me about Keep Active, Keep Well, a programme that offers the chance to do more sport, offers lifestyle advice and gives motivational support for people living with a lung condition.
Going along to Keep Active, Keep Well has helped improve my physical activity and I’m in a much better place mentally now. I feel so much better and I’ve gone back to work. It’s been so positive.
The best part of it is that you get a taster of different activities each week. You can get involved in the classes without judgment and I didn’t have to worry about having to keep up with everyone else. You get to know the instructor and they get to know you, which is great.
From darkness to light
I have so much more confidence to try new things now. People who have a long-term illness need motivation and encouragement and this has given me that. It’s opened up so many opportunities for me.
Keep Active, Keep Well has brought back my ability to be active. My life has gone from darkness to light.
Keep Active, Keep Well is just a pilot programme at the moment, but if you're living with a lung condition and like the idea of keeping active, find out where your nearest exercise class is. Make sure you also ask your doctor about pulmonary rehabilitation.