Joining a singing group transformed my life and my lung condition!
Colette joined a singing group and saw a marked improvement in her lung condition within a year. She shares how joining the group transformed her life.
I was born with bronchiectasis. In 1971, when I was 21 years old, my condition had worsened to the point when my doctors predicted I had 3 years at most to live. I had a lobectomy in my left lung - after difficulty finding a consultant would perform it - which was successful.
The bronchiectasis returned in my right lung 5 years ago, and I also have asthma which I developed as an adult. I also developed aspergillosis which I’ve been in remission from for the past 2 years. I trained as a nurse, but the aspergillosis forced me to retire in 2001.
My life was pretty much non-existent. I couldn’t work and was considered terminal. I was referred for an exercise course at my local gym, but couldn’t keep it up as I was constantly catching chest infections since my immune system was so low.
I joined a singing group and never looked back
After my husband died in March 2013, I was given a leaflet by a counsellor about a community singing group. I decided to join, and a year later my lung capacity had improved by 12%. I’ve been a member ever since!
A year ago I joined another weekly choir class, run by an opera singer who has severe asthma. She teaches us breathing exercises that helps increase lung capacity, as well as singing songs that include the notes and scales we’re learning. Not only has the singing helped improve my lung condition, it’s also a great way to meet other people and get out of the house. It’s a small group, and most of us had never sung in a group before. We have fun!
I’ve just had my 6-monthly check up appointment where I was told my lung capacity is back in a normal range. I’m thrilled to bits! I would encourage anyone who wants to get their lungs working to join a singing group. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain!