Which is the ONE piece of respiratory related advice would you give yourself 5-10 years ago?

One thing we do on this site is to learn from other people's experiences.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, that may make your life better now, had they followed it, what would it be?

For those of us who smoked, let's take give up as a given please!! I stopped when I was thirteen. I tried every different brand for about three weeks when I decided it was not for me!! I took up drinking instead.

I look forward to any and all comments

Thank you in advance

Kevin (XX only for the girls)

42 Replies

Thanks, Kevin, for your XX - a good start to the day. Apart from smoking, I think I should taken up more exercises when I was younger. Having said, that where would I found the time. Possibly the work was doing was exercising in itself. I could have studied my diet more, and my weight.

Keep up the yoga, keep walking, and take a job you love and not one for the money which is stressful

There isn't anything I would have done to better my health when I was younger except the obvious.

Lib x

Just noticed your question says 5-10 years ago, I had stopped smoking by then. If I could go back 10 years ago I would have done something about my increasing breathlessness sooner instead of burying my head in the sand.

Lib x

I wish I had kept up with the Buteyko Breathing exercises, they weren't a cure for me but they did help a lot...think my lungs too far gone now.

I still do yoga and meditate though.

Thank you very much to all responders so far. I hope to read any further contributions later on.


I would have most definitely not hoovered up all that toner from my printer. The lung full I got started the breathing difficulties and on top of breathing in the toxic fumes from setting the cooker on fire (twice) (what prat does that twice, oh that would be me then) the poor lungs didn't stand much chance. But hey, I did and I've got over the I wish I hadn't done that scenario and just get on and deal with it now. :) xx

I have only set fire to my cooker once! An unattended shopping bag fell onto a lit gas cooker ring that i had not noticed had been left on.

I killed the cooker when i threw the washing up water over it and fused all the electrics on it. The insurance paid out. No fumes though as i installed an industrial cooker hood on my house.

Thanks for the tip on the toner. Never realised it was so toxic..

Best wishes


Ps where does 'scrobbity' derive from? I have often wondered. I don't think thevdirectory helps.

Atb kevin

Scrobbitty is the name of an absolutely fabulous (not modest am I?) mole in a book called Duncton Wood by William Horwood - a bit like Watership Down but with moles LOL.

Unfortunately with the cooker it was entirely my own fault, twice, eeeek, in that I thought I had turned the oven on and in fact it was the grill. Consequently, the grill eventually set fire to the rubber bit around the top (you would have thought there was nothing left to burn the second time, but no, there was!) I changed the cooker after and all was well.

The toner is extremely fine and finds all the nooks and crannies you would rather wish it hadn't. I was convinced when I couldn't breathe that I had cancer but touch wood, not that at least. :) x

Thank you for sharing your names derivation. I will have to investigate Duncton Wood now.


Kevin X

I have this book, i read it years ago, after i'd read watership down, very good book, going to locate it now and read again. :)

Well worth it - its part of a trilogy and I have them all - very dog-eared and battered and loved them all. :) xx

ah I just have one - did not know about the trilogy

Try Amazon for the other two - if you have no luck, give me a shout again :) xx

Good books and I'm a bloke !

( us being insensitive clods at best )

Defiantly regular exercise

Thanks jojam.

I think i have accepted that exercise will be an important part of the rest of my life.

I know i should also attain a healthy weight too. I know there is one out therevfor me.

Enjoy your day


My biggest wish is that I didn't give up smoking as well! Apart from that I wish I had been more careful what I ate and excercised a lot more.

Bev x

10 years ago I should have realised I was not invincible and made changes before they were forced on me. Why do we all find it easier to GIVE advice than to TAKE it?

Hi Kevin

I would have said to myself "Bobby, keep that weight rock steady at ten stone". I think a lot of my troubles come from being 4/5 stone overweight.


Hi Bobby,

I can empathise with this one as i am 'similarly' heavy. ( and have been for many years)

I curse those extra pounds if i get an exacerbation. Luckily, that doesn't happen often.

Best wishes


Interesting question.

5 years ago was when my breathing problems suddenly became COPD, but 10 years ago I was still fairly fit. I've never smoked but maybe I could have stayed fit by keeping up the walking, yoga and swimming. And, as someone else said, taken constructive action when my breathing started getting worse, instead of just slowing down and waiting for things to get better again.

Both my daughters have asthma well controlled with medication, and I now nag them to make sure they don't allow their health to deteriorate as I did. With me as a role model I think they are listening!

10 years ago I would have moved home, off my very busy polluted street, to somewhere with fresher air. Then I could have taken a walk without getting more poisoned.


I should have carried on being busy instead of spending so much time on computer.

Ten years ago I should never have moved to this beautiful house in the centre of a busy one way system (I am a roundabout!)

I hate being proved to be right years later ... always said diesel was a health hazard when we were being assured it was far better for the environment and so many bought into it, literally. Hah grrrrrr - should have stayed in the southwest ....

Sorry - this is longer than intended!


Probably more important though is that I was made to feel I was going to die fairly soon anyway so emotionally gave up on life and here I am reading all this positive stuff years later when I've virtually made myself bedridden ...


Keep moving, Keep breathing, and keep having birthdays and it ain't over till it is over!!

Pity you want to spend less time in front of the computer, you probably have the time now.

I hope you are ok with positive stuff, i bought myself a motorbike a few months ago and learning to ride it. I am looking forward to riding around Cornwall and Devon...

I passed the first bit of the motorcycle test yesterday...

Have fun


Well done Kevin !

Many thanks Scrobbs!!!

I googled Scrobbitty and found very little.. i must get my hands on a copy of Duncton Woods to learn more about the intriguing creature from which you have taken your name...LOL

My very best wishes to you and let's hope you and many of our friends can cope well with the heat over the next few days!

Enjoy your Day


Cheers Kevin and back at you - bring on the heat ! ) xx

Hey Jude,

Thank you for your response.

For the good of my health i am looking to relocate from the midlands down to the south west.

I also gave up my largely sedentary job about 18months ago so that i could find something more active. Just as i was getting fit i found i needed a bipass..... I always thought my lungs would kill me off, then my heart decided to join in.

Thanks again and i hope you have a good day


Ps not that it should matter to me and please free not to reply but Jude is one of those ambiguous names. ( xx only if you're a girl) i will have a look at the directory, however when i have tried that before all my typing disappears.

Have a good day

Yes I'm female! Xx lol (actually a Judith but never called that except when a badly behaved child!)

Kevin, that's fantastic - you're doing all the right things. I was living in the southwest (Devon then Cornwall) and moved to the midlands - my biggest mistake!

My heart is now a major problem and I think worse than the copd but who knows ...

I wish you all the luck in the world and many years of discovery in the most beautiful area of England.

I enjoy reading all the positive things and perhaps had I known about this site much sooner it would have given me the boost to fight more instead of giving up. Positive thinking really does make a difference but I didn't get that from any medics and it turns into a downward spiral, each twist making you realise you could have done more until it happened. (Don't know if that sounds a bit confusing - hope not)

Anyway you have a good day and I hope you find somewhere to live very quickly so you can begin your new life!

A smiling Jude

I would have spent more time living instead of worry about everything and anything and those of us who smoked know what we do when we worry that's smoke more. Now known what I know when I used to get worried and anxious I'd exercise. Aww well can't turn back the clock and this post is a reminder to eat less and move more. Thanks for posting this.

Hi Kevin...I would have given up the hairdressing...all those chemicals....not good for the lungs....!!

Diet and exercise and more will power.

As carer for Pete, I would definitely have advised a better diet, gentle exercise and listening to me more! If he had listened say 10 years ago would he have had his heart attack? I have no idea but he did not listen then and does not listen now so I just continue to care for him and help him as much as I can. Our son who lives with us is a troubled young man who I also love dearly and am here for. As for me: I have lost 3 stone and take care of myself better now as I need to take care of others. Stay well all and a great topic Kevi. xxxxx

I am very pleased you are taking good care of yourself! Congratulations on the weight loss, if hopefully planned? I think i found a few of those pounds....hey ho, there is a healthy weight out there for me somewhere...i will attain it and maintain it...

I am just off to rehab (cardiac) soon. I have accepted exercise needs to be part of the rest of my life.

We have a son which does occupy much of our emotional energy, so i can empathise. I however have always heard my wife, sorry, i can't always say i listenen her. we are a team after all. I have always thought marriage is about being the right person, not finding the right person

Thank you for yourvtime responding and your kind words

Kind regards

Kevin XX

Mine would be to wear masks instead of a scarf wrapped round my mouth while using angle grinders and working in lofts as Im a plumbing and heating engineer and when younger never had health and safety really lol.....now having to have lung transplant and have my 3 day assessment this monday at Papworth Hospital only 37 :-(

Good luck with the assessment! I hope everything goes well and you are fit enough to recover whenever this procedure happens...i look forward to talking to you on the far side of this hurdle.

I can't say i can compete with a lung transplant but i had a quadruple bipass at the end of january. I can only say, they looked after me superbly well!

Enjoy your future!


Cheers kevin. Im glad I dont live far from Papworth lol. Im actually looking forward to it as I have been waiting for this for a while but still work I find it hard seeing as Im a Plumber but dont want to give in lol

Smoking was the cause of my COPD, which made me more reluctant to engage in cardio exercise, which caused to to gain weight. I wish I'd tried e cigs then. Apart from that I wish I'd got out of a very stressful situation much sooner than I did.

Walked away, the World didn't stop turning, my heart didn't break.

Sounds like tough times! Stress never helps and you were strong enough to do the right thing for you! I hope you continue to do so!

Like many folk above, hindsight is a wonderful thing. Are you completely off the ciggies now?

Personally, i carry too much weight, this vicious circle is perfectly understandable but needs to be interrupted/ broken.



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