I'm new here

I'm new here

Great to find a community to share and learn experiences of coping with this illness. I was diagnosed COPD/Emphysema a long time ago in the UK but obviously didn't take it seriously enough. I had got used to being out of breath and adapted accordingly ... except for giving up smoking .... Addictions are insane!!

Moved out to Spain with my husband in 2004. Eventually stopped smoking some 5 years ago and went on to vaping. Been "well" since then up to this year when, on a trip to the UK in March, picked up a really bad infection (probably at my Grand daughter's 1st birthday party) and ended up in hospital on return here in Spain; I have to say the Spanish health service is 1st class. Knocks spots off the NHS!

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I'm now on oxygen 15 hours a day and been provided with a portable unit for exercise etc. There are no respiratory support groups here yet in English so it's wonderful to be able to make contact with other sufferers through HealthUnlocked. I've learned loads already by reading many of your posts.

Really great to have found you all. Michelle x

29 Replies

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  • Welcome Michelle - we're all a friendly bunch here and some are very knowledgeable!

    Hope you enjoy reading our posts and I look forward to reading more of yours :)

    Symes x

  • Thanks Symes!


  • Just a very quick "hello and welcome" MichelleT51. Great you've found this site and I'm sure you can also help us out with answers regarding Oxygen and holidaying in Spain.

  • Thanks for the welcome SquirrelsHolt.

    I'm still learning about Oxygen but I can certainly help you out with advice about holidaying ins Spain!


  • hi Michelle...and welcome. ..I live in Thailand so it's the same here...no support like you have in the U.K. so it is very nice to have this site...bit of a life saver for me...

    am sure you will make friends very soon....

    love Spain...best fish and chips there toโ˜บ.

    Andy xx

  • ...naughty boy Andy - Scotland wears that hat.

    heh heh


  • Ho come on Jennifer. ..why do think so many British guys are going to Spain for๐Ÿ˜•โ˜บxx

  • heh heh....welllllll Andy.....see that big golden globe in the sky? There could be your answer...and I also think that is the reason so many ladies go too. Spanish fish and chips? I don't think they know what beef dripping is.

    :-D :-D


  • No batter on the Spanish fish and chips ... just beautifully fresh fish caught today.


  • Hi Andy, lovely to hear from Thailand! I so love that country. It's really great that we can all support each other no matter where we are in the world.

    ... and Yes, Spain does have really great fish and chips!!


  • hi Michelle. ..it's 2.45 Saturday morning. ..I don't know what the time difference is from Spain.

    yes it is really great no matter where we are in the world we can talk like we in the same room..and always feel we are very lucky that we have this site...

    I have been to Spain many times and have many happy memories of my visits there..

    I can see you are very well looked after with the health care there.....and I hope it stays that way for you and others.....

    take care ..Andy xx

  • Good afternoon Michelle. It's good to meet you on here, via your beautiful photograph....a very warm welcome to you. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I think we all have made good use of it. Sorry your trip back here ended in you being so poorly. Hoping you are on an even keel now with the oxygen. Can't begin to tell you of the amazing help and advice I have received since I joined. I am learning a lot about my copd and how to handle it and all the hiccups that go with it. I'd like to think the friendships I've made will continue for many many years :-)


  • So lovely to hear from you Jennifer. This does seem to be a wonderfully friendly and helpful site. I already feel a lot better for being connected to others who have/are experiencing all the ups and downs of this illness.

    I'm much much better now thank you. It was really hard at first to accept that after this last infection I wasn't going to get back to where I was before. But I think I've accepted it now and starting to get on with making the most of things and doing all I can to improve my quality of life. Living in Spain helps this a lot but August is really hot and on some days I'm better of staying indoors. I don't doubt though that in the UK it would often have been the rain and cold stopping me going out!!

    Thanks again for your response.


  • Hi Michelle, what a lovely photo. Welcome to the site. I am curious; does Spain have an nhs type health setup or do you have to pay? X

  • Hi Scorpiolass. Thank you for your lovely welcome.

    Yes Spain does have National Health, which is truly excellent. We are now pensioners so it is free (reciprocal arrangement with the UK which we hope wont be withdrawn by Brexit!) I see my GP in the local village health centre, which is also open 24/7 for emergencies. She speaks English and when I get a chest infection all I need do is go straight there (at any time) and they will do a sputem test to determine which antibiotic I need. Our local hospital is new and I have a respiratory consultant there who I see every 6 months. They have all been wonderful. We're really lucky.

    I hope you're feeling well today.


  • Wow, that health service sounds wonderfull.

    Any time I've been to hospital here in Scotland, hernia op, tests,etc, the staff have been great. The waiting time and never being taken at your appointment time are what I hate about it.

    And GPS have far too many patients to give you more than a feww minutes.

    I learned more here in a day than 3 months of NHS help!

    Welcome, BTW, hope you find it as helpfull as I do.

  • Thanks Robert. We are really lucky here in Spain.

    The whole system works differently to that of the UK. If you go to a GP with a respiratory problem you are immediately referred to a Pneumologist at the local hospital for full diagnosis. The GP books the actual appointment on their computer system which is linked straight in to the hospital system, and x-rays, scans, mri's, etc, are all booked in the same way; usual that day if urgent!

    So the GPs at the health centres work really closely with the hospital. Which means you can get to see a specialist very quickly.

    Hoping that you're feeling well today!


  • Just wanted to say welcome Michelle, sounds like you have a really good health service in Spain. Having read posts you will know that knowledge sympathy and humour are in abundance from our lovely members here (well most of the time!) xx

  • Thank you Sheila. It seems wonderful and just what I need.


  • Hello Michelle. So nice that you found this forum. It really is the best. Come back and post often. Sending hugs.

    Cas xx ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ’š

  • Thank you Cas. I will.


  • Hello Michelle

    Welcome to this great site.

    You sound as if you are receiving good treatment over there, but nothing can beat chatting with people who are experiencing similar illnesses, for help and support, and to brighten your day.

    I love Spain....in fact l love anywhere that's sunny.....

    Have you got a spare room ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ–


  • Haha! Lovely to hear from you Velvet. I agree, this site looks really friendly and informative, and as you say, nothing beats contact with others that know where you're coming from.


  • Welcome to the site Michelle, lovely picture of you! Spain is a wonderful place I'm glad you're enjoying it!๐Ÿ˜ huff x

  • Hello Michelle,

    Welcome ๐ŸŒบ๐Ÿ’๐ŸŒธ

    From Down Under xx

  • Hi Michelle

    I'm Graham in Bristol England and have been living with copd for 18 months from diagnosis probably a lot longer and have progressed from really ill with bad infections to manageable Control through exercise I have and my colleagues have been through lots of aspects o copd

    If there is anything you would like to discuss don't hesitate to contact me

    Thinking of you Graham. X. Copdme

  • Just seen Graham that I never did get around to replying. Sorry! Moved here to Spain in 2004 from Bath and my children are still in the Bristol/Bath area so I am a frequent (not so frequent now) traveler to Bristol airport.

    I'm really working hard on exercising but with the heat here at the moment it's really difficult. Exercise really does seem to be the answer though.

    Any advise will always be welcome.

    Thanks. Michelle x

  • Hi Michelle

    I thought the rep!y was later as it had further to travel....me having a joke ha

    On a serious note it must take much more effort for you to exercise over there when the temperature is high ,I would guess that you are inside taking advantage of air _con

    I was at the exercise class today and although the temp was about 22 it was very humid and we all found it hard going ,which makes wonder how much effort you have to put in ?

    Any exercise is better than none and always in moderation

    Good luck. and take care. Graham.

  • Thanks Graham. ... and yes I am hiding indoors with the aircon on full blast. Couldn't even cope with swimming in the pool as the air was stifling.

    You take care too! Mx

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