British Lung Foundation
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Short of breath

Morning people , I'm farely new only diagnosed couple of weeks ago. I'm still struggling to find my way around , i find something I want to comment on then lose the thread before I've done it ! I have been told I'm mild copd , was so relieved to hear the mild bit , but after reading a lot of posts I'm beginning to wonder , people talk of cycling , hill walking, ect , when I struggle to bend down or get up the stairs to the bathroom, need to wash my hair this morning in the shower and I know I'll be very breathless doing this. I feel sob doing the smallest tasks and my diaphragm feels uncomfortable most of the time. My sleep is affected also , so all in all feeling very unwell most of the time.

Thanks for reading

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Morning Annie welcome..dont be out off by other posts. This copd umbrella covers a lot of ppl different ages sizes and stages. We don't all run marathons or get short of breath on the stairs . We can work with who we are as a person to feel better in ourselves . If you smoke quit eat a controlled proper diet take your meds as prescribed. Get your doc to refer you to a pulmonary rehabilitation class in your area this gives you a form of exercise and educates you on breathing techniques that for me have worked brilliantly. I'm sure you will have more answers added to your post but good luck with things Angie x x

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Thankyou Angie , i keep hearing pulmonary rehabilitation mentioned and i've not been offered this . I've got my first check up with nurse next week this'll definitely be on my list of questions as everyone speaks highly of it , as far as meds go all i have is the powdery puffer x2 a day .

Thanks again so appreciate the time taken to reply x

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Your welcome Annie xxxx

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I went to Pulmonary rehab classes & it was the best thing for me. You meet other people who are the same so you don't feel "just me", I carried on the exercises at home & my breathing has improved so much. I had to ask the COPD nurse for a referral, it's really worth it 😀

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Hi Annie, there is no way I could hill walk etc.....sometimes just walking around the house leaves me breathless......we are all different.

I try to keep moving though ...I have an exercise cd from the BLF, I go to gentle yoga and recently bought a reasonably priced exercise bike. But today I have been doing a bit of weeding in my garden, sitting on a stool and I am shattered with a tight chest....very frustrating.

Have you been referred to Pulmonary Rehab exercise classes , as Angie mentioned...you will be monitored there and given advice.

The BLF website has lots of information on dealing with breathlessness and they have a telephone helpline too.

Best wishes

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Thankyou knitter , it just seems since my diagnosis I've got so much worse ! I got a bike for my birthday in January but I'm puffed just getting it out the shed . But as I said to Angie I'm going to chase this P.R up without a doubt .

Kind regards Annie x

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Hi Annie, Guilty as charged, I am one of those people you are describing (sort of and no offense taken). I walk a lot of the hills around here, I have no choice, I leave home and it does not matter which direction I go in, it is uphill.

I know it will sound silly to you, but you can get used to your condition and being short of breath. The vast difference between you and those that are more active here is that we have been through Pulmonary Rehabilitation (or PR for short). PR, in my view, is absolutely essential to us COPDers. Ask if you can get referred for it. It is a 50/50 mix of exercise and education. It is there that you will learn how to manage this wicked disease and take back control of your life.

We all start out totally bewildered and frightened, including me. I, like many others here refuse to give in and be ruled by it. It has taken me many hours of religiously exercising to be able to walk up hills and it is still not easy, it is hard work and I sound like "Thomas The Tank Engine" puffing away, but I have won back my independence.

With time, patience and a little effort you could be "hill walking" too and you should be able to run rings round me, as I have been diagnosed with Severe COPD.

No question is silly one if you don't know the answer, if you need to know something then just ask, there is hundreds of collective years worth of experience here, more than likely someone here will know the answer.

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Thankyou 2greys, P.R seems to be the words on everyones lips but until someone mentioned it on here I'd never heard of it . Surprised that nurse never mentioned it , maybe early days still. Can I ask did you do your own excersise plan ? is there such a thing as pushing yourself to far ? It'll definitely be a push ! But obviously excersise is high on the list .

Thanks for reply , eagerly awaited for x

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Yes still very early days for you. You probably have not seen a consultant yet nor a CT Scan, even your medication perhaps has yet to be finalised.

Last June I was diagnosed with Severe COPD and I could just manage to walk 35 yards before I had to give up, being sob (short of breath). Told by my consultant that "the more you do now the better off you will be later" after doing some research on the net found that an active lifestyle was desirable and started to do a little more each day by the time I had started my PR course I had got my walking distance up to around 300 yards for what is called "the six minute walk test", not much but I did not know how hard to push at the time, after I had completed my PR I had doubled my walking distance and despite being sob felt fine.

So after checking with my doctors first, I decided to exercise aggressively. I bought a rowing machine and an exercise bike. The bike was to warm up on for 10 mins and then onto the rowing machine for 30 mins, slowly increasing the resistance on it. That was at the end of Jan. 3 months later I was able to tackle two laps of a 2.65 mile country trail, over 5 miles in total. I then had the courage to tackle the hills around where I live.

I found a pub that had good ale and beautifully home cooked food that is 2.5 miles from my home that I frequently visit, walking both ways. I live in a flat 3 flights of stairs up and can now carry a full shopping trolley of 20 kilos all the way up. I still work full-time (only because I am self employed though). I do push myself very hard, all the time.

I do not advise you to do the same without getting the approval of your doctors first though, you don't want to give yourself a heart attack, so yes you can push too hard.

Not that gender or age should matter, I am a 66 year old male and a production engineer. I now lead a relatively normal life and I am certainly a lot fitter now than I have been for quite a few years.

Before I sign off, if you smoke then it is imperative that you quit, this is the best thing you can do to slow the progression of the disease.

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Hi Annie, have you discussed this with your doctor? I believe I would. Sometimes they will offer you inhalers to open up your bronchi so you can breathe better It's temporary, but it does help. Welcome.

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Hi , yes have discussed with resp nurse and have an inhaler 2x daily, its a powdery one that needs really sucking through. But do fed up with my stomach feeling winded and uncomfortable ! Thanks for reply

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Hi love. Have another chat with your doctor might be something else he/she can do tell them everything. My husband COPD plus lots of other illnesses and finds it hard to do anything

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I'm a right moan today, but thankyou for your reply, everyone's very kind and helpful. Because I suppose family can't see a broken bone or blood they seem to have forgotten I'm not to well at the moment, feel a bit adrift right now x

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Welcome to the gang no one wants to be in.

Everyone if different and we all have different issues even when we have the same condition. Get an appointment with your doctor so he can refer you to pulmonary rehabilitation classes in your area. My PR course was great and it helped me a lot. With any lung condition exercise is very important as it keeps your lungs moving and exercise helps fight of depression. I was diagnosed in Feb 2017 with IPF and struggled with walking round the supermarket. I set myself some goals and now walk every day and exercise gently at my pace 4 times a week now.

After 4 months off work I have now returned and my exercise plan has certainly made this easier. Don't give up and battle on as best you can.

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Hi Ian, Thanks for taking time to reply. I have appointment with resp nurse next Tuesday so am definatley asking about P.R , as everyone giving it glowing reports. I've bought some trainers and am giving this exercise my best shot as seems to be best way forward. I to work wish I didn't need to, but I got caught out with the pension age goal post being moved

kind Regards Annie

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Annie, we are all in this together. It's all about discovering your own limits and how to challenge yourself. In PR there was a simple step up exercise where you crossed your arms over your chest and took a step up onto the step and down again. After 12 step ups on each leg I was ready for hitting the floor and staying there. I really struggled with it. Others in the class found it easy to do. They struggled with other simple exercises which I could do with minimum fuss which means a bit of puffing and panting lol. Stay focused and stay positive, we all have good days and we all have lots of bad days.

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Going to try this today , will keep you posted !

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Hi Ian , tried the step test a and yes it was easyish , did 15 steps left leading foot then 15 right and no problems. I'm now sat in bed had cuppa and replied to you as my sleep pattern is awful I'm hoping more excersise will help with this, waking up do early in the mornings I'll be meeting myself going to bed !

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I always struggle with this exercise, think its because we used 1.5kg dumbbells held across your chest. This restricts my breathing and only having 52 % lung capacity I really can't breath lol

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Annie I have been taking a capsule called serranol for the past 3mths it seems to have helped a lot I am using a lot less oxygen now and I hope my breathing will continue to get better

Samhoy

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By the way annie i have had copd for 16 yrs and I wish I had started taking serranol long ago

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