British Lung Foundation


I'm new here.

Hospital admission last year 2016. Have been left with side effects of shortness of breath especially when the weather is extremely cold OR very hot which does limit what I can/cannot do. Exertion doesn't help much either. So at the age of 71, having been quite active prior to my hospital admission, I am having to learn to "take it gently " which is slow progress and extremely frustrating.

How do you cope with the annoyance/frustration of not being able to do what you used to do even though you know you can no longer do things at the same pace as before?

Gained a lot of weight due to steroid/antibiotic medication and limitations as above. Have had 3 chest infections in the past 3 months. Any suggestions as to how to lose this weight would be very much appreciated.

COPD is certainly a "learning curve" for me.

Suggestions please



9 Replies

Like you I was so frustated, was not able to dò much, so someone brought me an adult coloring book. I am 73, I gave this coloring A chance.I have 8 grandchildren and one great grandchild, and for Christmas I colored each A picture, framed it and they were very happy.

Just try to find something that makes you feel useful?

I Just had My first chest infection and had 5 days of steroids and anti biotics! Sure hope this does not occur too much. I live in Canada...brrr

Gentle Hugs



Thanks for your advice. Keep warm. Bardear


Don't blame yourself for not being able to do as much and concentrate on what you can do. And don't refuse any help offered. Can't help on the weight loss I'm trying to put some on after losing a lot in the summer. Hope you get to feel better soon


I've told myself this is the new me, and found things that I can do quite well and satisfy me, despite my limitations. I am now a church organist, and my main hobbies are singing and collecting post cards. I walk daily, and have slowly built up the distance I walk every day. I potter in the garden when it is nice enough to do so and I am feeling fit enough to do so. Easy does it is my motto these days


Hi Bardear,

Yes, you are in a very frustrating position and steroids are not helpful for weight loss as they tend to increase weight around your middle, the hardest to lose. The only way to lose weight is to eat less. It is better to eat the same, but less of it and try to eat slowly. My husband put on weight after an accident, when he could hardly move. He has found it incredibly frustrating as he was always very active, but some of the things he was doing was eating more, as he couldn't be so active and he was also eating too quickly. Try and analyse your eating habits.

If you can, try and give yourself an exercise target that is doable. Have your doctors/consultants recommended any pulmonary rehabilitation courses. They are meant to really help improve your breathing and stamina.

Let us know how you get on. It is a vicious cycle as weight gain makes your breathing worse and then it's harder to exercise.

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Thanks for your advice. I have had a pulmonary rehab course in April 2017 for 6 weeks. It certainly helped. I had been able to cope with the breathlessness etc until the severe cold weather set in and I have had 4 chest infections since last September - it seems that when the rescue medication (steroids and antibiotics) is finished I have about 2 weeks grace and then the cycle starts all over again so consequently it pulls me down every time. I am however being referred again to the Pulmonary Rehab Clinic and hope to have an appointment very soon.

Hope your husband has continued to make progress

Best Wishes



Hi Bardear, welcome. COPD can be managed with the right meds. You don't say if you see a respiratory nurse, this is a must, she will give you all the local courses available, be it for lung exercises or physical exercise and get you on the right meds and help.

Sounds like you need help with your diet too, but you will start to lose weight as your ability to exercise gets easier.

I slowly started walking longer and longer distances over a period of months. I now have a new pup who needs walking every day, so no excuses! I can now walk 2-5 miles every day, depending on the weather.

I think getting the right help, right meds and slowly building up a new exercise regime will gradually bring down your excess weight.

You can get back to somewhere near where you used to be, it just takes time and effort.

You took the first step asking for help on here!

Take care and ask away.


1 like

I have asthma, COPD and Bronchiectasis. A year ago I was awarded a Blue Badge as I could walk only slowly and very short distances due to my chest being so bad - a chest infection every month. Right now, I don't need to use the badge as my chest has responded to antibiotics and I am able to walk much better. Hopefully, your chest will improve too and you will find you can do more again. Meanwhile, enjoy the rest and explore some things like the adult colouring books previously mentioned. They can be very therapeutic. I also found online Scrabble a good way of passing the time, though I'm now more active so finding other things to do. I highly recommend Pulmonary Rehab, if your GP will refer you, and also postural drainage exercises to keep the phlegm at bay. All the best. xx Moy



Hi, I have the same problem but am slowly coming to accept it which you will have to do, although with some difficulty. My GP thought that I should have some mental treatment/support. for the frustration. Weight gain is also a feature for those of us that have been active, some reaction is to loose weight (we should be so lucky). I've had to buy an ABS kit from Amazon to see if it helps, worth a try. Don't fight the frustration, get & keep fit, eat well and proper food. There are treatments on the internet & specialist hospitals that deal with this ailment. Think about lung reduction, lung coils, valves and even stem cell ( although this is not readily available in UK but Germany is good or the USA.

Breath easy New Year



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