British Lung Foundation
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SP Update

Hi thought I'd give an update...brief story of what happened for those that don't know. Hubby is a firefighter he was at a very bad fire in June last year (Grenfell) at around the same time as Grenfell we bought a cat. Around this time hubby started having breathing/coughing problems that seemed to be relieved slightly with antihistamines etc.....things got worse as the months end of November beg of December hubby had a Spontaneous Pnumothorax, given chest drain, antibiotics etc, scans showed a bad infection etc. He finished the anitbiotocs and slowly has made an improvement. (Rehomed the cat too) we though it may have been caused by either an allergic reaction to the cat, or Grenfell or accumulation of both. Anyway leading up to this hubby has not been in the best health he has out some weight on etc and his diet hasn't been great lately too.

He has since been back for his follow up at the hospital where he was rescanned and the hospital were happy with the results and happy for him to return to his fitness routine and start the process of returning to work. He has also been back to his work occupational health people where they discussed his results and discussed his return to work process. As he is a firefighter he can not just return straight away. He hasn't done ANY fitness since November and says he feels better unfit at the moment. He is trying really hard and had made changes to his diet and is trying to improve his fitness. The fire brigade have put in place for him that every Tuesday he does a day of fitness with the firbrgafe and he is also booked for a whole week next week with the fire brigade rehabilitation centre for intense rehabilitation. He is also on light duties the rest of the week until around easter time when they will review when he can return to full duties. I do keep worrying (I suffer with anxiety) he does seem unfit and I'm worried he won't get his fitness back, I'm worried about him returning to work, I keep worrying something more is wrong with him, I'm worrying about everything little thing he does, ive convinced myself he has COPD too and really worrying 😔he does seem very very slightly breathless sometimes but then I don't know if this is normal as he is carrying a bit of extra weight around his tum (which he is working on) I take health and fitness very seriously I work as a Personal trainer so to me it worries me more than normal. I have of course been helping him and advising on his diet etc. Sorry I know is I'm rambling just have no one else to vent too .

4 Replies

I think there are several things here. Firstly you (like me) know that you suffer with anxiety and that makes it very hard to see the positives when you are worried about someone.

The Grenfell fire had an incredibly traumatic effect on anyone who saw those images let alone the emergency services who dealt with it and I wonder if part of your husbands current challenges are tied up with the mental effects of that event?

The Hospital were happy with his results but it takes time for lung tissue to repair. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s ok. I was told up to 8 weeks for my lungs to really settle down following an infection. The Fire Service really sound like they are looking after him and their rehab will help get him back on track again. If he still struggles and you are still worried I would go and speak to your GP or see the consultant who dealt with him at Christmas again.

Hope this helps x


Hello Tinkerbell and i am in awe of your husband,who not only is a Firefighter but was one on duty at the terrible Grenfell disaster. Does he get much help to deal with any of the terrible fires he has dealt with? He is an outstanding human being who maybe needs support right now. Obviously I'm not inferring that he doesn't have your full backing but he may need some CBT- cognitive behavioural therapy. I've heard good results can be gained. His lungs will get better I'm sure but for total reassurance,he can ask to see a Respiratory Consultant at your nearest hospital and they would perform tests,scans etc etc. I also think you are doing an equal amount of worrying for him,so perhaps seeing your Doctor or Consultant together might help?

Please do come back and let us know how things are going and always remember that you can voice anything here or call the BLF free phone number,who are absolutely brilliant.


Vent all you like lovey ! I can understand your worries but I'm sure the Fire Brigade won't put him in any danger until he's fit and well enough. You must be so proud of him ( though deep down you wish he had an office job !) In my view, Firefighters and Paramedics are the cream of the crop. Sheila xx


Hello tinkerbell, firstly your husband is a Hero along with all firefighters throughout the Country, total respect. I think maybe you are worrying a bit too much and because you have panic attacks you look too much into things. Your husband judging by what you have written seems a very strong character and will bounce back. And if for any reason there is something is wrong, he will have the strength of mind to deal with it in a positive way, so with that in mind try to relax and take small steps forward. Please keep Intouch with us and let us know how you are both keeping. Best wishes ✋️😊


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