British Lung Foundation
34,211 members41,608 posts

Being 'Other'

There are times when I despair of the low profile that lung disease has. Not just when it concerns the big issues, things like lack of funding for research, being left out of SCN's and so on, but also in the littl, everyday constant reminders that we don't really count. After moving into a council property last Autumn - for which I am extremely grateful - my one year 'trial' as a new tenant is up and I have now been awarded a 'secure tenancy', for which I have to sign and return a copy. Being the council, they also sent a form with a lot of questions and tick boxes to complete and send back. Being a bungalow they ask about my health - which of the following Disability /Long Term Conditions did I have - I have reproduced the tick box list exactly as it is on the form;

Physical - affecting arms and/or legs such as I need to use a wheelchair Permanently.

As above but using a mobility scooter.

Permanent need for crutches or stick.

Blind or serious visual disability.

Deaf or serious hearing disability.

Mental condition such as depression or schizophrenia.

Learning difficulty such as Downs syndrome, dyslexia or autism.

Chronic Heart Disease





Other (please specify)

So there we have it - we are the 'other' at the bottom of the page. One of the nations biggest killers, severely debilitating, and yet while depression and dyslexia are listed as disabilities, COPD does not even rate a mention. 'Nuff said!

9 Replies

I fully understand, and agree, with your frustration at the lack of recognition of this condition Parvati. The BLF are doing a good job in promoting the seriousness of this illness and, hopefully, we will eventually receive the recognition we deserve.

In the meantime, keep on keeping on :)


Glad I glammed my condition up a bit now to get them to put my bins out!


Dont. Blame you..




How very depressing. They could at least have made "chronic heart disease" into "chronic heart or lung disease" if they didnt want to take up another line - how hard would that have been. It does emphasise just how low our profile is - dont think ive ever seen lung disease listed.

But anyway congratulations on your secure tenancy :)


Parvati on thinking back many years I am sure that at the top of that list on one of the housing forms asthma appeared. I think it was the one where people were applying for medical points to further on their housing application or looking to transfer- one or other of them anyway. Makes you wonder why that particular medical condition has been removed.


Yes, you have a point there - you would think asthma would be included as it is a widely known condition - though it is surprising how many people still don't realise that it can be so serious as to kill.


Oh so true what you say Parvati, we must keep campaigning for the thousands of people with lung conditions . I am glad to see one improvement COPD has been added to the list of eligibility for flu injections in my area.I'd love to say also not all lung conditions are due to smoking.The biggest cause of rises in Asthma cases is environmental polution which we have only a small control over, yet this is another airways diseaes excluded in many lists and not seen as a serious illness. I would say these exclusions could be classed as discrimination, however on the lighter side guess the list can,t be endless so we will have to accept being other on most forms (smiles) if you have a lung condition


It is not just the being classed as 'other' that needles me, but the fact that you then have to write 'copd', 'ipf' 'sarcoids' etc, and go on to explain what it is, and convince them that this can have as great a disabling effect as any of the conditions they have listed. Oh well, I included a polite letter suggesting that next time they re design their forms they might like to include a 'respiratory disease' option, seeing as how it is one of this country's biggest killers. We must keep slugging away girls...keep slugging away ;)


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