Woman in striped jumper standing against graffiti wall with barbed wire artwork

"You’re meeting other people that have the same problems as yourself. We’re all in the same boat."

“I was a nurse for forty years. It wasn’t until one morning when I was getting ready for my work, it was a back shift that day, I couldn’t breathe. I thought, ‘that’s funny, not being able to breathe like this’.

I put it down to weight, so I just continued working and getting breathless. I went off sick. I went for the breathing test and that’s what came up, severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. So, we went down the line of ill-health and that’s how I took my retirement.

If it was just a cold or it had been my weight I would have stayed on. But because of my breathing I said I can’t do this job anymore.

If it’s too hot, it’s a killer. If it’s too cold, it’s a killer. My heart failure doesn’t help either because you get breathless with that too.

It used to be terrible, it reduces your mobility. But now I’m a lot better, I can walk up the hill and down the hill. I think it’s my weight, losing the weight. What a difference it’s made. I do have my off days when I do have problems with my breath.

The singing for breathing group is a good idea, it does help. I love it. You’re meeting other people that have the same problems as yourself. We’re all in the same boat.”

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