"Experiences from Sheffield Breathe Easy group"

About: South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

**On 25th February 2015, the Sheffield Breathe Easy group invited Sheffield CCG to hear about their experiences of services locally. Members live with a variety of respiratory conditions including COPD and asthma. The quotes below are in their words. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their time, frankness and help with developing the Sheffield Respiratory Strategy.**

“I sit and try to relax. I’m alright walking on the level but when I’m on an incline I struggle. I think about family and that helps. Sometimes I sit on the edge of the bed and need to catch my breath. As soon as I start relaxing and resting I get back to normal. When walking around town I stop and look in windows. ”

“The thing that made a difference for me was getting into pulmonary rehab via my GP, although some do it via their asthma nurse. When I got on the pulmonary rehab course it took the fear away – I learned techniques such as breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. You’re told how you can help yourself. I went to classes at Jordanthorpe and I’ve maintained my level of exercise – I’ve been getting fitter and fitter and fitter. When I’ve been on holiday it takes quite a while to get back into it. I’m always worried about putting weight on when I’m not exercising so I always feel I’ve got to get to it.

Medication has helped massively. I do have emergency medication in the house although I must make an appointment to see my GP as soon as I start on them. A locum told me that I must come in when I’m ill – I didn’t tell him that I’d been in bed poorly and wasn’t able to get. Luckily my husband feeds and looks after me. “

“I’ve been on pulmonary rehab about five years ago and I do choir singing. I’ve got to keep strictly to medication and inhalers - I’m always better when using the spacers – someone came to show us how to use them properly which was great. If I’m going to do some big exercises I use my inhaler first and it helps. I’ve found it very helpful. I use it before I come into singing. I had a chest infection a few weeks ago – steroids and three lots of antibiotics and then the doctor gave me medication for my phlegm and that’s been magic. “

“Regular classes at the leisure centre twice a week, that I was referred to after pulmonary rehab. That’s where the GPs refer into. That’s been great. ”

“ “If you need to renew your GP referral as I needed to, you can now refer yourself by getting a form from the GP surgery, you no longer have to get the GP to refer you”.

“I’ve got a dog that takes me around the park everyday. I exercise regularly when I can as this helps to increase mental and physical wellbeing”.

“My wife helps me tremendously. ”

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