COPD real story 

Lynn Ashton has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She explains what it is like living with the condition

Find out more about living with COPD

Transcript of COPD real story

My name is Lynn Ashton and I'm 46 years old.

I was diagnosed with COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

It's an umbrella term for emphysema and bronchitis,

and it's quite common now

and there's a lot of people who actually have got COPD

but they haven't been diagnosed.

I started to think I had a problem with my lungs

because I was getting admitted into my local hospital quite frequently.

I had a lot of chest infections. It wasn't the usual chest infection.

I'd be in for quite a while and there'd be several episodes.

The doctor at the hospital and my GP then said that I needed oxygen

because my oxygen levels were very low,

and they sent me to see a chest consultant.

I've got something that is quite rare in this country.

It's called a transtracheal SCOOP.

It's a small tube, a small procedure that I had done at Packworth,

that's inserted into my trachea,

and it means that that's put in

and then I attach the oxygen to the SCOOP

and it's fed into the oxygen cylinder.

This has been so much more beneficial for me.

If I was to speak to someone to give them advice,

if they'd just been diagnosed with COPD,

I would say to never look back, always move forward.

There's probably things that you're going to think,

when you get out of breath, "My life's not worth living",

but everybody's life is worth living.

If you learn to breathe correctly, with pursed lip breathing,

and breathe from where you're meant to,

from your diaphragm, that helps you relax.

And make sure that you're doing all the right things you should.

Give up the smoking, learn to breathe correctly, do your exercise.

If you do all that, then your COPD shouldn't get any worse.

There are things you're not going to be able to do

that you could do before.

But there are always different things that you can do

to still make sure that you live a life.

I'm still smiling, I get up every morning and put my make-up on,

have my shower, and it might take me longer but I've done it,

and that gives you more satisfaction than anything.

I did the London Marathon 2006. I did it over five days.

I wouldn't have done it without everybody's support.

It was one of the best weeks of my life.

The first morning I started off with the others but I was last, obviously.

I had a trolley carrying my oxygen in and a seat.

I'd walk a little way, sit down, walk a little way, sit down.

My best friend and a nurse walked with me every single day

and I had all the British Lung Foundation with me as well.

It was just terrific.

I met some wonderful people

and I raised over 14,000 for British Lung, so it was an amazing week.


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