(woman) Pulmonary rehab

(woman) Pulmonary rehab
can be a lot of fun.

We have a brilliant time
with the patients.

When patients come It's like
the first day at school sometimes.

They're nervous,
but they're with other people

who are living with the same
or a similar condition

who are coming for the first time.

You think that the specialists,

who have gone through years
and years of training, are crackers,

telling you to exercise.

You don't realise that it does actually
open up your lungs

and you are able to do far more.

COPD stands for

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

It's a term that describes conditions

such as chronic bronchitis
and emphysema.

It's a slowly progressive disorder

that doesn't change markedly
over a short period of time,

but It's characterised
by narrowing of the airwaves

which makes it harder
for air to get in and out.

I knew something was wrong.

I couldn't breathe,

I couldn't cross the road

without puffing and blowing
and holding on to something.

I was lucky to get straight on to
a pulmonary rehab course.

There was one starting about a fortnight
after I saw the consultant

and he sent me straight onto it.

The biggest thing is that when you
mention exercise to patients with COPD,

the look of horror on their faces
is phenomenal.

But It's just exercise,
although they do put you through it.

But they know exactly how far
to take you.

And they do your saturation
if you get a bit puffy and blowy.

They do your saturation level
just to check everything's alright.

So you feel safe because of that.

(Vicky Walker) If you don't do anything
you'll become more and more breathless,

so by exercising it helps maximise
the lung function that you've got.

It's just the exercises.

It's the package,
and that's what people are coming for.

It's the package of exercise,
education and support.

And the aim of this is to try
to improve patients' quality of life

that are living with COPD.

It's about patients
feeling much more in control,

so it's not the illness
that's controlling them.

They're much more in control
and they feel much more empowered

to manage their disease.

I wouldn't be able to do the things now
that I do, which is quite a lot, really,

if I hadn't done the rehab course.

I always say I'm not going to let
COPD rule my life.

I'm going to rule its existence.