Sunday 22 April 2012

Breathlessness and oxygen

Dr Banks talked at length about feelings of breathlessness and low oxygen levels, and how although the two seem to be related, actually they are two different things. Some people with COPD can be extremely breathless but have relatively high oxygen levels, while others experience sudden drops in oxygen when they exercise and become breathless. Why is this ? It's one if the worlds great mysteries.
The only thing we do know is that the exercises and breathing techniques we learn in pulmonary rehab do make a huge difference. Keeping muscles fit reduces the demand for oxygen when we exercise and knowledge of breathing techniques helps us recover quickly once we become breathless.
Our inhalers help by keeping the airways open, the rest is down to us to practise the lessons we have learned.

Monday 9 April 2012

Abseil at Dinas Rock 2012 - We did it !!

Morgan listens carefully to instructions
At last, the day arrived, after the lovely sunshine at the end of March, and the snow, wind and rain at the beginning of April, we were relieved to wake up to a dry if chilly day. After the initial hustle and bustle of putting up banners, posters and signs, we got started at just after 10.30 with the first group on the big rock, and the children on the lower rock. We say lower rock, but it is still a challenge for some adults to tackle.

Supporters came to cheer
People came from all around to support friends and family and some just stopped by to see what was going on, as they enjoyed an Easter walk in this lovely river valley.

Nicola has COPD 

In spite of having COPD herself, Nicola achieved her ambition to climb to the top (120 ft) and abseil Dinas Rock. What determination and what a lovely smile. Well done Nicola. Her mum came along to cheer, and help hold up the banner.
Patrick Flood Page - ready for anything !
Patrick and his two young daughters all took their turn on the rock. Is that a grin of fear or a happy smile of achievement ?
Suzy abseils like an expert

We had a very brave Welsh Assembly member abseiling too. Suzy Davies was so scared in the days leading up to it but when her time came, she was a star. She looks like an expert the way she is handling that rope. Well done to you Suzy, whatever will you tackle next ?
This is the sixth year we have held this event. Call of the Wild have run it for us every year free of charge, and, this year Dulais Valley Independent Ambulance Services gave us first aid cover, also without charge. I never cease to be struck by the enthusiasm and generosity of the people in this area. Over the six years we have now raised over £30,000    for Breathe Easy groups and British Lung Foundation Wales. Once all the sponsorship money is collected for this year's event, that figure will be much higher.
See Morgan's YouTube clip  Morgan's big week

Tesco Ystradgynlais donated a voucher which we raffled on the day - the lucky winner was Simon Kendrick from Cardiff.
To see more pictures go to the British Lung Foundation flickr page

Health and Wealth event in Seven Sisters

Last week we joined other people representing different services and charities to let the people of Seven Sisters, in the Dulais Valley, find out about the many types of help and information which is available to them.

Lots of people were very interested in the information on sleep apnoea, thinking heavy snoring, interrupted sleep and constant tiredness are just something you had to put up with.

A group came from the sheltered housing down the road and I was inundated with Welsh ladies wanting to buy my Welsh dolls - orders had to be taken as I had run out.