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Going round in circles!

532 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Lily
Hi All,

I visited St Thomas' on Thursday for a follow up appointment. I was told that the ECG & scan I had showed a slight problem with one of the valves in my heart but that it was nothing to worry about and would just need to be monitored every 12 months. I was advised that I don't need to go back for 12 months - Yippee!

Then on Friday I came crashing back down to earth....I went to see my consultant (7 years to the day after he diagnosed me). I was busy telling him how I'd rejoined the gym and had managed to go swimming and that I had started on my weight loss although it was a little slower than expected. I then explained how I felt that my breathing had improved and my new job is less stressful and I've spread out some of me college exams to relieve some pressure and allow myself to 'get better'.

So there I was feeling all smug that I was doing the right things when he asked me to walk to the end of the corridor and back then blow into the machine. No problem I thought, I can do that. Well the results weren't great and neither it seems were my ESR tests from a couple of weeks ago.

My doc tells me that he is concerned that I have 'got used' to not having full lung capacity and I have a high pain tolerence to the muscle pains. He advised that he doesn't want me to 'overlook' symptoms and think I'm better when actually I'm not. Sound advise I know, but it was a bit of a smack in the face!

So I went to work, ate a massive bag of crisps and a snickers to cheer myself up. This made me feel a bit sick and bloated after months of healthy eating but at my weight watchers meeting my weight hadn't changed which was a nice surprise.

So now I'm sort of back to square one! I've given myself a pep talk, got my positive head on and have worked out an action plan to keep my momentum whilst being sensible. So if anyone has any weight loss tips or breathing exercises to improve lung capacity they'd be much appreciated. ;)

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geesh honestly, I think you need a more optimistic doctor ! What a kill joy.

Swimming is great for lung capacity - I have asthma, and really should swim more than I do, but I really prefer the gym to the swimming pool as I find ploughing up and down the pool pretty boring.

Weight loss - well, slow and steady, healthy diet plus exercise, and expect it to be slow. Slow is safer, and more likely to stay off ....


The lung exercise my doctor gave me was to sit straight and then reach up to the sky with on hand being careful to go STRAIGHT up over my head/shoulder with one hand, then lower it and do the other - not fast either. But in all honesty the best thing seems to have been my cpap. I've gone from setting the alarm off everytime I relaxed in the emergency room to measuring 96% oxygen in the blood when I was checked at the doctor's Friday morning. And I'm pretty sure it's the cpap.
Keep up the good work and I think you should be proud of yourself. I think it is sound advice, but I think you are doing the right thing. I had great weight losss when I did water aerobics, I need to get back to the pool and have been inspired-Thank You!!!!

Hi Amanda,

There is a device you can buy to strengthen your breathing, it's called PowerBreathe

Initially athletes used it for training but it has been found to be very beneficial for those with asthma and lung problems.

As for the weight loss - walking, yoga and swimming have all been successful for me in the past. I also cut out bad carbs which I know is hard for a lot of people.


Pam xxx
Hi all,

My doc also mentioned that powerbreathe thing to me to train myself to breathe better. The problem is that when we can't breathe 100% we tend not to empty our lungs properly and therefore not fill them either and the amount of CO2 can build up as well.

He also said that I could do much the same exercise as the powerbreathe thing by blowing slowly and steadily into a tube in a bottle with some water in it (I hope I'm making sense here). The aim is to train yourself to properly empty the lungs and therefore properly fill them too.

It does sound a bit of a slap in the face but maybe your doc knows you pretty well. My GP gets awful wary when I come in telling him things are going fine etc. He knows I tend to ignore symptoms creeping back and although denial is a wonderful thing at times it is also good to know that you have a problem that you can maybe work on rather than let it get too bad. Many docs wouldn't even bother to check if the patient said they were doing fine so I think it's a good thing he did.

I'm sure you'll be back to your perky self soon and well done on all that gym, swimming etc. I am oh soooo envious! :lol:

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Hey Katharine,
Your docs Idea of blowing out through a tube immersed in water is a good one.

We use a similar method for prem babies................its called 'bubble cpap.'

Your docs visit sounds like a real downer:( I think you seem too be managing your life quite sensibly.
Hi all,

Thank for the input, always appreciated ;)

I mentioned the powerbreathe thing to my Dr a couple of months ago as I came across it in a fitness mag - he told me it wouldn't work and pretty much dismissed it as a gimmick. Hmn, will have to email him and ask again, maybe I'll be a bit more persistant with my questioning this time!

I have now dug out an old motivation article I cut out of a mag and will sit down this afternoon to make myself a plan. I'm a bit of a list girl so think this'll help sort my head out :lol:

I've also got my other half to purchase some Pilates kit for me so I'll give that a go and I'm going to book myself a Reiki session that I've been putting off.

As Tesco's say - Every little helps! :rotfl:

I'll let you know how I get on :p

Amanda x
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I would try the whats been suggested yourself!

Put some water in a plastic/glass bottle or cup add one straw and blow gently until puff gone, then refill lugs with air and do again. I've done this before started doing exercise 5 times for a week or two then increased when I felt comfortable!

Take care!

Blowing up balloons is a good one too. This was suggested to my son by our GP when his asthma was a constant problem. Let's face it you can't blow up a balloon until you expel all the air into it ;)and you need to fill your lungs to start all over again.

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