I have a few stories in progress but waiting for information or interviews and so I turn to my other recent activities to write about and report ‘success’! 

For the last eight weeks, I have been attending the Royal Brompton Hospital for pulmonary rehabilitation. I have mentioned it before but that was early on. I have now completed the full course and have been assessed. I started the course wondering whether I could manage it, complete it or gain from it. I can report that I completed it and showed improvement. 

I could not have asked for better help and support. The Pulmonary Rehab team at the Royal Brompton Hospital are really amazing – Bav, Steff, Sam and Tunde. Thank you to you all. Each session comprises an hour in the gym – yes, me in the gym!!!!! Working aerobically and with strengthening exercises with weights. And then an educational talk or, as I wrote about recently, a taster session of Singing for Breathing which happens at the Royal Brompton every Tuesday. I can’t wait to start it properly.

Of course, it does make sense. If muscles are working better they are using oxygen more efficiently and the body works and feels better. I am no longer a doubter. I am now a believer!

I shall be going back to see the team in six months for a review and so in the meantime, I shall start using the weights I have bought and increase what walking I feel able to do. The other thing I have learnt is to breathe when exercising. It sounds so obvious but I was often holding my breath.

Why am I bothering to tell people this? I hope it will encourage anyone who has the chance to seek help like this. Don’t think you are too old or too ill – because as it has been proved to me – if I can do it, most of you can do it!!!!!!

And, I am so lucky. I do not have to use oxygen yet whereas some people on the course with me use it for hours a day and have to exercise with it. 

It allows me to make a ‘community’ comment as well. Seeking an ‘affordable’ gym and particularly a swimming pool in central Kensington is not easy – or possible. In fact, central Kensington is not awash with good ‘affordable’ leisure facilities. Despite the ongoing promise of facilities with the various versions of ‘Tesco Tower’ that have been proposed and turned down. Maybe one day! In the meantime, I’ll walk around the square and up and down my hall and use the weights I have bought. Fitting a treadmill into the flat is not feasible – or affordable – and an exercise bike would be a bit of a squeeze too. 

An interesting snippet in the Evening Standard yesterday, based on a study by insurance company Aviva. Homeworking is becoming increasingly popular and Kensington and Chelsea provide the capital’s homeworking hotspot – with around 25 per cent of people working from home. 



I’m a Believer!
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