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Hello, my name is Micheline Claude,
When I was in my mid-thirties, I was told by my family doctor about COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), although I didn’t realize what it meant back then. I used to smoke and go camping and walking in the great outdoors at that time. My friends would often tell me that I was coughing and that I seamed short of breath.
Sometime later, following repeated bronchitis, my doctor made me undergo some tests and I started using inhalers. Then, I realized that taking walks and climbing stairs became difficult. However, at the time, like any heavy smoker, I was blindsided.
With the help of my doctor, I was able to quit smoking in 2008. I was no longer a slave to cigarettes, but my lungs’ condition got worse. It was a slow process. I carried on with my life, my work, but increasingly more efforts were required day after day. Following a chest X-ray in 2015, I was diagnosed with cancer. Surgery and remission followed. Then, things got even more difficult. My pneumologist recommended pulmonary rehabilitation, which I undertook. In order to do the exercises, I need oxygen support. So, I quickly understood that I had to take care of myself. An article in my local newspaper made me discover the Quebec Lung Association and their specialized gym. I reached out to the Association and told them my story. They invited me to meet them, which I did.
I was given an appointment. Then, they assessed my situation and handed me a training program. The kinesiologist explained to me all the steps in the exercises. Twice a week, I went to the Association to do the exercises, with oxygen support. The atmosphere here was warm and the people were very nice. We got to know each other, and I made friends. After a few months of exercising twice a week, I noticed how much easier it was to move around. After speaking with the kinesiologist, I got my saturation level taken while on the bike and on the treadmill, and it was completely fine. What a relief! I was so happy that I didn’t need oxygen support anymore. My efforts paid off thanks to the whole team that pushed me, encouraged me and helped me get this far. I was able to improve my lung condition, and that changed my life. Since then, I could go on walks and climb stairs with much more ease. And I can do it with my children, my grandchildren or my friends.
I am so grateful to have been introduced to the Quebec Lung Association and I thank them for all their services to us. My wish is that people with lung problems get access to this wonderful Lung Association. I have a much more comfortable life with better breathing quality.