Being Young with Bronchiectasis
I have a soft spot for young people diagnosed with bronchiectasis. My inner Mama throws on her cape and swoops in for the rescue.
This post was written by our bronchi-brother, Emmet, 33 years old, from Ireland. Emmet and I spoke on the phone over a year ago. I knew that we would always stay in touch when he asked if his mother could be on our call. I thought it was so kind of him to include her and I vowed to myself to keep an eye on him.
In Emmet’s words:
“My symptoms started when I was about 29 and I was misdiagnosed with asthma. Then, after a CT scan, I was properly diagnosed with bronchiectasis.
After my diagnosis, I won’t lie, I was terrified, and I still get days when my anxiety about having bronchiectasis for life gets bad. But I try to exercise my way out of the negative thoughts which works pretty well for me.
I was so lucky to have found Linda through Instagram and her positive posts relating to living with bronchiectasis gave me some hope. I reached out to her and she was beyond helpful. We had a phone call and she was so reassuring and informative it was literally a breath of fresh air for me. She has given me information and made suggestions that to this day, I believe I still wouldn’t have been told by my doctors.
My self-care usually starts with airway clearance at work in my van. I do long routes every day that allow me to get at least an hour of my Aerobika done in the mornings. I think the vibrations in the van also help. Then when I get home around midday I usually go for a long run or I hit the boxing bag and do a light weight workout.
I also play football (soccer for those in the US:)) on Sundays for a local team.
I have a partner and two daughters. We live near the Shannon River estuary, close to where the river meets the Atlantic and enjoy taking walks with our dog, Rocky.
I have been in contact with some Irish people who also have bronchiectasis. It’s been good to compare the care we are getting across different parts of the country.
All in all, bronchiectasis is something I wish I didn’t have, but it is what it is, and it could be worse. I feel lucky to have a great network of family and friends supporting me.”
Thank you Emmet for sharing your story!
If you are young and have bronchiectasis, a strong medical team and committed self-care, can make a significant difference.
#bronchiectasis #airwayclearance #exercise
Linda Cooper Esposito, MPH is a health educator with bronchiectasis. She developed the BE CLEAR Method to Living with Bronchiectasis and writes with compassion and humor about this chronic lung disease.