As a Hull resident, who is aged 58 and a current smoker, Catherine was invited to attend a lung health check in July 2021. Here Catherine tells us what happened next and why she is now encouraging others to take part.
“After speaking with a lung health check nurse on the phone, I was invited to Castle Hill hospital for a CT scan. The scanner was on board a mobile unit in the hospital car park and although going through the tunnel was a bit scary, the staff were really friendly, and it was fine.
“Two weeks after attending Castle Hill Hospital, I was diagnosed with emphysema. I felt surprised and gutted. I’ve been a smoker for 45 years and although my GP had previously advised me to stop, being told I had emphysema hit me for six. I knew I needed to make a change and thought of my daughter and granddaughter.”
“This wasn’t my first attempt at stopping smoking. I had managed to cut down to five cigarettes a day before covid, but I struggled to smoke less during the pandemic and decided to take up the offer of help from SmokeFree Hull.
“They’ve been a great support so far and I receive weekly phone calls to check how I’m getting on. Being able to trial the use of patches and vapes has helped me to cut down and in the last two weeks, I’ve only smoked six cigarettes.
“It hasn’t been easy but I’m already starting to notice some small differences. When I bike to work, the Anlaby Road flyover feels like less of a hill to climb and I’ve been able to do some extra exercise on the rowing machine at home.
“It’s been just over a month since my lung health check and finding out I have emphysema has been really hard, especially as my partner lost someone to this previously. For that reason, I feel extremely lucky to have caught it early and to be getting help and support from my family and the NHS.
“Having that check has made a big difference to my life and I’ve already encouraged my friend to take up her appointment.”
To read the experiences of other patients of the lung health check programme, please click here.