I have been asthmatic since I was a child and was admitted to hospital a couple of times a year when I had an asthma attack. I was never particularly fit when I was at school and stupidly started smoking when I was 15. I did not finally quit smoking until 2002. It was probably the hardest thing I ever did and I am so glad otherwise I am sure I would not be alive now.
A few years later, I began to get frequent chest infections and was under the care of Dr Tate, a respiratory consultant at St Richards Hosptial. I was eventually diagnosed with brocheiecstatsis, which is a condition where you are not able to clear your lungs properly. This was a condition I was apparently born with and was not as a result of my smoking, not that it mattered as I was still stupid to have ever smoked anyway.
Unfortunately, I picked up a rather nasty superbug called pseudomonas, which is very difficult to cure. I had a nebuliser at home and was almost continuously on nebulised antibiotics. The business was not in a good state, I was getting up very early and working very late every day and just not taking care of myself at all. I put the business before everything and my health was always had the lowest priority.
Dr Tate had suggested that I could come into St Richards for 2 weeks and have antibiotics intravenously to get rid of the pesudamonuas. I was happy to agree to this until I realised I would have to stay there as an inpatient. The business was in a bad state, there was no way I could give up that period of time.
My body had other ideas. One day, during Easter 2016, I had a sudden onset of pain in my back. I knew it wasn't my heart but it was so severe I could not even speak but just cried out at the top of my voice. It was frightening for all of us. My son, Jude, called an ambulance and I was taken to St Richards and diagnosed with pneumonia. I stayed there over 2 weeks and was given antibiotics intravenously, which took care of it. Moral of the story: when your consultant "suggests" a course of action, you should listen to him!
Whilst I was there, I was rehabilitated by the amazing physio team and learnt how to use an amazing device called an Acapella Choice. This incredible device has kept me out of hospital ever since and allows me to live an extremely full and active life. Do watch this video and if you know anyone who has COPD, Cystic Fibrosis or Bronchesctasis, please make sure they watch it.
I now get up at 5 am every weekday, 7 am at weekends and work out. I then go for a 2-mile walk along Bognor's beautiful seafront and walk again at the end of the day. Despite my conditions, I am now in the best health I have ever been and, since 2016, have finally understood the need to put my own health above everything else.
If your business fails, you can start again. If your health fails, it is not so easy. Never put your business above your health.