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Pam’s story

Pam is 65 and lives in Sheffield with severe arthritis in her hip and knee alongside pulmonary hypertension.

“Carol [specialist physio] really helped me during the lockdown last year. Before shielding, I was swimming once or twice a week but obviously that had to stop. I started doing Joe Wickes workouts at home and when I told Carol what I was doing, she added some exercises specifically for me, for example to help with my hip. I needed targeted advice and that’s what she gave me.

Some things were as simple as leaning on the breakfast bar in my kitchen and moving up onto my tiptoes and back down. She also advised me to try sliding down the wall on my back and then up again; I do it against my fitted wardrobes because they have a smooth shiny surface, so it helps me move up and down.

Carol also gave me exercises for my shoulders and arms, which has helped me when getting up out of chairs.

Everyone I have spoken to has put weight on during lockdown, but I haven’t, and I do think some of that is down to the exercise. It makes me feel better; the endorphins are definitely real. And doing it first thing works for me as I always have a lull in the afternoon, regardless of what I’ve done.

PH is a problem, but the arthritis exacerbates the PH, and I have to take lots of strong painkillers. So, it helps that Carol has a broader view – she’s not just a pulmonary specialist, she has wider knowledge so if you have other things wrong with you alongside the PH, she can take that into account too. She understands.”