Hospice News

Keeping your batteries charged

31 Oct 2023

Patient & Carer Stories

Our Fatigue and Breathlessness (FAB) course is a five-week course for outpatients held at the Hospice in Brentry and The Park community centre in Knowle.

During the two-hour sessions, our Physiotherapists help patients with things like activity and movement, energy conservation, and sleep. Retired builder James lives with his wife Lynn and his extended family on a farm in Chew Valley. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer over 20 years ago and the cancer has now spread to his spine. James has been attending our FAB course in Knowle.

"I can't work like I used to. I'm always doing something on the farm, but only in the workshop. I'm not out working with the animals. It's the fatigue. I haven't got the strength and I can't move so fast.

"The FAB team have been brilliant. Last week they told us to think of ourselves like batteries. If you have a full battery in the morning and you go out and do stuff, your battery starts to fade.

"So you sit down, put yourself on charge, boost yourself a bit and carry on again. It's all about pacing yourself.

Physiotherapist Gill with James

"Before the FAB course, I wouldn't have bothered with exercise. They showed us how to do lifting, stretching and twisting with your walking stick. When you're sitting watching the television, you can put a bit of elastic around your feet and move your legs in and out. I do it in the afternoons when I'm watching A Place in the Sun. All the lovely beaches, the water – my wife Lynn says I'm hooked on it!

"It's been nice to meet other people at the FAB course. We talk about our different problems and get things off our chests. It's like therapy. I chat on like there's no tomorrow – they have to shut me up! I try to give people a bit of a laugh.

"Other people on the course live alone - that can't be easy. Meeting them has made me think I'm lucky to have my family around. Lynn's good as gold the way she looks after me. While I'm at the course, she can have a bit of a break."

Fatigue and Breathlessness course

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