Stoptober

Stoptober is an initiative which aims to help people quit smoking. The dangers of smoking are well understood, but for those with chronic lung conditions the risks can be even greater – for example smokers are 5 times more likely to catch the flu, a major complication for aspergillosis patients.

We have had 2 talks at the National Aspergillosis Centre patient and carer support meeting that mentioned smoking and aspergillosis. At one meeting, Dr Khaled Al-shair (National Aspergillosis Centre Researcher) spoke of several guidelines to help patients suffering from Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis (CPA) feel their best while being treated at the NAC. Exercise and good diet played their part but one of the major improvements many patients can make to their lifestyle was to stop smoking cigarettes.

We have also had a talk from our local ‘Stop Smoking’ nurse – this talk focused what can be done locally using UHSM (University Hospital of South Manchester) services; so if you are a NAC patient or live withing striking distance of UHSM (Manchester, UK) you can take advantage of this help directly. There was also extensive information for anyone about the advantages of giving up cigarettes and different strategies to employ when trying to find a way to stop smoking.

The NHS also provides a wealth of information and advice on quitting smoking which can be found here.

Fungal Disease Awareness Week

The 23rd-27th of September is Fungal Disease Awareness Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness of fungal diseases around the world. Patients with fungal diseases can often experience delays in diagnosis and treatment due to the limited knowledge of these illnesses among both clinicians and the general public. Many aspergillosis patients will be familiar with this problem!

The aim of Fungal Disease Awareness Week is to encourage patients and healthcare providers around the world to ‘Think Fungus’. when the symptoms of infection do not get better with treatment.

Share the video below with family and friends to encourage them to #ThinkFungus

Pain Awareness Month – USA

September is Pain Awareness Month in the USA, a month dedicated to raising awareness of the issues surrounding pain and pain management. Chronic pain can be a major problem for aspergillosis patients (though speak to your doctor if the pain is extreme or worsening), and can interfere with you living a full and active life. Often it is difficult to explain hidden symptoms such as pain to doctors, friends and family, which can be frustrating and a barrier to accessing the care you need. The American Chronic Pain Association have therefore put together several resources for both patients and their healthcare professionals, in order to ensure that anyone living with chronic pain can access support for managing and living with pain.

Resources:

For information and support in the UK:

Patient and carer Zoom video meeting

Every Thursday at 11am (UK time), we hold an online video call meeting open to all aspergillosis patients and carers. This means that you can meet others in the aspergillosis community, even if you live too far to travel to local meetings. The group is very friendly and open, and you are free to chat about anything!

To come along and chat with this friendly group of Aspergillus veterans:

Go to https://zoom.us/j/243782379 and follow the instructions – Google Chrome browser works well.
You can also dial in by phone using a local number in dozens of countries – to do this click on the link above and then ‘Join audio’ (bottom left) – you can choose from a long list of phone numbers’

We look forward to seeing you!

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