My Story, by Stewart Armstrong

I am a normal guy of 33 who used to be fit and active when I was a teenager, taking part in athletics at national and county level and then did nothing once I hit my 20’s. I spent a few years in my late 20’s sometimes with a bit of chest pain, or if someone would push my chest it didn’t feel right. I didn’t think much of this just that my chest muscles must be weak. I decided I should get fit and as I used to do a lot of athletics, I would start with running. I made it about a mile and was so out of breathe I couldn’t believe it. Again, I just put this down to being unfit or getting older. I then started coughing a lot and used to carry cough mixture around with me, I just thought I had a cough. It then came to the point that my director at work made me go to see a doctor.

X-Rays showed that I had multiple shadows in my lungs. As you can imagine, your first thought is cancer! Which was made worse by the doctor going over cancer with me. Months and months of tests ruling this disease and that disease out but still cancer hanging over my head!! Which I can tell you is really scary. I would walk 100m and get out of breathe, things were just getting worse and no-one could tell me what was wrong.

In November 2011, I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis (which I had never heard) of the lungs and skin. After looking into this disease, it is more common that I would ever of thought, but I don’t know anyone who has heard of it.

Since then, I have been taking prednisone. As most people know, these types of steroids have a lot of negatives with gaining weight, muscle waste and slight depression being three of them.

In November 2012, I was informed that my lungs had got worse and I had many holes with one being the size of a clementine and my lungs only worked to about 60% of a normal person’s lungs. 

I spent the rest of November and December thinking my life was over, Im going to die. I have a disease that doctors don’t seem to understand and that has no cure whatsoever. 

After feeling a little bit down after the news I received in November 2012, I was now at the point that I wanted to really challenge myself and my disease. I have started a 12 week training programme to get fit and healthy and transform my fitness level (my doctor is aware of what I am doing). I have taken many before pictures and am documenting everything I am doing and I will be sharing my progress on twitter @StewArmstrong .

The Local paper ‘Sutton Guardian’ interviewed me yesterday.

I aim to prove that anyone, no matter how ill or whatever fitness level you are, anyone can get healthy with the right focus, dedication, training plan and nutrition.

If I can raise a little bit of awareness of sarcoidosis or inspire one person, then I will be very happy.

I hope you can follow me on Twitter @StewArmstrong

4 thoughts on "My Story, by Stewart Armstrong"

  1. Wishing you all the best Stewart. My husband has sarcoidosis and like you we have never heard of it before. No one seems to know what causes it.

  2. Hi Stewart.

    I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis in 1993 it was in my lungs, skin, spleen, liver, eyes. I refused prednisolone (steroid) for 4 years until eventually it caused a calcium level of 3.8 and I was near to death.

    I have been on pred now since 1999 just a maintenance dose, I keep the weight off by using a treadmill daily, I work at my local Ambulance station, plus I’m a trained responder for in house emergency’s

    I feel reasonably fit, my lungs are clear and about 95% function, my spleen has remained stable, liver also, my blood platelets are reading above 100 so I can eat the odd bar of chocolate, my white blood cells are low so I need to be careful of infections. So far I have had a good life stye living with this condition, and my moto is life is precious and I will with determination keep this at bay.

    Keep up the good work, I do know that sarcoidosis hates a heathy body
    and by keeping fit, this usually keeps it in remission.

    All the best Roy

  3. hi I have read your story with interest I am not on twiter I am 60 and twiter is another planet,i had always had chest problems,this at 32 was put down to asthma I was diagnosed as having sarcoidosis of the lungs in 2009 my FEV1 is down to 44% and yes I Get depressed a lot and I have put weight on I have read a lot of web sites on the subject still no answer.i am trying to find a consultant in derby area to find out if a lung transplant is an option .be interested in your case please reply ,best wish’s kevin

  4. best of luck stewart
    i was diagnosed in1996 as a result of lung checks instigated by my employer when our office building was found to have extremely high levels of asbestos which obviously created fears of cancer. at the time i was offered no treatment ( i have chronic sarcoidosis) but was advised that i had already lost 30% of lung function and to avoid as far as humanly possible any sicknesses such as bronchitis and told tht i had prob at most eight years before the disease would start to really cause problems. i have had flare ups over years and they are becoming more frequent and more painful. i am still not on medication have moved to a more temperate climate. i try to keep my weight down and have found regular swimming helps enormously to improve breathing.
    as with everyone so little is known about the disease.
    but positive thinking does help

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