Lyn’s story

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, Pulmonary Fibrosis

Life is worth living

My name is Lyn I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis in December 2015 after almost nine months of treatment for an upper respiratory infection which did little to rectify the problem.

For a few years prior to this, I noticed I was becoming very short of breath when walking up the stairs or hills. I kept saying to my doctor that it felt like I was getting asthma again.

It wasn’t until I developed a persistent cough in 2015 that I ended up saying to my GP that I believed there was something more going on so he referred me to a lung specialist. After having a scan, the diagnosis revealed there was fibrosis in both lungs.

This diagnosis came as a huge shock for me, especially after speaking with the specialist and reading about the condition and becoming aware of its serious nature – no known cure or treatment.

This had a profound effect on my family and close friends as well as the reality of possible early death hit home. I did become quite saddened by the whole thing and found great comfort and strength in prayer and support from family and friends.

Once through this short, dark period I decided the only way forward was to accept what was happening and do everything I could to make whatever time I had left purposeful. My specialist got me into an eight week pulmonary rehabilitation program which I found very helpful. I have continued with my exercising and fitness program and I believe this has helped greatly in keeping my lungs and body healthy.

In mid 2016, I started on treatment to lessen the inflammation in the lungs, however the fibrosis continued to develop. In May this year, I got the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial group and hopefully this drug will  prove successful and slow down the progress of the fibrosis.

This illness has certainly impacted my life in that I had to come to terms with my limitations.

It has also made me reflect more positively on life and what life has given me. I had wonderful parents but as my father died very young my mum became a powerful inspiration to me. How she endured hardships, including death from lung cancer at 65 was amazing. She always remained positive and happy and this has empowered me to be like her.

So I try to live by my motto,”keep a dream in (my) pocket and a song in (my) heart” (The Seekers) as well as always making time for prayer and being still.

Life is worth living and if I can help others who may be diagnosed with this condition I would be very privileged to do so.

Sharing your personal experience with lung disease is a compelling and inspiring way for others to learn about and cope with their diagnosis. Your story may also encourage people to identify and act on symptoms they are experiencing, which may otherwise have been ignored.

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