Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a terminal disease – there is no easy way to get away from that
I was diagnosed with IPF in 2009 at the age of 72. Firstly, I noticed I was increasingly breathless which meant I had to adapt some of my hobbies including stopping bird watching out in the bush and travelling long distances. I was also feeling very tired and nowadays I am rarely out at night and usually in bed by 9pm.
Now in 2018 at the age of 80 I am still here. It has mostly been in the last two years that I have had to make significant changes to my lifestyle. My husband died in 2011 and it was only after that I could give time to my condition.
Being diagnosed with IPF meant I have had to make some major changes in my lifestyle including selling my lovely two storey house which also had a large garden.
I moved to a retirement village where life is much more manageable. I am still about to enjoy gardening in a smaller and easier to manage garden. There are also some great activities here in the village which helps to keep social including mah jong, the swimming pool and community bus.
I still have my little dog and take her for two walks a day which is great for my exercise and she loves it – she is a joy. I have always loved reading and have a heap of books at my bedside.
Due to the medication, unfortunately, I have significantly lost appetite and most food tastes like mud or charcoal. The main downside is the new medication that my respiratory physician introduced me to in June 2017. I take nine tablets each day however I do experience some of the side effects such as nausea, terribly itchy skin and weird dream to name but a few.
The future is always uncertain so I am trying to stay on top of things by keeping as active as I can.
I have not had any time in hospital as an inpatient as yet. All I know is I won’t be planning any overseas holidays any time soon.