Patient with mild familial IPF
Living with IPF
How was your IPF detected?
In October 2006 I lost my father to pulmonary fibrosis. In September 2007 I wanted to have an X-ray to reassure myself. It was at this point they discovered the very first signs of this illness, which was confirmed by a scan. Of course, it was a terrible shock since I had just lost my father to this illness and I thought about all he had suffered from this illness in the final moments. So it left me in great shock. I had a fairly time-consuming job, so no time for sport. I go at the pace I can, you know. It's true that if my father had not died from this illness... perhaps I would not know that I have this illness, apart from the small coughing fits I have some days.
How has IPF affected your work?
I am a farmer, so I pay a lot more attention to the plant-care, treatment and dust products; I protect myself a lot more. When I don't have a mask to hand, I automatically hold my breath. I am very careful - I have never smoked - this is fortunate as they told me that it could have been worse. Apart from that, I have not really changed my work practices; it's not too much of a hindrance.
What has been the biggest impact on your life?
It is definitely anxiety. I am worried. I think about it constantly. It seems that as soon as I find it a little hard to breathe, it is due to the illness. How long will it last? Well for now it has been five year; it seems to be fairly stable. I feel like making the most of life since I am always frightened that it will end sooner than expected.
How do you remain positive?
I tell myself that maybe it will never spread. At the start I was utterly depressed. Now it's been five years and it has not spread too much, it has developed gently. I tell myself why not another 20 years like that, or more?