Handling PF on My Own
My husband, Dave, has been away for five days at a conference where he was one of the speakers. He first said he didn’t think he should go because he didn’t want to leave me without help. I encouraged him to go and arranged to have someone come over every day to help me with tasks or errands. I wanted him to go because I know that as my PF worsens, he won’t be able to be away much.
Before he left, he gave me a refresher course on how to turn off the water to the house, if needed, and how to reset the electrical breaker box, plus some other details. Now, I’ve known how to handle these type of things my whole life, but not so much in the last three years since my PF diagnosis.
For the most part, things have gone OK… except for the unexpected stuff. We have two kitties who are about 9 months. Dave always feeds them, takes them outside once or twice a day, and takes care of their litter box. I had a friend come over and clean out the litter box every day because that is not good for my lungs. Feeding them has been fine, but taking them outside in the morning has been a challenge. They really love to explore, so I thought I’d give it a try.
We just put GPS devices on their collars, so that helps us track them down if they leave the backyard. Yesterday, one of my cats, Rambo, got on our roof and couldn’t get down. It was really hot out, and he was panting. He got himself to an overhang that was a little lower than the edge of the roof. I know I shouldn’t have done this, but I got a ladder and went up three steps, and grabbed by the scruff of his neck and dragged him down.
This morning, I let them both out because it was cooler outside. I thought if he got up there again, I would just leave him there and he could figure out how to get down himself. Of course, being a mischievous cat, he got up on the roof again and started crying.
I left him up there for an hour and was determined to have him get down by himself. I stood near a tree branch and coaxed him to come down. My neighbor came over to help, and he eventually came down. My husband comes home tomorrow, and I’m not letting them out until then! Even though it worked out, it was so tiring for me.
I’m realizing what a big difference it makes in my quality of life to have my husband help with daily tasks such as:
- Filling my portable liquid oxygen tanks and putting them in the car
- Carrying things for me when I come home with groceries or other items
- Taking care of the cats
- Handling unexpected home and garden problems
- Knowing he’s there at night, in case I have a problem
- Going to the store to get things we need
I try to always thank him for all he does for me. I now have an even bigger appreciation for him than I did before. I know his life has changed so much too, and it is hard on both of us. I’m going to share with him what a huge difference he makes in my life when he gets home tomorrow.
My quality of life was so much lower this week. I was so tired this week because of the extra things I had to do. I didn’t have the energy to do some of the things I hoped to work on. I have a book releasing next month, and I had all sorts of things I needed to do that I didn’t have the chance to finish.
Thank you to all our caregivers who make such a difference in our lives. You help us so much in ways we don’t even realize. So, thank you so very much! I’d also like to express my empathy to those of you who handle the stressors of every day with PF on your own. You are going through so much on your own, and my hat is off to you.
How about you? I’d love to hear from you!
What jumped out at you from this column? Do you have someone who helps you with the daily tasks of life? What do you appreciate the most about your caregiver?
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Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.