30 Days of PF: What PF Has Taught Me
Day 4 of 30
This is Linda Gorman’s story:
I am not in control of my life. Before PF, I was quite the control freak and thought I could control my health by exercising more, eating healthier, and getting more sleep. Then I started to experience shortness of breath, and none of that helped. After more breathing issues, I was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis (hypersensitivity pneumonitis).
Initially, I tried to control my illness. I then began to focus on what I could still do to improve my life. I accepted my illness, realizing it was with me for life. Looking back, I see now what a freeing experience that was. I have discovered that always planning for the future is missing the wonderment of the moment.
I learned to accept help from others. I’ve always been independent and shunned offers, saying I can do it myself. I am now needing help and have been able to let go of my feeling of not wanting to be a burden. I now welcome the gift of help with open arms.
I don’t fight the bad days anymore; I embrace them. This does not mean I don’t do whatever is necessary to recover. But while I’m recovering, I read good books, watch movies, talk to friends on the phone, eat foods I really enjoy, and generally accept and enjoy what I can still do.
I just had major surgery and was in the hospital for a month. My body is recovering and I am weak. I know, though, that I will grow stronger, with the help of some wonderful health care professionals. I see improvements each day.
Never give up! I am a positive person by nature. With all the things happening in the world and being isolated, it’s been difficult to maintain positivity.
I found several support groups with other people with lung disease. They have become friends. We support each other and are comfortable sharing about our bad days since we all have them. It’s been so important to my health, both physical and mental. I am content to see my daily progress and have let go of worrying about the future.
Pulmonary Fibrosis News’ 30 Days of PF campaign will publish one story per day for PF Awareness Month in September. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofPF, or read the full series.