Author Archives: Charlene Marshall

Grateful for My Cognitive Abilities, Despite Failing Lungs

Many chronic illness patients experience brain fog. Those living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a progressive and life-threatening lung condition, are no exception. Due to being chronically under-oxygenated, especially as the disease progresses, many IPF patients find their brain fog prohibitive to important aspects of their life, such as excelling…

Are These PF Symptoms Annoying to Others?

One of my biggest fears is being a nuisance to others. As much as possible, I try not to rely on anyone and have learned to become stubbornly independent. This is why living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a debilitating and life-threatening lung disease, has been so hard on me:…

COVID-19 and IPF, Round 2: Here’s What Happened

No one will ever convince me that COVID-19 is just a cold. Unfortunately, I’ve heard this sentiment echoed by healthy friends since the start of the pandemic as a means of downplaying public health measures meant to curb the spread of the virus. But having had COVID-19 twice now, I’ll…

Even With IPF, I’m Still Privileged

Given the various unfortunate events happening around the world, including the evolving war between Russia and Ukraine, I’ve been reflecting on the many ways my family and I are blessed. At times, I’ve been guilty of not realizing my privilege. I’ve always had the basic necessities, including a roof…

An IPF Patient Perspective on What It Means to Be Rare

For most of my adult life I was blissfully unaware of rare diseases. This lasted until 2016, when I was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a life-threatening and progressive lung disease that affects about 200,000 Americans, with 50,000 new cases diagnosed annually in the U.S. Like many others,…