Columns

Holiday Gift Guide: PF and Lung Transplant Edition

The holidays are complicated. And getting in the holiday spirit with a chronic illness, in the dead of winter, in the middle of a pandemic, can be, well, challenging. If you are struggling to feel the magic this season, that’s OK. If you’re too exhausted or too sad to…

Reflecting on Another Birthday With IPF

A doctor once told me he wasn’t sure I’d survive until my 30th birthday. If I did, I’d likely be dependent on supplemental oxygen, unlike any other young adult I knew at the time. This week, I turned 34. Reflecting on my nearly six years with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)…

Just Being Alive After Transplant Is Actually Enough

The pressure we put on ourselves to live full, “successful” lives can be debilitating. Transplant recipients can be burdened with extremely high expectations for what post-transplant life should look like. Organ transplantation is an incredible gift, but those expectations can cause a lot of emotional stress and guilt. Before I…

I’m Learning to Manage Unnecessary Feelings of Guilt

Today’s inspiration comes from a brainstorming session I had with fellow columnists. Speaking with other people who live with rare diseases made me think about what I wanted to express in my column. I realized I feel a lot of guilt, for several reasons. Watching others struggle with PF…

I’m Living With IPF and Need to Slow Down

I’ve always been guilty of putting too much pressure on myself. While I was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) five years ago, I still haven’t learned how to slow down and avoid putting so much pressure on myself. This is despite the disease causing me extreme fatigue, breathlessness,…

Facing IPF, Mortality, and a Future as an Only Child

Growing up as an only child, I’ve spent my whole life hearing what one Washington Post writer calls “a slew of profoundly unflattering and occasionally contradictory stereotypes.” I’ve been told many times how lucky I am that I don’t have to share my parents’ affection with siblings. Or…

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