Columns

Avoiding Isolation as the Pandemic Rages On

The federal transportation mask mandate has been extended through May 3. The city of Philadelphia has reinstated mask requirements in public indoor settings. People in the U.K. are watching the spread of a new recombinant COVID-19 variant. The Chinese government has reportedly implemented either full or partial lockdowns in…

Medication Management in a Post-transplant World

Every day in my post-transplant world begins with morning doses and ends with evening doses of medication. I also take doses in between, totaling 33–34 pills a day. Medication management is central in the life of a transplant recipient. I received a bilateral lung transplant on this past…

A Day in the Life: When Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Laughter brings people together. It can lead to positive emotional changes, especially when you’re having a rough day. It can also boost the immune system, which enables our body to fight infections. Laughter can help us feel relaxed and vibrant and make our spirits soar. Chronic illness can trigger…

The Decision That Saved My Life

It was July 9, 2021, at 9 a.m. NBC’s “Today” show was on television in our house that morning. I was in my home office going through my morning routine while my wife, Susan, was downstairs in her home office. When my cellphone rang, I recognized the number as the…

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…

I’m Grateful for Doctors Who Understand IPF

On Jan. 31, 2017, Dr. Steven Nathan, a pulmonary disease expert, sat on a stool in a clinic room across from my wife, Susan, and me, and confirmed my diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The gravity of my diagnosis hit Susan especially hard, to the point where every…

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:…