Just Breathe...Compassionate Help for the PF Journey

d87dbd0122f8a05f8c93e6576ea24dfaKim Fredrickson was an Author, Blogger and Marriage and Family Therapist. She lived in Northern CA, with her husband of 40 years and had 2 adult children. Kim was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis in May 2014, as a rare complication from chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer. Kim is the author of Pulmonary Fibrosis Journey: A Counselor and Fellow Patient Walks with You, The Power of Positive Self-Talk, and Give Your Kids a Break: Parenting with Compassion for You and Your Children. Kim believed that learning to advocate for yourself with kindness and compassion, just as you would for a good friend, makes this difficult journey a little easier. In her patient column on Pulmonary Fibrosis News, she offered practical ideas to help us care for ourselves, fight for what we need, and process our many-layered emotions. Kim passed away in 2019, but her inspirational work advocating for the IPF community continues to inspire and endure.

Read more of Kim’s writing at www.kimfredrickson.com

The Benefits of Doing Pulmonary Rehab Online

One of my goals as a pulmonary fibrosis patient is to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Regularly exercising has helped me immensely. I actually feel better than I used to. At first, I thought my doctor was crazy when he referred me…

How to Decide When to Stop Working

As PF progresses, it is wise to address how long to keep working. It is common to wonder: How do I know when to stop? When is work harmful to my health? Can I make it financially? How do I obtain disability or early retirement? These are…

Let’s Treat Ourselves with Kindness

A pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis is difficult, to say the least. You need kindness, not just for others, but also for yourself. It helps to be compassionate with yourself during the stressful, scary, and difficult times. Talking to yourself with kindness is a powerful form of self-compassion. Kind truths…

Taking Time to Express Gratitude

Two years ago, I let my colleagues know that I was closing my counseling practice of 30 years due to serious health concerns. A therapist I’d collaborated with in the past left me the most wonderful voicemail. She encouraged me about the positive impact I’d had in the…

Practicing Self-care Is Crucial During Medical Testing

Treating one’s self with tender care is especially important to pulmonary fibrosis patients and their families. Medical tests, clinic visits, long-term illness management, and a shortened lifespan are difficult, unpleasant, and stressful experiences. We continue to grieve and adjust as our lungs worsen. It is important to respond…

Hold Onto Things Loosely

I am learning to hold onto things loosely. To me, holding things loosely as a PF patient means being active in the pursuit of my health, taking care of things I need to, and letting go of things that are out of my control. I’m shifting my…

Pursed Lip Breathing Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Dealing with a serious chronic illness like pulmonary fibrosis can be highly stressful, to say the least. Absorbing the seriousness of our illness, alongside dealing with repeated clinic visits, tests, and medication side effects can leave many patients wrestling with worry and anxiety. It’s easy to get stuck…