When Feeling Defeated Due to PF, Look for Opening Doors of Opportunity

Ann Reynoso avatar

by Ann Reynoso |

Share this article:

Share article via email
Main graphic for column titled

It’s been awhile since I’ve really felt defeated, but life has a way of reminding us sometimes of how truly vulnerable we are. Dealing with a rare illness like pulmonary fibrosis can complicate things even more.

The last two months have been tough for my family and me. We’ve been making some changes in our lives, including moving into a new home. All of this hasn’t been easy, and we’ve faced some consequences as a result, including being without electricity. If you’ve ever been to Texas, you’ll know that summer is scorching here, with temperatures well above 100 degrees.

Overwhelmed by vulnerability

I have never felt more vulnerable to the weather than during the past two months. I tried to stay strong, because I didn’t want to be a burden to anyone while we were moving. But my body, specifically my lungs, couldn’t handle this type of climate. I began to wonder if I was further damaging my already fibrotic lungs.

We used fans to try to cool off, and at one point a family member helped by letting us borrow a generator to run the air conditioning window units. This helped, but without a full supply of electricity, I had to use my oxygen sparingly. My husband and daughter kept insisting that I should stay at a hotel while the new home was completed. I wanted to, and I would have agreed, but I knew we were low on funds due to the expenses of our new home. I knew I needed to continue holding on, even if only for a few weeks.

Recommended Reading
Rare-X compiles list of rare diseases | Be Counted cover illustration

List of Rare Diseases Tops 10,000 – and Is Growing – New Analysis Finds

However, my body kept getting weaker. My breathing was becoming more difficult, my lungs began to hurt, and my family was extremely worried about my health. In the middle of all this chaos, I also became ill with a cold. Yet I refused to take their advice and stay at a hotel.

I kept thinking about what a burden this illness has been, taking every opportunity, benefit, and freedom from me. I should be excited about moving into a new home, but all I could think about was how difficult it is to breathe and how exhausted I have been.

I felt completely defeated. My body and this illness were beating me.

So I did the only thing I knew how to do: I turned all of my worries over to my faith. A week later, a door opened for me when a close friend offered to help. This friend helped us continue feeding the generator with fuel. That way, the air conditioning would continue to work, and I could finally connect my oxygen unit.

While this helped our situation, my body and illness still had me feeling defeated. At one point, I felt my only option was to just break down and cry. I allowed myself to let all of the frustration and worry flow down my cheeks. I didn’t dare let my family see me doing this, though, because I didn’t want them to worry more than they already did.

Finding that open door

After my crying fest, I began to realize that I’d been thinking too much about myself. I wanted to put what little energy I had to better use.

I decided to pull myself out of my self-pity and start being supportive in other ways. I made sure that my husband, daughter, and the others helping us had plenty of cold water to drink, enough to eat, and that they took breaks. I cared for everyone the best I knew how, despite my limitations.

I had discovered my open door. I opened it and let out all of those feelings of defeat. I am still recuperating from all we have been through in the last two months, and my cold is getting better, but the cough still lingers. I visited my pulmonologists, and my lungs are back to being stable.

We all experience feelings of defeat. What matters most is finding an open door and discarding all of those defeated feelings. Just make sure to shut the door behind you.

Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.


Bob Holman avatar

Bob Holman

Thank you so much for your story.



Thank you. Identified with you so much. Thank you my friend for your much-needed words


Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.

Your PF Community

Woman laying down reading

Visit the Pulmonary Fibrosis News forums to connect with others in the PF community.

View Forums