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      Despite being diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) for over three years now, learning to live with a chronic illness is never easy. At first, I struggled with the identity of being sick, and being a patient who has a fatal lung disease, especially as a young adult. As I’ve watched my parents, friends and family fall into the identity of “caregivers” for my life with this illness, and I can’t imagine what it feels like to be in that role.

      About this time two years ago, I wrote a column for Pulmonary Fibrosis News on the topic of caregiving and how difficult it is. I still stand by my thoughts on this, and don’t think I’d be a successful caregiver, despite deeply caring for others. Caring for someone who is chronically ill has to be one of the toughest jobs in the world! Some of my co-columnists echoed these same sentiments in their own columns about caregiving:

      Kim Frederickson: Asking for Help Can Be Beneficial for Patients and Caregivers.

      Christie Patient: Our Caregiving Team of 3 Offered Many Benefits to Mom’s Recovery.

      Mark Koziol: Our Family Came Through When My Caregiver Needed Caregiving.

       

      All of these columns have one common theme amongst them: caregiving is HARD.

       

      For those in our forums community who are caregivers, I wanted to share a resource I came across earlier this week. There’s now a hotline specifically offering help/assistance for those in the caregiving role. You can learn more about it HERE.

       

      Please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for assistance in this role, and know that we (the patients) admire and respect all of you.

      Has anything made your role as a caregiver easier as you assist your loved one with IPF/PF?

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