Mitigating Risk as a Patient with Pulmonary Fibrosis
For the last few weeks, I have been toying with a difficult decision that is travel-related, and no matter what efforts I put forth, there are risks associated with travelling right now amid the pandemic. I’ve sat down and made a pro’s and con’s list while considering this decision (which is something I often do, as it helps gather my thoughts) and I know there are things I can do to reduce my risk of contracting COVID-19, but not eliminate it completely. While this is scary, and can be an argument for the ‘con’s’ of traveling next month, I also have a couple arguments that would fit into the ‘pro’ column:
- The pandemic is not likely to go away anytime soon, potentially years. My transplant team has said that even when a vaccine is found, it’s not going to eradicate the virus entirely. Instead, it will be similar to the flu vaccine which is developed every year to be as effective as possible but simply cannot be 100% accurate. That is just my medical team’s opinion of course, however, there are few others I’d trust more than them regarding pandemic-related information. Does this mean I hold-off traveling or doing things I enjoy, indefinitely?
- I have pulmonary fibrosis: will I ever fully mitigate the risks of having a life-threatening lung disease? I recently wrote about this in a column called, How Much Risk Can Pulmonary Fibrosis Patients Mitigate?
I want to truly live my life with IPF, not shy away from doing quality things with friends and family. That doesn’t mean taking unnecessary risks, but to me, it also doesn’t mean staying home and sheltering from the world either. Alas, my dilemma and trying to decide how to proceed continues….
What are some of the ways you mitigate risk as a patient living with IPF/PF?
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