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    • #32037
      Christie Patient
      Moderator

      In this column, Sam Kirton asks, “what’s your happy place?” For Sam, it’s in the kitchen cooking up a divine meal. Cooking is Sam’s way to care for himself, bond with his wife, and take a break from the full-time job that is living with a rare disease. Before Sam’s transplant, he used cooking as an escape, and now, he continues to see the value in making time for his passion in the kitchen.

      So, forum pals, what is your happy place? How do you take a break from the stresses of living with (i)PF? Do you have a hobby that you are passionate about? Or do you indulge in simple pleasures like a perfect cup of coffee and a good book? Let us know how you unwind and take care of your mental health. 

    • #32319
      Wendy Dirks
      Participant

      My happy place remains my doll room, the 1:6 scale village in our loft. My blog continues at https://dirksdolls.wordpress.com/blog/ but I’m no longer able to build complex dioramas. Some of my dolls celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee while I was whisked off to hospital with the blue lights going and sirens blaring with what they considered life threatening breathlessness and oxygen saturation. It was my third hospitalisation in less than four months and I cheered myself up my creating a blog post with my phone. Doll therapy is the best but I am also an avid reader and spend a lot of time reading. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of feminist literature and continuing my 16 year journey through British history. I’m an immigrant and started with the Anglo-Saxons and have been through the Vikings, the Normans, Plantagenets, War of the Roses, Tudors, Stuarts, and have finally reached the Georgians. At the moment I’m reading a book on the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. It will be fun to read about the American revolution, in which so many of my ancestors fought, from the British perspective!

      • #32376
        Christie Patient
        Moderator

        Oh my gosh Wendy I didn’t know you were a history nerd! A big part of my recent trip to Scotland was to visit my ancestral lands and visit the Culloden battlefield! My ancestors were not a part of that battle, but I am a big nerd for 18th and 19th-century history. My family on both sides is Celtic, but my dad’s got clear lineage back to Finland so I am going to start digging into that history now, and the arrival of Vikings in the British isles. If you have any good books or resources on that era, please let me know 🙂

        If you haven’t been, Culloden has an incredible, informative visitor center, documenting both sides of the conflict and the years leading up to it. Both the center and the battlefield are fully wheelchair accessible, too 🙂 It sounds like you’re still battling the exacerbation (ugh, so sorry to hear you were hospitalized again!!) but I do hope you recover and can get out and about again soon. Any word on the progress of your anti-fibrotic approval?

    • #32383
      Ron Reid
      Participant

      My happy place is bird-watching, a hobby that can take you to interesting places anywhere in the world. Living with IPF has trimmed my travel and mobility somewhat, but I can still get out to watch birds frequently around my home turf, using my car as a blind. I can still walk for about a half-mile with the help of my POC, so not completely limited to a vehicle. And we have 6 birdfeeders at home, which bring me and my wife a lot of joy. If you don’t mind rising with the sun, give birding a try – a great way to keep your mind and body active, and to connect with the natural environment as well.

      • #32442
        Christie Patient
        Moderator

        I love this @ron-reid! Having bird feeders is a fun hobby so long as you don’t have cats. Very cool that you are finding ways to make birding expeditions possible with limited mobility. It’s a great hobby for those with IPF who need to spend more time sitting down. Do you use binoculars or just your sharp eagle eyes to watch birds? I haven’t done much of it, but I love photography and have a telephoto lens that is good for wildlife. That could be a fun evolution of your hobby 🙂

        • #32446
          Ron Reid
          Participant

          Hi Christie:  Thanks for your comments.  I do have binoculars for birding expeditions but keep an old pair by my chair for feeder birds.  Bird photography is not my thing; so many people now doing it, sometimes with excellent results.  Never enough birds in my life!

    • #32420
      Annette
      Participant

      I have a few “Happy Places” that help me relax and unwind. I am a recently retired elementary school teacher of 35 years and I am not used to having so much free time. In the middle of my first year of retirement, I was diagnosed “accidently” with UIP  and I had to undergo my very first surgery ever…a lung biopsy, chest tube and all. Luckily, I had plenty of time to recover without having to worry about school kids/substitute notes etc. I find great pleasure in flowers and gardening. Deadheading is a weed pulling are therapeutic to me and I own way too many house plants! Some people buy shoes, I buy ferns and succulents!

      A new “Happy Place ”  that I have recently discovered is riding me EBike! I have NEVER been a runner but I enjoy a good hike up a mountainside, walk in the neighborhood, or even a stroll in the mall. With this new lung “condition” of mine, it has been harder for to participate in these especially in the heat of the summer. I discovered that bike riding on a bike with a rechargable battery to help me up hills, is just what I needed. I had a bike rack installed on my car and take it with me whenever I go near beautiful lakes or shady trails. I still get my exercise in without becoming too exhausted and I feel great when I see how far I have traveled. Throw in my grandson, and I couldn’t be happier!

      • #32426
        Christie Patient
        Moderator

        I love this Annette! I am also a gardener/house-planter and someone who enjoys hiking and biking. My mom and dad both got e-bikes last year and have been loving the assistance they provide on big hills. With my mom being post-lung tx and my dad having recently had a knee replacement, a little bit lower impact exercise has been vital.

        I love that you have both active and more passive/relaxing hobbies to help you stay busy and joyful. 🙂

    • #32423
      Randy Busch
      Participant

      Just came back from 5 days fishing in Canada with 2 of my sons and some family friends, ate lots of fresh walleye and had a great time with my boys! That is my happy place and I plan on doing that every year till my PF prevents me! So far I feel I am luckier than most, it’s been 3 years since I was diagnosed and can still do most everything I want but takes a lot more energy and get fatigued easily!

      Randy

      • #32427
        Christie Patient
        Moderator

        Fishing is a great one! You can even modify it as you go if your PF does end up affecting your abilities. In my family, we like stream fishing, and sometimes float tubing, but trolling is pretty lowkey! Any way that you can connect with nature, your family, and yourself is great self-care 🙂

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