April 8, 2020 at 8:20 am #23874DavidParticipant
Hi there. I’d be grateful for any help and advice on this.
My mother is 84. She had a kidney removed 5 yrs ago and has ongoing issues with acid reflux.
In mid February we enjoyed a family pub meal and she had no issues with her breathing. In fact we went for a short walk around some shops afterwards.
A few days later she said she felt poorly and felt continually very tired. Just 2 weeks after our family meal she was in a bad way and unable to walk a few metres from bedroom to bathroom without being very breathless. Due to the COVID lockdown she was finally admitted to hospital on the 3rd April and following a CT scan has been told she has IPF.
The family understandably are rather surprised at this diagnosis. She is now at home together with an IPF info pack and 6 oxygen cylinders.
My question for the forum please is this: Is a sudden onset of breathlessness common place with IPF? I can’t find any material on the web to indicate that it is. In fact all the material I have researched indicates a more gradual prognosis.
In early March she had a dry cough and her red blood cell count was low that pointed to anaemia, and breathlessness appears to be one of the symptoms of anaemia.
I am also wondering whether there is possibility that she had picked up COVID19 and that the scarring of her lungs and the diagnosis of IPF is a very unfortunate consequence of that. She was tested for COVID before she had the CT scan which came back negative, but that was not the antibody test that measures whether someone has <u>had </u>COVID. Is it possible that a month on she could have had a mild version of COVID without realising it. Could she test negative for COVID a month after having it?
April 8, 2020 at 9:16 am #23875Mark KoziolKeymaster
Hello David, I am sorry to hear about your mother’s current health condition. I would try and get into see a pulmonologist ASAP but I know with this current health crisis it might be difficult. I don’t believe there is scarring from vivid-19. The virus is more relatable to ARDS, the lungs fill up with fluid and suffer from these symptoms. For the patients who do recover, it may take up to a year to regain full lung function but some may not regain 100% function. I have auto immune hemolytic anemia and I can feel it when my hemoglobin dips below 10. My new normal stays around 10.5-11 on the scale my hospital uses. I have indeed felt the symptoms you have described for your mom. It is possible your mother had a mild case of ipf and was unknown to her as she maybe believed it was her new normal. She subsequently could have had an exacerbation of her ipf leading to more noticeable symptoms. I of course am not a doctor but just speculating. Good luck to your mother and take care, Mark.
April 9, 2020 at 11:44 am #23888Ross HarrisParticipant
So sorry to hear of your mother’s IPF diagnosis. I lost my ninety year old mother on June 19, 2019, from cardiac arrest triggered by IPF. The breathlessness can present quickly and increase. It may be very difficult to get your mother to eat properly and keep her weight on. If your mother is immobile, mine was, her muscle tone may well decline quickly. This disease is very difficult to fight at any age but is extremely difficult to fight an elderly age. One last thing. Get tested for the disease yourself. I have IPF as well, diagnosed, November 12, 2019. This disease can be familial, more so, than what the literature indicates, so have the CT scan done and find out if you’ve got the disease as well. Take, care and God Bless your mother. Ross.
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