Being diagnosed with any advanced lung disease, but particularly Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, usually comes as a shock. The descriptions “Progressive disease”, “incurable” and “life expectancy is ….” add to the anxiety and can be overwhelming at first. Learning to cope with this requires both education and emotional support.
Joining a PF support group can make a real difference. You can expect expert talks and discussions on topics such as: aspects of the disease; available treatments & their side-effects; understanding and dealing with symptoms such as breathlessness and coughs; appropriate physical exercising, including pulmonary rehab ; maintaining emotional health & well-being; and current research.
You will meet others facing the same issues as you, sharing their experiences and perhaps with practical advice. Being able to talk openly about your feelings with those who understand can reduce potential anxiety, depression and any sense of isolation. Carers attending these meetings find similar benefits.
The cup of tea/coffee before the main meeting is the place to start a new friendship (and buy your raffle tickets!)