When I was diagnosed with IPF, I became very depressed and had anxiety. I thought my life was over. I could not work anymore and am now on disability. I used to travel to India but no longer can.
Shashi, tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in India and am 59 years of age. I am married with four children, all grown up. I was a yoga teacher for many years and then went on to become a machine operator.
I live with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and was diagnosed in 2016. I was experiencing shortness of breath, major coughing fits and fatigue, so went to my Doctor. He sent me for a lung biopsy. Afterwards, I had a series of Pulmonary Function Tests. It was then determined that I had IPF. I am not on the transplant list yet.
Does anything aggravate your condition?
In spring, my allergies bother me. So does smoke from forest fires when that happens. I am on a puffer called Ventolin, blood pressure medication and I use sleep aid.
What kind of support system do you have in your life?
I have a very good support system with my wife and four children. They are there for me.
How did you find out about the Surrey Pulmonary rehab?
I also attend a Pulmonary Rehab Program in Surrey, which my Home Oxygen nurse told me about. My Doctor then referred me. I was so happy! I hadn’t even heard of IPF before that.
The rehab has worked well in many, many ways. I have only been involved in the program for six weeks, but during this time I have developed good habits. I wash my hands all the time and use sanitizer. My strength is improving from the exercise.
The educational classes are very good. The PTs, RTs and all the staff are knowledgeable. They explain things easily. I have learned a lot about my disease since I was diagnosed.
Encouragement from the staff and the people that come to the classes is also very powerful. Even though I am shy, I have met new friends.