I thought I had asthma when I actually had IPF
Amy Price is 64 and has idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). She tells her story.
It started with coughing and I was tight-chested for a long time. I’d been to the doctors, and they thought it was asthma.
It should have rung a bell
The doctors gave me many different inhalers to treat my asthma, but none of them worked. I kept going back and saying things weren't right. I couldn't talk without coughing or do normal everyday things without getting out of breath. That should have rung a bell. Something was seriously wrong.
Then I got a chest infection. It affected me so badly that antibiotics didn't work and I ended up in hospital. I had an x-ray and something showed up on the scan. A few months later I was referred to a specialist and was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a condition that causes progressive scarring of the lungs.
The scarring means it's harder to breathe and it gets worse over time. It’s hard for doctors to predict how it’ll progress and there's no cure. I was in shock. I'm fit, work out everyday and have never been a smoker.
I've never smoked
I know a lot of people think that all lung disease must be linked to smoking, but it’s not. I’ve never smoked. I'm only 64 and I go to the gym every morning. IPF can affect anyone. It’s affected me even though I have never smoked and I’m still active.
Sadly, my condition could've been picked up earlier. Doctors and nurses need more knowledge to make sure things like IPF are recognised and diagnosed as early as possible.
It starts at the doctors
It starts at the doctors. Make sure you know about IPF. Know that it exists and know the damage it can cause. But also listen to your body. Nag your nurse and know that not everything is asthma. Sometimes it might be asthma, but other times it might not be, and that's where knowing all about IPF is important.
This November why not help raise awareness of IPF by holding a BLF Big Breakfast? You can help take us a step closer to a world without lung disease.
Amy and her family are getting involved!