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Listening, informing, & supporting
Jim, 71, is retired and lives in Aberdeen. For the last 4 years, Jim has been living with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, a lung disease for which there is no known cause or cure.
Here Jim talks about how he is making sure that despite his diagnosis he is living life to the full.
“IPF is a terrible illness but I won’t let it stop me living a full or active life. I was first diagnosed with IPF while having treatment for prostate cancer. I consider myself lucky because my IPF was diagnosed early and so I was able to start the treatment straight away to hopefully slow down the spread of it.
“There is no doubt it affects your life. I have become increasingly breathless and less mobile but I am being well looked after by a very caring medical team. I have experienced some side effects including losing my appetite and loss of weight as a result and it can be embarrassing when eating out with friends as you have to leave lots of food because you simply can’t manage it because of the effects of the medication.
“I have had to stop my love of football and cricket because of my medical condition and age probably, but instead I have focused on other things I love that I can still do; bowling and local radio. I’m also a member of the Grampian Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group which is supported by Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland. This group enables people with lung conditions to meet and exchange views, ideas and experiences and I’m determined to do what I can to highlight IPF and help other people living with it.
“IPF is an awful condition that eventually leaves people dependant on oxygen to keep them alive. It definitely creeps up on you so I would urge anyone who is getting breathless for no apparent reason to go to their GP and get checked. Early diagnosis is key to prolonging your life.
“A lot of people would say that I’m unlucky to have IPF but I have managed to fulfil my dreams –travelling the world, dancing the night away (as best I can), eaten magnificent meals, seen great stage shows and accomplished things that I wasn’t sure I ever would. I haven’t finished yet either. I’m still planning more travels. No matter what, I will live and plan for the future – No life half lived for me!”