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You should do this as only you can really know what has been going on in your own body with respect to it's ability to perform.
First be honest with yourself. Maybe you are a smoker. Is that cough really JUST a smokers cough? When did you first notice it? Do you ever bring up anything or is it simply a dry hack? Maybe it is just that - a smokers cough - but maybe it isn't? Are you active physically? Maybe you were until recently and then gave it up. Why did you quit? Was it really just too much of a bother or did you find that subconsciously you were telling yourself - Hey this is too much I can't do it any more! Last year or last month you had no problem, now you can't do it anymore? Was this something that's been coming on for a while or is it a surprise even to you?
Maybe you loved to camp in the mountains, fish, walk the trails photograph the wild life. Now you don't even want to think about it. Why? Just tired of doing it or deep down do you know you can't? Not without it being a chore and a completely uncomfortable experience. Do you find yourself telling others that you can't play ball or do whatever because you have something else that just HAS to get done this weekend. Then that something else turns out to be the couch potato Olympics?
Do you get a cold and just never seem to be able to get rid of it? That sucker just hangs in there forever? You can't stand the heat in the summer and you hate the cold in the winter when you use to love both?
So if all of or even some of these are you, do you have IPF? Of course not. All this tells you is that things have changed in your life.
What matters is how quickly, in what way and how did these changes take place. Most if not all of these things happen to everyone at some point. But if you are honest with yourself you will know if they are really just part of the process of aging or perhaps they should be given a closer look. Some people really are old at 50 you know! But are you?
IPF is the result of a lung disease. Most people just assume that the only impairment will be a breathing problem. This is not true.
The body is made up of greedy parts and pieces and just so much oxygen rich blood is provided by the lungs. It follows a very definite course through the body. Seldom if ever are the routes of travel changed.
Each part will extract what it needs. Not a percentage of what is available but 100% of what it needs. If the total is less than 100% of what the sum of the whole requires then something has to suffer somewhere.
So the last on the delivery line starts to suffer undue stress and insufficient fuel to operate which will lead to diminished capacity and eventually earlier than expected failure. So do not expect to only see a decrease in your ability to breathe.
By doing less, you can cover this up for quite some time, and avoid that uncomfortable feeling of being out of breath. Even for years! You can fool yourself about getting older with the natural slow down theory for some time.
However, if you find that maybe you go to extra effort to avoid certain tasks that were not a problem in the past you might be well advised to take a good look at why this is so. Maybe you over stock the fridge and cupboards to avoid a few extra trips to the basement larder and freezer? So much so that things are falling out onto the counter and you have difficulty keeping the refrigerator door closed?
You think all this is ridiculous? I'll give you ridiculous.
A fellow has been getting his hair cut by a lady who lives 5 houses up the hill from where he lives. She has been cutting his hair for 20 years! All of a sudden she doesn't cut his hair right any more and he now has to go 15 miles down the road to the hair dressers. At first glance nothing unusual right? Well think about this! 5 doors UP THE HILL. Would you drive the car?? Not likely! Now that would give the neighbours something to talk about wouldn't it?
So what do you do? Become a hold over from the 60's? Nope - you get a hair dresser far enough away that you have to drive there! Problem solved!
Tell me that isn't ridiculous!
If you find some, or many of these, are familiar then run (that is if you can) don't walk to your doctor and have it all checked out.
Make sure you explain everything to him/her so they will know what area should be investigated.
A quick once over in the back office is NOT going to find IPF even if it's there big time! So it is very important that your doctor understand the severity of change you have either made happen yourself of has just come about a little at a time but far too quickly and far too early in life.
Doctors are not mind readers or physics! They can only react to the information that is supplied to them. If you don't sound the warning horn, they can't manoeuvre you to avoid a collision! Result? Road Kill !
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