Jeannie Tom of Toronto, Ontario, lives with pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary fibrosis (PF) secondary to scleroderma, an auto-immune disease. When she retired from teaching in 2008, she too was quite active and social, playing tennis three to five times a week.
Jeannie, who lives alone, had an extremely long road to diagnosis. First diagnosed with bronchiectasis in 2002, she was only diagnosed with PF in 2011. In the years prior, through multiple episodes of flu and pneumonia, “nobody ever mentioned PF,” she says.
“I went through a mourning period,” says Jeannie, “for all the things I could no longer do.” And she worried about being tethered to an oxygen tank. While she now accepts the situation, she is sad about not being able to be spontaneous. She has found that pulmonary rehab is an effective way for her to manage her PF.
We celebrate Jeannie for her courage and thank her for sharing her pulmonary fibrosis journey. If you or someone you love is experiencing breathing difficulties talk to your doctor.