Garrett   M

Garrett M., NY

I had a chronic cough for about two years. Around the same time, I received my COVID shot. I went to doctor after doctor and eventually visited a pulmonologist who diagnosed me with pulmonary fibrosis. He asked a lot of questions about my past history, where I worked, and possible exposure to certain elements like mold, wood dust, asbestos, and things of that nature. His last question hit home: "Do you have birds in the house?" A big yes! Another factor I found out this week is that I have lived in my home for 12 years with the birds and recently discovered mold in my central air unit. Now, there are no birds anymore, and the unit has been professionally cleaned and sanitized, with UV lights installed to prevent mold from coming back.

I have good days and rough days. The medications include Trilogy, a small inhaler, and an oxygen machine my wife calls "Harvey" (like the rabbit in the Jimmy Stewart movie). I have found out that erratic temperature changes affect my condition. I work as a meat cutter in an IGA supermarket, and when going in and out of the cutting room to the customer floor, I have a coughing fit for about 1-2 minutes. The same happens when talking on the phone.

Once my lungs adjust, I am okay in all areas of difficulty. Lying down at night is sometimes challenging, and turning over from side to side causes the same reaction.

Well, I guess that's about it. Oh, one more thing: I am 68 years old and have 8 wonderful grandchildren ages 5 months to 12 years. They say life expectancy is 3-5 years from the time of diagnosis. I hope the stats are not correct. I have a lot of kids to keep happy, and also a lovely wife.

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