My name is Ron and I am now sixty-five. I was diagnosed with fibrosing alveolitis in October 1996. Since then I have spent a lot of time in the hospital, including six weeks in intensive care.
I have also suffered a pneumothorax to the left lung which took over twelve days to re-inflate. I get very breathless just moving about. I also suffer from cervical and lumber spondylosis, osteoarthritis and osteopenia.
I cannot get around without a wheelchair. I drive a specially adapted estate car which has an automatic wheelchair hoist.
My local NHS Trust has been very supportive as has my hospital physician, who is the most caring person I have ever met.
I am on a high dosage of steroids, along with other medication. I also have oxygen at home, and a portable cylinder when I go out. I use a nebulizer four times a day, and a respiratory nurse visits me once a month.
My wife and two daughters and two son in laws have also been very supportive, as they are aware as I am that I am very lucky to still be here with them. I am a very positive person, to the point where my family calls me a stubborn old guy.
Email: Withheld by Request
Story posted 7-09-03
ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Devlin
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