Blog: Simplify Your Life
My mother has passed and I ask for your help
My mother has just died from a hideous disease called Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) -– something causes your lungs to turn into a mass of scar tissue, they harden to the point that you can no longer absorb oxygen, and you suffocate.
The disease can move incredibly quickly – although some people might live 3-5 years after diagnosis, my mother was only diagnosed last year. She had her first "acute exacerbation" (a rapid and unexplained deterioration in the person's condition, one which puts you in the ICU and from which you often don't recover) just a few weeks ago, the second Memorial Day weekend, and she was gone less than a week later. She was healthy as a horse otherwise, and should have lived another 10 more years, if not for this disease.
The "idiopathic" part means that they have no idea why it happens, or what to do to stop it. There is no treatment or cure – caught early, pulmonary therapy might buy you a little more time, but not much. If you have a serious case like my mother, you might receive a lung transplant – but only if you're under the age of 65, and most people are diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 75. At this point, they can't even diagnose IPF until it has seriously and irreparably damaged your lungs. Finding out that you have this disease is essentially a death sentence.
My mother's doctor admitted that for the past 10 years, the medical community has been going in entirely the wrong direction with IPF, presuming that it's an inflammatory auto-immune issue, but it's not. Now they think that there is some link to having had pneumonia in your life, possibly acid reflux might cause you to breathe in small acid droplets, and maybe there's a genetic marker. Certainly smoking and exposure to pollutants doesn't help. And because the disease is relatively rare (200,000 Americans currently suffer from IPF compared to 11 million with cancer and more than a million with HIV), it's all really just guesswork – unlike these more well-known diseases, very little funding is provided for research.
I don't ever want to see another person go through what my mother went through in the past few weeks, and I don't want another family member to have to watch a loved one suffer in this way. So if you could please make a donation to IPF research, even just a small donation, I would greatly appreciate it – every penny counts with a disease like this. You can send a donation through paypal to the address [email protected] but I have also set up a "donate" button (that doesn't require you to have a paypal account to give) at my website, www.RamonaCreel.com. And if you prefer to contribute another way, please contact me directly and we can come up with an option that works for you.
And just an FYI, I'm going to be taking a bit of a break from my blogs for a couple of months -- I've got so much to do with cleaning out my mother's house and taking care of all the estate details, that I'm going to need all of my time and energy to get it all done. But I'll be back as soon as I am finished. Thank you all.
posted on: 7/19/2010 8:33:43 AM by Ramona Creel
category: General Organizing Tips
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Simplify Your Life
by Ramona Creel
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I have been a Professional Organizer for more than 10 years, I am a NAPO Golden Circle member, and I was the original founder of OnlineOrganizing. I have worked one-on-one with scores of clients and have trained dozens of newbie organizers as they got started in the industry. I provide both hands-on and virtual coaching to help clients improve their organizing skills and simplify their lives. I invite you to visit my website at http://www.RamonaCreel.com, and I challenge you to find one new idea that you can put into practice in your life, to help you become better organized, starting TODAY! I am passionate about coaching folks toward a more balanced, productive, and enjoyable life -- and I firmly believe that if I can do it, so can you!
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