At first, Nancy made it difficult for me to help because she was used to being the one taking care of everyone else! I had to listen for the opportunities to help. When she says, “I’m not feeling that good today,” that’s my cue to ask, “What can I do to help?” Keeping that communication open has been so important.
We made an effort to get educated about both of our conditions. Nancy comes with me to a Parkinson’s support group and I go with her to an IPF support group. These are great places for us to learn more about our conditions, meet others who are in similar situations, and learn from their experiences. Each group combines patients and caregivers, so that helps us understand what we're each going through in both roles.
We take our unified approach into our doctor’s appointments as well. Nancy is the one who likes to ask questions. She always brings a list of them, but we both review it before we go so we don’t forget any. Sometimes I’ll think of questions she hadn’t thought of. At the appointment, we both listen attentively and support one another.
Learning about how to try and manage IPF has been an adventure. We do our best by staying active, following the doctor’s recommendation for treatment that may work to keep IPF from progressing as quickly, and doing everything we need to do for Nancy’s health.