IPF Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

damn! – I was just getting the hang of being happy!


TITLE Don’t quarrel with a rose tree…

TITLE: “Don’t quarrel with a rose-tree because it cannot sing.” – reality as is-ness, is-ness as reality

I recently had the the news that my life-span will be cut short. I am committed to enjoying every moment of every day, and to being the longest surviving IPF patient.

Looking Mr D squarely in the face is vital but I’m not going to play chess with him, as in a certain Ingmar Bergman film, nor will I Iet him spoil any flash of beauty that comes my way. I acknowledge that the minute, hour and day is set – so be it. (As it is for everyone – but we manage to ignore the fact most of the time.) But today is the first day of a shorter life as much as it is the first day of the rest of the life of anyone with a century to live – so let me breathe in all it’s truth, beauty & goodness!

Fortunately I had discovered the ‘secret of the universe, the ‘secret of all secrets’ a few years ago. I suppose I’m not certain what I should do with it other than try to live up, in some measure, to the challenge that it brings – the challenge of closing the gap between theory & practice! Closing the gap is to ‘Die before you die’ as contemporary Sufi master Sheikh Kabir Helminski reminds us (Chap 22 in his book Living Presence)

The important death is the death, or diminution, of the egoistic lower self in favour of living in the presence of the Self. Here are some of my favourite inspiring quotations that bring together aspects of the two kinds of death:

“Zen in its essence is the art of seeing into the nature of one’s own being, and it points the way from bondage to freedom. By making us drink right from the fountain of life it liberates us from all the yokes under which we finite beings are usually suffering in this world.” D T Suzuki

Another Zen Master in providing a summary of Zen Buddhism said, “No self, no problem.” (Such divine brevity!)

Lao-tzu said, “Embrace death with your whole heart.”

Socrates said, “Practice death.”

“Those who sense the wonder, share in the wonder.” A J Heschel

“What does it matter Oh my Lord if I never meet you – I am already annihilated.” – Sufi



A friend asked: “How should one look forward to death?” 96

‘Abdu’l-Bahá answered: “How does one look forward to the goal of any journey? With hope and with expectation. It is even so with the end of this earthly journey. In the next world, man will find himself freed from many of the disabilities under which he now suffers. Those who have passed on through death, have a sphere of their own. It is not removed from ours; their work, the work of the Kingdom, is ours; but it is sanctified from what we call ‘time and place.’ Time with us is measured by the sun. When there is no more sunrise, and no more sunset, that kind of time does not exist for man. Those who have ascended have different attributes from those who are still on earth, yet there is no real separation.

“In prayer there is a mingling of station, a mingling of condition. Pray for them as they pray for you! When you do not know it, and are in a receptive attitude, they are able to make suggestions to you, if you are in difficulty. This sometimes happens in sleep. but there is no phenomenal intercourse! That which seems like phenomenal intercourse has another explanation.” The questioner exclaimed; “But I have heard a voice!” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: “Yes, that is possible; we hear voices clearly in dreams. It is not with the physical ear that you heard; the spirit of those that have passed on are freed from sense-life, and do not use physical means. It is not possible to put these great matters into human words; the language of man is the language of children, and man’s explanation often leads astray.” 97

Someone present asked how it was that in prayer and meditation the heart often turns with instinctive appeal to some friend who has passed into the next life.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá answered: “It is a law of God’s creation that the weak should lean upon the strong. Those to whom you turn may be the mediators of God’s power to you, even as when on earth. But it is the One Holy Spirit that strengthens all men.” Hereupon another friend referred to the communing of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration with Moses and Elijah; and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: “The faithful are ever sustained by the presence of the Supreme Concourse. In the Supreme Concourse are Jesus, and Moses, and Elijah, and Bahá’u’lláh, and other supreme Souls: there, also, are the martyrs.”

When asked about the individual persistence of the animal’s personality after death, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: “Even the most developed dog has not the immortal soul of the man; yet the dog is perfect in its own place. You do not quarrel with a rose-tree because it cannot sing!” SOURCE http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/ABL/abl-52.html

One theme that cuts across death and death of the ego is reality as in the is-ness of things – don’t quarrel with a rose-tree because it can’t sing!

TAGS: Zen, Buddhism, interfaith, inter-spirituality, interfaith inter-spirituality, death, ego, dying to self, Self, Socrates, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá , Lao-tzu, Heschel, Sufi, is-ness, ontology, today, the secret of the universe, Kabir Helminski, Sufism, prayer, meditation, Baha’i, Jesus, Moses, Elijah, Bahá’u’lláh, salvation, redemption, animals, roses, dogs, birds, perennial philosophy, is-ness, ontology, being, reality,



Dr Death came calling – but I’m still happy!

30th March 2015 NB Latest update is HERE – with lots of info that could be helpful

19th Nov 2014 – have had heart palpitations etc since Christmas. Thank God I asked to see a heart Consultant who sent me to a sleep apnea clinic. Now use a CPAP machine and a mask which pumps compressed air into my lungs to give me periods of deeper sleep.



Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis may be a disease of recurrent, tractional injury to the periphery of the aging lung: a unifying hypothesis regarding etiology and pathogenesis. – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22136526


27th Oct UPDATE – Saw Consultant last Monday who said I’m in ‘slow decline’, but not much change. Am trying to make it slower!


UPDATE Oct 7th 2013 – In a few days I will visit the Consultant for the 4th time.

Now is about the time I should be dying if I am completely average – the average is 2 to 3 years from diagnosis.

I have developed a complex regime which I still haven’t got around to describing properly.  At present  I am doing very little of it as a holiday – and feel better than I have for a very long time. One of the frustrating things about IPF is you know nothing for certain – and no one else knows anything of any importance either.  Something seems to have worked for me but out of about 30 things I was doing I have no idea what it was.  Upon diagnosis when the Consultant tells you, “No cure, no hope, no effective amelioration,” (and you get the feeling that you are being told to go away and die quietly and please don’t make a mess) – when you hear this you quickly decide to do almost anything.

I think one or more things are working – but it could be just a temporary stabilization.  If I knew what if anything is helping I would do more, or take more of it!  I had an acupuncture treatment about 6 weeks ago and felt great afterwards – although at about the same time we switched to coconut oil instead of butter/margarine/sunflower oil – so I will go back to the acupuncturist and I will keep on with the coconut oil.  Coconut is supposed to be a wonder food – see HERE  I can hear the allopathic physicians and other sceptics muttering into their double cheese-burgers.  Just in case you think I don’t mean what I say I have tried healing from a horse whisperer, endless vitamins including a supplement made from the stomach lining of silk worms, various kinds of jungle juice.   I stand barefoot on the grass of Seaford Head most days, having jogged up the first section of the Head.  If you go into anaphylactic shock when you accidentally eat peanuts you have a clear understanding of cause and effect.  The knowledge base in terms of cause and effect in IPF is not much above zero.  They only agreed on the name for it in the year 2000.  If I hadn’t seen the HR scan of my lungs I wouldn’t now believe I have an incurable disease.  The one clearly identified symptom a cough seems to have gone, so has the phlegm, so have the strange chest pains.

If you have been keeping me in your thoughts, or have been praying for me or have been visiting your local witch doctor on my behalf – thanks and keep doing it!

I will complete this update after I have seen the consultant.

If this is your first visit here you might want to read what is below.

      IMAGE SOURCE – not my lungs but mine look very similar.

WELCOME to this blog which is my journey having been diagnosed with IPF Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis earlier this year – 2012.

The information was casually dropped in my ear by my GP over the phone – followed by NOTHING – not even an offer of a 10min chat!   Confirmation came from the consultant on 6th June and again on the 17th October.

The blog is about a) the information I’m collecting and b) reflections, including some (dark) humour, on having my life expectancy so drastically reduced.  I hope it is of some help to others.

The consultant thinks that my Pulmonary Fibrosis was caused from asbestos.  Beware asbestos – we lived next to an asbestos-roofed barn for 14 years.  

What is IPF? – see HERE

THE BAD NEWS  as Prognosis – Half of IPF sufferers in the UK die within three years of diagnosis.[18]   

I’m dedicated to extending that as far as possible – wish me luck!

In the UK IPF kills about 5,000 people every year[19] (more than leukemia or ovarian cancer).[18]  A well known case of IPF was Evel Knievel, a famous stuntman who died of IPF.

What do the doctors know? –  

Re the cause – next to nothing!

Re-amelioration – next to nothing except some potentially dangerous drugs – one of the latest they tried was Thalidomide!

Re a Cure – none.  Lung transplants in the UK on the NHS aren’t available if you are over 60years old.  Not sure I would have one if they were available see HERE

They know some bits but can’t fit it together.


Particularly in the earlier stages you can fight back.  I’m trying to combine the best of complementary medicine with conventional medicine.  Here is my fight-back plan;

PART A – developing the highest possible level of general health – vitality & balance etc.  
To start with I chose a local Medical herbalist Marion Mackonochie because of the information on this page – HERE   I want help in avoiding, as far as possible, the dreadful drugs that I will later be offered.  My consultant actually said, “We won’t start poisoning you yet!”  One of the most recent drugs they tried was Thalidomide (failed!)
NB I’m telling you for information only what I’m doing.  You must make up your own mind – in consultation with your own health professionals.
PART B – looking for what currently defeats the whole scientific world i.e something to stop and/or reverse IPF.  I’m starting with enzyme therapy after the initial period with the medical herbalist.  She is also has a developing interest in endobiogenics – see HERE 
If anyone can crack IPF they might get a Nobel Prize!
I am searching everywhere.  I read full-blown scientific papers but I’m not sniffy about getting important ideas from other sources – even the Daily Mail!
As I understand it I am a ‘fairly-early-stage’ patient.  Mine was discovered accidentally when they were looking for heart problems via a scan.  I had had a ‘dry cough’, usually the first symptom, for several years.  Breathlessness, the second symptom, I don’t have.  Many patients are diagnosed later or very late – hence the median life-span from diagnosis of only 2 to 3 years from the time of diagnosis. (American sources tend to give you a bit longer.)
My personal programme in a little more detail is concentrating on the first of two parts, getting my general health and fitness to as a high a level as I can.   I have already made a lot of progress.  The second part, that which is aimed specifically at IPF, I will start soon.
Much attention to diet & food supplements – particularly stuff good for getting a healthy stomach, gut & digestion.
Gym workout/and or ‘power walking’ up to 5 times a week, with emphasis on the aerobic.
Medical herbalism programme – which as I understand is aimed at eliminating inflammation and getting a healthy stomach, gut & digestion.
Meditation, prayer, humming, EFT, Paul McKenna tapes – anything to keep me positive – not all of them every day!
I will include more detail soon.