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What is the difference between being diagnosed with IPF and Asbestosis?...
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What is the difference between being diagnosed with IPF and Asbestosis?

I'm a bit new to this chat forum thing.  Just bare with me...

I was diagnosed with Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis in March 2006.  I have been on Interferon Gamma 1b (injections 3x week for about 14 months), prednisone (60-80mg every other day), furosemide (40mg daily), potassium (3x day), morphine 60mg long-acting (2x day), morphine 30mg breakthrough (not to exceed 6 pills day), clonazepam (daily), theophylline (300mg 2x day), all the asthma inhalers (albuterol now pro air, combivent and serevent), ambien to help me sleep, diazepam to help with my nerves, flexaril to help with my joint and muscle pain, promethazine for my nausea because I'm on Interferon Gamma 1b, bisacodyl for my constipation from morphine and strattera for my ADD.

Dr's added doxycyline for possible infection in my chest because I had been vomiting, having fevers and diarrhea and wanted me on a course of this for about 2 weeks.  I just recently stopped Interferon Gamma 1b about 2-3 months ago and have been taking Cell Cept 500mg (2x day), which, by the way, has now been increased to 4x day.

MY DIAGNOSIS:  Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis and CHF.  I am oxygen dependent, have been on it now for about 2 years.  Quality of life: I feel reduced down to almost nothing.  Attitude:  I've got a zest for life you wouldn't believe, enough for 10 people.  Prognosis:  I believe it's 5 yrs from diagnosis, max.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  2-4 possible ok years and 5 is maxed.

I am a 43 yr old woman.  I have worked construction in the past for a good 10, maybe 15 yrs, sporatically.  If combined, I would say 10 yrs.  I did mention to my Dr. that I've worked construction in the past for a number of years and asked if my diagnosis was related to working construction in the past.  He believes that it's not.

MY QUESTION IS....... How can you determine if a diagnosis of Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis IS or IS NOT related to asbestos, especially in my case, since I'd been in construction?  (Does it look different on the CT scan or x-ray?).  Reason I ask, is because my severe shortness of breath and my horrible episodes of NOT being able to breathe came on all of a sudden.  Keep in mind, I had no oxygen at that time.  This was a good 1 1/2 to 2 yrs before my diagnosis was made in March 2006.  Nothing but constant 911 calls, almost every month or every other month.  It was terrible.   I am so full of life and love life so much that it literally brought me to tears.  I couldn't think of anything else that could've brought this on all of a sudden.  Hmmm!!  Can someone PLEASE shed some light on this?  ANY information anyone would like to share would be absolutely wonderful!!!

Thank you!!
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Did the doctors ever do a lung biopsy on you? I ask because this is how they can tell the difference between the two. I also read that it looks a little different on CT scan (but not much) after digging around out of curiosity.
On another note, you have a wonderful attitude! Keep that up, I know having a good outlook has helped me through the roughest of days. The way I look at it, either I can curl up in a ball and cry or I can just move forward. I chose the latter.
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