Geoff’s Story

Why I blog about my personal Incidents in life with IPF

I am often told that I have been very brave in sharing my life experiences and their intricate details on a public platform.When I come to think of it, a smile rises to my lips. Not because I feel proud of being considered brave, but because I started this blog with full realisation of this fact.

To me, it is not an act of bravery, but a choice.——-A mere choice to include the group in my story.——Even if it means as an audience.

My first post, which is also the about page of my blog talks about the mission of my blog of how it first started.

Like anyone else I too could keep the dark shades of my personality hidden, I too could never speak of my vulnerabilities, the troubles in my life or even if I would, I could keep the gory details of my disease, health issues and other personal troubles to my self.

In fact, it’s rather convenient to present only the good, the strong and the rosy aspects of one’s life as is common on the social media networks.

The trouble that kind of blog would pose for me was, I wanted to start writing a daily diary. Something that would register my life as it is in reality.

No hiding the frustrations, no soaking up tears to pose as a strong person, no airbrushed emotions.

I wanted to portray the pain, joy, hurt, bitterness, despair, anger, innocence, everything in its true, unedited form.

I wanted to vent out my emotions through my blog, but at the same time, I wish to come back to these records from time to time to gauge my progress.

I wish to assess where am I heading to in my life, to smile at my changed self and to feel proud to have swam through the rough waters, with still alot more to come.

This blog is a mission, it holds much deeper meaning in my life than just telling the world what I went through, who I am, what am I made of and what life made me decide to do in my circumstances.

I sincerely wish that by sharing my life-story on a support group website, maybe someone, somewhere, someday will also say I did that too, that happened to me.

It might help someone prevent getting stuck in situations like I have and find better, timely resolution of issues that if missed or happened with me , would help you.

I totally understand how many reading this, feel that I am going through mood swings every now and then. But the reality is, I register all of my negative thoughts so that my journey has all the emotions intact and to stay positive.

It is an attempt at improving my self-awareness by enabling me to see through life more clearly without defying the frustration, and anger that were once part of my journey,I need a Lung transplant and I am fighting for it.

Letting the group have a clear view of my raw, often unhealed, the sensitive side was laden with a fair share of insecurities only really Angela my wife would know.

That icky, picky, strange, panic-inducing feeling.

But…but… but, there could be a silver lining to this ordeal.

Showing my true self has opened up a wiiiiiiiiide door for the people to walk in, feel a connect and say,

“You know what?

Me too.

I too have been there, felt that.”

The first step towards healing is the understanding of your position in life. Acceptance of one’s situation as it is without any form of manipulation marks the beginning of where things can only get better, only by staying positive and surrounding yourself with people that know & love you !

My blog is that starting point for knowing what is to come, hoping it is a lung transplant.

Well my name is Geoff Gardner, I am 60 born in 1960, married 33 years  to Angela, that wonderful women above in the photo. we have 2 sons and a daughter all left home.We have 4 granddaughters.

Work History

My occupation was a site Manager in the construction industry, but, I have like most people been in a lot of different Jobs starting as a Dry Liner after leaving school, then serving my time with an apprenticeship for a fitter toolmaker. Milkman next after moving from the North East to the South,Yateley in fact, when the miners strike was on 1982-83 and what you hear about milkmen is true! Next the big one I was a Asbestos Stripper I worked every where, mostly in London,Houses of Parliament ,Buckingham Palace,BBC TV centre, Broadcasting House the list is vast and it was very well paid, I was at TV centre usually when Top of the Pops was recording on a Wednesday Aha, George Michael, Boomtown rats, Duran Duran was the era I even bumped into Anne Lennox. Well after about 8-10 years of being with my own company, I took it to Germany in 1990-91 moving back into construction, learning to speak fluent German supplying men to sites, mainly shuttering & reinforced concrete, all around Germany until 1997, when I had money taken off me by the German Government, I returned back to England, I then started as a man on the tools again, working my way back up the ladder, working on sites London Excel, Canary Wharf, The 02, to the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, after the tower ,the company asked me to go to Spain, Escombreras near Cartagena Murcia to do a slipform Chimney, 8 months.  2010 I had 6 months in St Gallon, Switzerland returning to England, I learned and went on courses to work for Network Rail extending platforms and making access for all, by putting in lift’s for the disabled with bridges. 2016 I was asked, to go to Okinawa Japan for 10 months returning in July 2017 and this was when I knew something was wrong.

  1. Dry Lining
  2. Engineering (white water cutting solution, welding no expel air)
  3. Painting and Decorating
  4. Asbestos Removal (brown, white, Blue)Full PPE
  5. Construction Dust
  6. Cutting Ply sheets & Timber (no mask)
  7. Smoker till Nov 2012

I Know My Own Body

From being young, until I was 45, aswell as working, I played football to a very high standard, in England & Germany(Berlin) I played semi-pro, so I know what my body can do.When I was in Japan I jogged but could not understand ,why, I was not able to run longer without getting out of breath,I used to go for a walk, to put my step rate up, to over 12,000 steps per day, as soon as we got to a incline, I was struggling and could not understand it, in fact before leaving for Japan a friend of mine asked me to play for a veterans team, I trained by going out for a jog and had to keeping stopping to get my breath back, the more I did ,it was still the same,I also used to smoke and stopped 2012 when being 52, so I felt my constant jogging , my lung would be alot better than they were.During the night I suffered with acid reflux, waking up as the acid reflux had travelled up my tube and gone down the wrong hole, heart burn during the day was constant too.I would never take Rennie I paid a lot for tablets from Boots until Nexium Control tablets came .

Waste of time

Dr Boardman from Sandhurst Surgery made an appointment with a consultant from Frimley Park this appointment was asked for in January, the appointment to see the consultant Dr  was made for 17th April 2014,this is her words — Diagnosis :- 1. Gastro- oesophagael reflux disease. 2. Raised BMI.  Apologising the referral took so long. She examined me after seeing a Xray of my lungs and told me that I was over weight, which was causing the problem with my breathing and gave me a prescription for Omeprazole (acid reflux medication). This was my first mistake by not telling her, that I surely know my body better than her and something was not right. I carried on with trying to keep fit and carried on working taking omeprazole , when they run out I took Nexium.

Letter written by the consultant Dr 

Beginning of Something Wrong

Going to Okinawa Oct 2016 returning July 2017 I took employment for a company in Civils, working for Wessex water, which took us over Christmas and Winter, where I was working, was cold and I suffered badly with my breathing , I walked to see how the men were doing ,I was out of breath and the men asked if I was ok. Over Christmas Angela and I was walking to a friends house to celebrate, New Years Eve, I struggled walking, the first 300 metres, with it being below freezing, it made my breathing difficult, Angela got the car and drove us, as I could not walk anymore,It was then I decided to get it looked at, to find out what the problem is.

January 2018

Dr Boardman at the surgery, was very good,He actually chastised me, as I was not a frequent visitor of the surgery, that he had been there nearly 4 years and he had seen me once. I told him , I was a person that only when I felt worried , then I would make an appointment ,hence that was why I was there. I told him what was wrong and he put his stethoscope to my chest and told me he was making an appointment to see a consultant at Frimley, which was to be Dr Mac, before making the appointment, 6th April 2018 ,I had a lung function test 14th March 2018 .

The first letter from Dr Mac reads :-


Diagnosed with Asbestosis

Dr Mac told me that I had Asbestosis, but he was going to have a meeting, with his colleagues, in this field and was to get back to me.
Well Angela and I were devastated, not even a leaflet to look at, nothing in the respiratory department, just nothing, Angela was upset and I sort of knew that this would be the case, as I worked with Asbestos for 6 years, we drove back home and looked on Google and I contacted Haseg

Accessed and Diagnosed @ The Royal Brompton London

Dr Mac was very quick and sent me a letter 4th May asking me to get blood tests done as I was being referred to a Dr R at the Royal Brompton for the 11th June 2018 I was there the whole day with Angela , starting with a lung function test at 10.15am. The last was a meeting with Dr R and her colleagues about 6 people in total, Dr R told me I had IPF Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, I said my father died of this ,we saw him die in hospital and it was not nice as he was like a man drowning, Dr R assured me this would not be the case with me, she also said “we will put you on a course of medication , which will give you 18 months more”. I said “if this is so, then how long have I ?” Dr R looked at her colleague spoke a few words and replied “12 Months“, Angela and I were speechless , I looked at her and she was crying, I kept a brave face on. Dr R’s Clinical Nurse Specialist for Interstitial Lung Disease, Miss C H then gave me a prescription for Pirfenidone telling me how to take them,warning me that in sunlight I must wear factor 50 sun cream, that I would probably loose some weight, any thing what I would feel not right , to get in touch. Then Angela and I dressed up to ride my motorbike home.When we arrived back home, I googled IPF and to read 3-5 years was not good and I shed a few tears myself, wondering how to tell our 2 sons and daughter.

This is the first letter from Dr R @ Royal Brompton