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I was diagnosed with CFA on 1 Feb of 2005. I had an xray, lungfunction, and CT scan. On 7 Feb 2005 I underwent an open lung biopsy upon which the final diagnosis was made. My reason for consulting a specialist was in Dec 2003, when doing long distance running I experienced shortness of breath that a short rest did not help. I could not continue. The local GP said I had "excercise induced Ashtma". Venteze pump did not help at all. I thus left it, and slowed my running programme, but continued with river and Sea paddling. However I was still experiencing difficulty on the longer distances. In May of 2004, I went back to the GP as I had another occassion when running when I was forced to stop after an hour. The medics on the route administered oxygen, however this also did nothing to help. the Doctor then did allergy tests and said I was very allergic to cats, dogs and dust. My home is exposed to all of the above, and as I am 43, non smoking, and love my pets, I took the medication. This did not change the position. I thus decided at the begining of this year to consult a specialist to see if there was a problem, or if it was "in my mind". I am now on predisone. I have been on Azathioprine 100mg since 1 April 2005. I am exercising but on a much lesser level than before, because I was having extreme tiredness and my blood pressure was raised whilst on the higher prednisone. Now my level of fitness is low, and I am struggling to get back to it. Due to the rareness of the disease, (I am South African and information is scarce) I can not find any support groups, Also I cannot find out much about what to expect in terms of the progression of the disease. I am a positive person by nature, and analytical. More information on the expected progression, and also some "good" stories where persons have survived, would be motivational. I do not mind if I am contacted, and if I can be of assistance to anyone else, I would feel honoured.
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