I think my life just got shortened by a lot

So, my lungs suck. About 12 years ago, I got a nasty fungal infection in them that mimicked tuberculosis, but is much different. Once I defeated it, I was left with a nasty case of asthma.

I saw a pulmonologist 2 days ago. My lung function is 42% of what someone my age, height, and weight should be. Two years ago it was 69%. One year ago, a CT scan of my chest showed a possible enlargement of my thymus that might be pressing on my lungs. My new doc wants to repeat the CT scan and compare. If that’s the case, they’ll have to crack my chest open to take it out.

The large thymus theory explains the sudden change I’ve felt. I’m also getting a pulmonary function test to see how bad the asthma really is. In the meantime, I’m on a suped-up inhaler, twice a day.

Anyway, my youth is gone. I’m almost 40. I’ve had my fun and adventure. I’m not going to drag this out. I will not be made to feel miserable running around with tests and appointments dominating my life. I will not lug these machines around with me I saw in the doctor’s office. I’m just not going to live that way. I’d rather suffocate than be led around by the nose with no hope.

Sorry for the doom and gloom. In truth, I’m not gloomy about it. I’m at peace with the end possibly coming for me sooner than expected. I guess I’ve evaded the Reaper so much that I’m no longer afraid of him. Be well, and if you smoke, FFS, STOP IT!!


I am going to preface this by saying I had cancer as a teen, and very much understand the fear of tying your life to a physical illness, and how appealing it can be to think about letting nature take its course. So know this comes from a place of love.

That is a terrible idea! You are not enlightened and at peace with the idea of dying before age 40. You are suicidal. People have physical illnesses all the time. You will adapt. Try out the doctors for a year or so. You might get much better. You might not. Either way, you will get very used to a new life that involves caring for your lungs. You will find ways to have fun and be happy. You will get used to it. It only seems scary now because you haven’t done it yet.

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If you are feeling suicidal or having a mental health crisis, please tell someone — a friend or family member, a teacher, a doctor or therapist or call 911 (if you’re in the U.S.) or the Emergency Medical Services phone number in your country.

You can also call a crisis intervention hotline—these are available in the U.S. and in many other countries. You do not need to be actively suicidal to benefit from a crisis hotline.

International crisis hotlines:

Crisis hotlines in the U.S.:

More resources:

I’m not suicidal. And I’ll explain why:

  1. I watched my mother battle a lost-from-the-beginning fight against cancer. No way am I doing that to my body.

  2. I was scared shitless in the Army in firefights with rounds whizzing inches from my head. That was a fear of dying. What I feel is not fear, but acceptance.

  3. I made a genuine suicide attempt some years ago and ended up intubated for 2 days. I was beyond depressed when I did that.

I think I know my own feeling well enough by now. Not that I have to justify it, just sayin’.

I think anyone who decides they are ready to die in their thirties when a doctor hasn’t even diagnosed them with anything terminal is suicidal.

Thanks. I’ll be sure to keep you appraised of my feelings going forward. Very important to me to get that validation. And my point, which I think you’ve missed, is if this is going to be the way it is, so be it.

It sounded more like you were thinking about refusing trearment.

I’m sorry @anon40540444 but continue to fight.

I will to a point. My uncle is a chaplain at a hospital in NC, and he’s told me how heart-breaking it is to watch people battle something they cannot defeat. If faced with something I can’t defeat, I will opt for non-action.

I was pronounced terminal. I was told there was zero chance of survival. I fought anyways. 15 years later, here I am. I’m not in perfect condition, but I am alive. If I had decided not to push for the experimental risky last chance option, I could have enjoyed my last 1-5 years on earth and died fully intact at age 21.

That’s you, and I’m me. We’re allowed to make our own choices, thank goodness.

Yeah and I can’t stop you from choosing to die, same as I can’t stop any other suicidal person from choosing to die. I can only offer a message of hope and a list of resources.

You really are determined to make your point aren’t you, by insisting I’m suicidal? As if you know what goes on in my head. I don’t need your copied and pasted wall of links. I’m not going to use any of that crap. I have a wife who loves me, we are celebrating 11 happy years very soon, and this won’t be hanging over it like a dark cloud. Sh-it, I came on here to inform and I get into debate with a mod over my feelings. As if you would know me if you bumped into me on the street…

In my case I didn’t decide I would willingly die if things involving my heart got past a certain point, I just decided that I would stop fighting if it required a transplant to keep going. I prize quality of life over quantity of life.That didn’t make me suicidal, just realistic.

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Yes, thank you, this. @Ninjastar, just because you’re a mod and have very limited power, doesn’t mean you get to dictate from your ivory tower about how us mere mortals are flawed in our thinking if it doesn’t align with yours. That’s why people with a like mind just scream and are never heard.

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Guess I just can’t relate to this concept in general. To me, I could get used to pretty much anything as long as I was still alive. The kids I met on the ward with that attitude were the ones who didn’t survive 90% of the time. The ones who fought sometimes died horribly, but sometimes made it. All the ones who died did so horribly and painfully and tragically, it didn’t matter if they made peace beforehand.

For what it is worth, I know a few transplant recipients who are quite happy with their decision, even though it means being extra careful.

I know some who are, some who aren’t (I roll with this crowd as we use the same specialist heart clinic). All the ones who have a transplant are now financially crippled. A good chunk of what they need is not covered by any plan or the government. Their prospects are not good. Those who weren’t wealthy (all of the ones I know) are having trouble buying KD now.

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