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The Patty Loveless Interview (Page 2 of 2)

An Interview with Patty Loveless

Patty Loveless:  Yes, it is.  That’s the reason we’re trying to get everybody to go to that Web site and take that five question screener.  I’ve done it and I’m not at risk, but I’ve lost my voice because of an illness and I depend on my lungs.  I mean, everybody says it’s a smoker’s disease.  But there’s so much more that I have learned about it.  My father died with black lung disease and he was only 58.  While I was in Atlanta, doing the screening and meeting people, a mother and her child came up.  Her son is 10 years old and she said he’s been diagnosed with chronic bronchitis. I said, “Really?”  And she said, “Yes and he’s getting treatment and there’s a great possibility he could grow out of it.”  So it’s just so much more that nobody realizes. 

Gary Barg:  I just think that’s fascinating.  Have you seen people say, “Wow, I never thought of this.  Maybe I should go screen myself or screen my loved one or my wife is starting to cough…” you know, things like that?

Patty Loveless:  I’ve had friends that are dying – dying with it – and family.   I have learned that sometimes people who work in a bakery, the dust from the flour can get down into your lungs; or even in sugar factories, the dust from the sugar.  The ladies that work in the salons or makeup artists can be exposed.  So it’s just real important to take that screener and it takes maybe a couple of minutes of your time. Just answer truthfully and then if the results are positive, go to your doctor and see what can be done about helping you to breathe better.

Gary Barg:  I never thought about that—makeup and  sugar factories and just places you’d never think about—that these particles are blowing up into your lungs.  The Website is

Patty Loveless:  Yes.

Gary Barg:  What would be the most important piece of advice you would give to a family caregiver?
Patty Loveless:  In order to be a caregiver, it’s very important that you take care of yourself as well, so that you can take care of those you want to take care of.  My sister was always trying to take care of me when I was trying to take care of her when we were both trying to take of our mother.  And then we would swap off at the hospitals. One of us would stay all night and then we’d switch and somebody else would come in that morning.

You never know when they’re going to take that last breath and it’s very stressful, it’s very hard. You have to just prepare yourself and the caregivers, they need to be taken care of as well.


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