An Open Letter to Family and Friends This Flu Season

Getting sick for a person with CF is so much more than a couple days off watching Netflix. It can be really scary. But you can help us stay healthy this cold and flu season. 

Dec. 3, 2015 | 3 min read
Somer Love

Dear Family and Friends,

While everyone is celebrating the fall leaves changing and pumpkin spice everything, I'm over here stocking up on hand sanitizer and vitamin C. It's that dreaded time of year again for me: flu and cold season -- my least favorite season.

With every cough and sneeze that I hear, my anxiety climbs a little higher. My ears are like sonar and I can hear them from a mile away.  And of course, when I find the culprits, more often than not they are not covering their mouths. C'mon people, kids know to cough into their elbows, so I know you can too.

Getting sick for me is so much more than a couple days off watching Netflix. It could be really scary actually. Getting a cold, or the flu, for me could mean a two week stay in the joint -- aka the hospital -- and believe me, that is not fun. It's the last place I want to be.

The good news is that you can help me stay healthy!

It's as simple as letting me know if you're sick before I come around you. I want to know the slightest little thing ... Has your nose been running? Does your throat feel scratchy? You know your body best, so if you feel like you might be coming down with something, please let me know. Then I can make the difficult decision whether to join or sit this one out and reschedule.

I know this may sound extreme, but when you work so hard at staying healthy and staying out of the hospital, these are the precautions you have to take. Making these decisions isn't easy and it can be very stressful at times. I hate the thought of letting you down, and I love to always be included and be a part of everything. But sometimes the risks outweigh the benefits and I have to do what's best for my health. Unfortunately, this is the harsh reality of flu and cold season for me. I have seen way too many friends with CF have devastating effects from the flu.

So, if you don't see me somewhere I am supposed to be, know that it's not because I didn't want to be there. It just happens to be one of those times where the risks outweigh the benefits and it was probably best that I sit this one out.

Thank you for understanding and for all your continued support to help me stay as healthy as can be.

Breathe out love,

Somer Love

This site contains general information about cystic fibrosis, as well as personal insight from the CF community. Opinions and experiences shared by members of our community, including but not limited to people with CF and their families, belong solely to the blog post author and do not represent those of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, unless explicitly stated. In addition, the site is not intended as a substitute for treatment advice from a medical professional. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your treatment.

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Somer was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 11 months in 1980. She tries to live each day to the fullest by keeping her hopes high and dreams big. Somer is an active advocate in the CF community who has spent her life fighting the disease alongside her parents. Follow Somer on Love To Breathe.

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