When my wife convinced me to undertake a hike up to Angel's Landing, I pictured the physical challenge of it, not the friendship we would develop with another couple on the way up.
At various points in my life, I have faced ableist comments or reactions to my cystic fibrosis treatments, which have greatly affected me. I hope this blog post makes people more aware of the language they use toward people with chronic illnesses.
When I was in high school, I tried my best to hide my CF from my friends. When this put my health at risk, I knew I had to find friends who would accept me and to become a better advocate for myself.
Growing up with cystic fibrosis was often lonely, but discovering how to make myself and others laugh helped me navigate those years and gave me a purpose in life.
Having cystic fibrosis interfered with many of my romantic relationships and I was hesitant to disclose it. But, then I met somebody who accepted me and my CF.
As someone with cystic fibrosis, I struggled with the fact that I might be a burden to those who helped care for me. Things changed when I married Ramón and learned the true meaning of caregiving.
With COVID-19, a year indoors -- and online -- has brought up a familiar feeling that screen time has the potential to bring us hope and laughter. On the other hand, the internet can also convince us that the sky is falling.
Despite my cystic fibrosis, my relationship with my daughter continues to grow stronger each time we are together. She doesn't care about what I can or can't do physically. She just loves me unconditionally.
I have faced a lot of ignorance about my cystic fibrosis -- even from people whom I thought were my friends. I have learned not to take it personally. I just educate who I can and move on.
I always say that when life gives you lemons … turn around and write some Japanese-style poetry. I hope you enjoy these haikus I have written about life with cystic fibrosis.