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.
When I scroll through my social media accounts, it’s hard not to compare myself to other people and feel like I could have accomplished so much more had it not been for my cystic fibrosis. Instead of getting depressed, I now rely on therapy, positive affirmations, and being kind to myself to preserve my mental health
After gaining weight on IV steroids to treat my cystic fibrosis, my self-image became distorted, and I developed anorexia. I realize that I am not my illnesses, but they are a part of my life that I can’t hide anymore.
Even though Trikafta saved my life, I am still dealing with the emotional trauma of being so close to death and missing the person I was before I got so sick.
I felt so alone as a kid being gay and having CF — there weren’t any role models in the 80s and 90s that I could look up to. Eventually, I found people who understood what I was going through and that helped me feel good about who I was, and who I am today.
Although I had been told that my coughing would stop, I wish I had known more about the transformative change that Trikafta® would have on my life. It has almost made me wistful for the time when I was sick, back when I was more in tune with what my body was experiencing.
Since the loss of my sister to cystic fibrosis, grief has hit me in waves. Sometimes it feels as though I can't breathe. Despite this, I have been able to function and keep going. That is what Claire would have wanted me to do.
Having experienced loss before, I thought I knew how to process grief. But, when I lost my cousin to suicide and my grandmother to the pandemic this past year, I reacted in unexpected ways and learned new lessons about coping with grief.
As the mother of a toddler with cystic fibrosis, I found it hard to deal with the daily grind of treatments, appointments, and insurance claims on top of all other daily responsibilities. After months of suicidal thoughts, I finally reached out for help.
Despite letting negative thoughts get to me when I was younger, I learned to make the most of any situation. This positive mindset has helped me succeed in college, and I want to help pass along what I have learned.