Hospital stays are hardly a party. But since they're a part of life with CF, let's get the most out of them and help ourselves make them fewer and farther between.
There is no greater instinct than a mother's need to protect, and I have had to willfully disregard it countless times in my journey with CF.
As a hospital administrator, I try to apply what I've learned from receiving care as a person with CF to provide better health care for my patients.
A few years ago, CF started to take its toll on me. I kept getting sick, going on and off IVs, going in and out of the hospital. But through it all, I found a silver lining.
When I was young, my parents tried to increase the appeal of hospital stays by calling them “sleepovers.” But as I got older, I realized that these two things are, in fact, not the same.
The only thing that is certain in my life is the uncertainty of my teenage daughter's next hospital stay. Despite this, she has somehow managed to supervise her own academic life from a hospital room.
I've spent many Christmases in the hospital; cystic fibrosis never takes a vacation. But over the years, I found ways to fill my hospital room with holiday cheer.
Being hospitalized with COVID-19 was isolating, even my daughter was not allowed to visit. But, thanks to the women and men who provided my care, I was never alone.
I went the first 17 years of my life without being hospitalized, but CF caught up to me when I had my first “tune up” last year. As much as I thought I knew about what it would be like, I wasn't prepared for how that first hospitalization would feel.
I wrote this poem to my daughter as I watched over her in the hospital.