When I decided to study abroad in 1974, I also decided that I would not allow CF to stop me from living my life to the fullest.
My oldest son, Nathan, was 18 years old when he was finally diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. While we both had been waiting a long time to get an answer to what had been plaguing him, I'd been hoping and praying that he'd escape the CF sentence. The diagnosis, however, did not come as a surprise because exactly 35 days earlier, my younger son, Caleb, at 14 years, had already been diagnosed with CF.
If you show symptoms of cystic fibrosis or your baby has a positive newborn screen for CF, a sweat test at a CF Foundation-accredited care center can help provide a CF diagnosis by measuring the concentration of salt in your or your baby's sweat. The test is painless and is the most reliable way to diagnose CF.
Newborn screening (NBS) is a program run by each state to identify babies born with certain health conditions, including cystic fibrosis. Although a sweat test should ultimately be done to rule out or confirm a CF diagnosis, NBS can help you and your health care providers take immediate steps to keep your child as healthy as possible.
Your doctor may classify your baby as having CRMS/CFSPID if he or she has a positive newborn screen and subsequent sweat chloride test results that fall into an uncertain or borderline range described as "intermediate."
When I was 13, my family went from having two seemingly normal kids to two CF patients in a manner of a few short months -- and boy, did it change everything. Because of my late diagnosis, I faced a unique set of challenges that helped make me the strong person I am today.
Cystic fibrosis can't take living away, especially when one loves life!
I knew that I needed to make a change when I began checking on home from the office and checking on work at odd hours from home.
While I am not grateful for having cystic fibrosis and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, I have no doubt that if it weren't for me having CF, I would not have become the person that I am today.
All my life I wanted an answer to why I was so sick. Then I got it, in the form of a CF diagnosis.