Like many of my millennial compatriots, I was booted from my parents' health plan when I turned 26. While my friends were shrugging health insurance off as just another growing pain of their 20s, I was panicking.
As a teacher with cystic fibrosis, I find it no surprise that heading back to school can be a shock to my system. But over the years, I've learned that if I can remember three main things, I can stay healthy through the transition back to school.
When I ran into a particularly difficult situation with my last job, the “d” word entered my lexicon for the first time: disability. While my life doesn't look like I thought it would, I have come to accept where I am and gained a new perspective on work and life.
After leaving a job where all of my colleagues knew that I have CF, I've chosen to stay guarded in my new work environment and not take the risk of telling anyone about CF, including my superiors.
As I have grown in my professional career, I have gone from speaking as little as I can about cystic fibrosis at work to being open about having CF and how it affects me.
I gravitated toward a career in health care almost without thinking about it. It has been rewarding, but it has cost me too.
For the most part, I have been fortunate with my cystic fibrosis in that I never needed to go into the hospital. But, that all changed in 2008. Fortunately, I was able to start using Kalydeco. My health improved, and I was able to continue my career in radio and TV.
Although I resisted it at first -- and wrestled with what it said about my worth as a person -- going on disability has helped me become healthier, happier, and more fulfilled than I was when I was working.
Check out my six tips for keeping a good work-life balance while also maintaining your health.
Retirement is supposed to be for the elderly, for those who have put in 40+ years of the 9 to 5 grind. But for the CF retiree, life is not as glamorous as it seems to those on the other side.