My brother received a liver transplant the day before his 15th birthday but soon needed another.
Being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis-related diabetes shortly after a lung transplant was difficult. But, working with my doctor helped me create a strategy to make it easier.
I recently was diagnosed with a type of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which helps explain why I sometimes didn’t keep up with daily care. By taking ADHD into account, I’m managing my cystic fibrosis better.
After two kidney transplants and one double-lung transplant, I am currently doing dialysis treatments as I wait for my third kidney transplant. Keeping a positive attitude and having friends and colleagues who support me have helped me adjust to life on dialysis.
I struggled when I learned that in addition to cystic fibrosis, my daughter also had adrenal insufficiency. I felt anger, sadness, and anxiety. But thankfully, with the support of my husband, family, friends, and care team, we learned how to manage her condition and deal with emergencies.
It can be a lot to manage two children with cystic fibrosis who have other health issues. I made it work by making my children responsible for their own treatments and not sweating the small stuff when we can't be perfect.
Because my daughter's bowel perforated when she was a newborn, she needed to have surgery to temporarily reroute her stool so that it was collected through her abdomen into an ostomy bag. Those grueling days of ostomy care -- sometimes as often as every hour day and night -- were some of the darkest days of our cystic fibrosis journey.
As a medical professional who has cystic fibrosis, I have experienced both sides of pain management and chafed under the new rules for prescribing pain medications brought about by a nationwide opioid crisis. Despite having to add yet another doctor to my long list of providers, a trip to a pain management specialist wasn't as bad as I thought.
Although I didn't have cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, I avoided dealing with my blood sugars. Now that I do, I feel stronger physically and emotionally.
Although I did my homework before having surgery to remove part of my liver, the process presented me with surprises and challenges. Here's what I learned from it.