I had all the classic symptoms of cystic fibrosis, but neither I nor my doctors ever considered them in their totality. The symptoms were treated like separate problems -- asthma, nasal polyps, digestive problems -- until one specialist noticed a tell-tale sign that brought about my clarifying diagnosis.
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.
There have been a few moments over the past four years that have provided us with perfect opportunities to give both of our kids a fuller understanding of the multifaceted nature of cystic fibrosis.
When our son was diagnosed with CF, the clinic director sat with me for hours answering my questions. Since that day, I have wanted to bottle up his advice and become a voice of encouragement for new CF parents.
When I was diagnosed with CF at 22, I was relieved. I could start treating the disease we'd been trying to identify for years. But after the initial excitement, I started facing issues of denial, anger and confusion…so I ran.
The road to rebuilding shattered dreams is not a straight one.