My brother received a liver transplant the day before his 15th birthday but soon needed another.
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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.
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 underwent liver and kidney transplants in 2021 after a successful lung transplant in 2012. For a number of reasons, the recovery from second transplant was much more difficult.
The antibiotics used to treat nontuberculous mycobacteria made me choose between the risk of hearing loss versus the reward of better lung health.
Being in and out of the hospital and unable to recognize my own body was taking a toll on my mental health. But after my liver transplant, my family stuck by my side and helped renew my positive outlook on life.
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.
Cystic fibrosis is unpredictable and I've found that some of the complications aren't as progressive as the disease.