I had SUCH a good time on Sunday. I threw all my inhibitions aside, and marched around showing strangers a clear view of what I deal with every day. For my creative process class, we had to make masks which display our personalities, complete the costume, and march around in a parade at a local harvest festival. Well I got really creative and found a way to recycle a lot of the old supplies I had lying around. I saved those vials of medicine (hypertonic, tobi, and pulmozyme) that are usually cluttering every space I use them in and created a crown/mane of sorts. Then, I took all of my extra Ultrase (that I no longer take since they didn’t get FDA approval and since I like zenpep so much more) and made a mosaic on the face of my mask. Some saw me as just a lion, but I felt empowered. True, I was marching around dressed as a lion with pills on her face, but it was so much more than that.
Marching around the other day dressed so ridiculously, I was displaying the source of my personality on the outside. Many people in my class (several whom I do not know) were curious as to why I had so many pills, and what those funny things were outlining my face. Imagine if your disease was just displayed on your face without any explanation. In some ways, those questions were uncomfortable, and I’m glad that I don’t have to wear cystic fibrosis on my sleeve on a daily basis. But in normal circumstances, just by looking at me, those people wouldn’t have known that I take so many pills a day, that I do so many breathing treatments, or that I struggle with breathing sometimes. However, they might notice how light-hearted I am, how much I smile, and how I don’t cower in front of difficulties. I owe a lot of that to CF.
Though I am a firm believer in not letting cystic fibrosis define me, it cannot be avoided how much CF has affected my personality, and I’m thankful for many of the ways it has shaped me. Having cystic fibrosis has made me strong like a lion.
It takes a storm to know the beauty of the warm sunshine. If I had never fought with a chronic illness, I would not be able to appreciate the beauty of so many things in this world. And in the other direction, I would not be able to deal with how terrible so many things are in this world or even in every day life. CF has taught me to smile even when things aren’t so good. It has taught me that its important to have a positive attitude and to persevere when it seems impossible to keep going. Many of these aspects of my personality are reflected each and every day, each time I brush off a small problem, each time I ignore a negative comment or person, each time I laugh. On sunday, I wore the cause of my personality on my face, people saw the inside struggle that is shaping who I am every single day. It might have caused some people to think, some people to wonder, some to empathize, but it made me feel incredible. CF doesn’t scare me, and though it may be an incredibly difficult part of my life, it has made me who I am.