The other day my boyfriend ever so kindly/sarcastically reminded me…. “Hey remember that blog you used to write….” It’s true, so I haven’t posted in nearly a month… but I think the truth is, in the past month I’ve forgotten about CF, something that is a rarity in my life! Things have been going so well, which is a good thing.
1) In April, I hit the 1.5 year mark of not needing a clean-out. WHAT?! Since I was about 13 I was in the hospital twice a year, if not more. It became commonplace for me to get sick and go in the hospital. I remember distinctly, one day I had a doctor filling in for my normal doctor. She told me “Get used to going in the hospital twice a year.” Imagine, expecting something bad to happen every 6 months without hesitation. I was prepared, it was my life. But now, its been a WHOLE YEAR AND A HALF…. thats 3 expectant hospital visits skipped right over, allowing me to do other things and forget all about how much having CF can suck. I’ve been slowly proving to myself that nothing is set in stone, its possible to defy the odds.
2) I hit the 5 mile mark in my running. I’m training to run 7 miles in August (but I would like to get up to 10). I’ve hit a point where I don’t dread how tough it might be to run some days. I just KNOW that this is getting me far, this is the reason I’m doing so well. I remember the summer before my senior year dreading that I had to run the 1 mile in under 8 minutes in order to make varsity field hockey. CF used to stop me, I used to wheeze and cough and hate to have to run at field hockey practice in high school. I sat on the bench because everyone knew I couldn’t keep up. And now, I’m running 5 miles like there’s nothing wrong with me. How can I have a chronic lung disease when I’m feeling this great?
3) I’m halfway through college. This week marked the end of my sophomore year. These past two years flew by, and I’m kind of worried about how quickly the next two will go. The point is, I have been enjoying my college experience so much! CF hasn’t stopped me once, I’ve managed to do great in my courses, be recognized with a scholarship in my major, and score a paid summer internship. Where I made myself sick from all the stress of finals last year, I managed to make it through the stress this year by just relaxing and trusting that I could do it. No sickness. This year, I was a normal college student getting through finals, not a sick CFer balancing my cough with my studying.
4) It’s allergy season! Okay, I actually hate allergy season, but in some ways, its a blessing. Sure, it makes me cough and sneeze, it makes me tired, and it makes my eyes itch like hell. But the thing is, its doing that to a lot of other people. Today, I was at the hairdresser, the number one place where CF always reminds me its there. I cough my normal cough, but then it gets even more frequent from all those fumes and hairspray, and soon my hair stylist is concerned, “Do you need water? Are you okay?” I never take the time to explain what’s going on, because usually the conversation dies right there. But, when its allergy season, its not odd for me to be coughing. Today, she said “Do you have that allergy cough? Me too!” Finally, I could blend in. I could forget I had CF and my cough wasn’t out of the ordinary.
My blog is an outlet for getting CF off my chest, for allowing myself to learn from the obstacles it presents for me. When I write, I discover things about myself and my life that I don’t even consciously realize until I start typing. This past month, CF hasn’t been a problem for me, so I didn’t think I needed to write to learn anything from it. But it’s important to realize that you can learn from yourself in the good times too. I’ve appreciated my life so much this past month, because CF hasn’t been there tapping me on the shoulder saying “Remember me?” These are the times I remember and look forward to when CF won’t get out of my face. When asked that question with the knowing inflection, “How are you doing,” it’s a good feeling to be able to say “I’m doing excellent.” It’s a good feeling to have a little vacation from CF’s constant reminders, and I’ve learned to appreciate times of health.