Another August meant another Falmouth Road Race filled with sweat, chills, and an overall sense of accomplishment. What I wasn’t prepared for (though the same thing happened last year), was that the sweat and chills would continue for a few days after that long, hot, humid run. Though I have run 8 and 9 miles and felt fine, for some reason the combination of the heat, the nerves, and the exertion lead me to spiking fevers for a few days after the race. I woke up the next morning hardly able to walk. My legs were so cramped up. Then later that day, while at the beach with my family, I felt the familiar feeling of my body heating up while I had chills all over. Kyle and I headed back to the cottage so that I could lay down. While I don’t usually like to embarrass Kyle too much with how much he impresses me (because it happens daily), the support he gave me when I was feeling my worst was incredible, and I think everyone ought to know what a great guy he is.
As I lay in my bed, weak with exhaustion, he rubbed my burning head and planted kisses on my forehead. I could feel the healing energy from his touch and though I still felt the heat from my fever, I felt at ease. Soon, I was drifting off to sleep, and he pulled the shades, tucked me in, and snuck out of the room. I spent the next couple days with fevers coming and going and Kyle never wavered in supporting me. He cheered me up by making me smile and giving me lots of hugs, and he never complained that on a sunny day, I was sick in bed.
At the same time that all of this was going on, I was also dealing with something back at school. My roommate had moved into our room early and found that there was a very bad mold problem in our carpet. While she and my other friend were fighting to get it taken care of, I was worrying about how my lungs would be in that room, knowing that mold can be very serious when inhaled into cf lungs filled with mucus. Already weak with exhaustion, I called the school and tried to advocate for myself (which typically leads to me holding back tears, and the sickness didn’t make it any easier). I called Residence Life and spoke to a receptionist mentioning briefly my lung condition. After hearing that they could only clean the carpet, I gave up. I was too tired to explain the serious condition of my lungs to this stranger on the other side of the phone. I was frustrated with always having to worry about my CF, when all I wanted to do was relax. On top of this, I had just run 7 miles in order to raise money for CF, and my body couldn’t handle it. I felt weak. And now, I had to deal with this mold issue and I couldn’t even bring myself to calmly explain how serious my condition is without bursting into tears. So, I hung up the phone, and I let myself cry. Kyle came outside where I sat on the picnic table and gave me a hug and assured me that we would fix this problem. I wiped my tears and sighed. “I’m such a wimp,” I said. To which Kyle responded “No you’re not, you’re the strongest person I know.” In that moment, I truly believed that I was, in fact, a wimp. But Kyle’s right, I am pretty strong, but only because of him and all the people I have supporting me.
I’m not sure what I would do without Kyle. He’s always there to let me vent and to bring me back to reality. I don’t know how he does it, but he makes me feel that I’m not in this alone. Only he can calm me down when I’m sick and frustrated. No matter what happens in my life, I know its all going to be okay as long as he is in it. He makes me strong. Later that day I said to him “Are you sure you can handle being with me? I’ve got a lot of baggage!” To which he responded “Well thats okay cause I’ve got a big trunk!” Since I’ve been so healthy ever since being with Kyle (and maybe he has something to do with it), I’ve often worried if he would be scared off by the realities of CF, both physically and emotionally. But Kyle has proven that he’s strong and his strength is contagious. I am so incredibly lucky to have Kyle as my boyfriend, my soulmate, and my best friend. He has never wavered in his love for me, and my love for him only grows with each day.
[After a few days, my fevers subsided and I am now fully recovered from my run. Also, after some advocating from the Office of Disabilities and the nurse at Stonehill, our carpet has been replaced with hard floors and the mold cleared away!]