Meeting Connie’s Family

This past Friday, December 11th, was an important milestone in my life. I met my donor Connie’s husband and mom, Dan and Sandy. Though we’d been in touch via phone and letters, Friday was our first face-to-face visit. This is something I’ve been looking forward to since I had the transplant. I always knew that I would want to be in contact with the family of my donor. I felt that it would be important for everyone involved to see the full circle of this miracle.

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I was only slightly nervous to meet these generous, kind, courageous people because I already felt a connection with them. I could tell they were wonderful folks, because it had been proven in their darkest hour, when they bravely chose to save the lives of many people by giving the gift of a multiple organ donation. Connie had decided to be a donor long before the issue became necessary for the family to discuss, and by doing so she made it possible for them to rest easily with their decision.

The moment I hugged Dan and Sandy, my heart felt whole. It was as if the final section of this chapter in my life story was written, wrapped up and tied neatly in a bow. Not really an ending, but rather a precursor to the next part of the book. And there are so many pages yet to be written! Thanks to Connie and her family, I have the opportunity to continue to live and write, and write and live.

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It was wonderful to meet Connie’s mom Sandy, and Connie’s husband Dan.

We shared our stories and pieced together the days from Connie’s passing through the process of both our surgeries; theirs one of solemn grief and selfless courage, mine a story of ultimate gratitude and triumph over hardship. It’s strange to me how mathematical the situation can seem, though. We are both human, Connie and I, but my left brain can’t help but look at the sterile neutrality of it all. One negative plus one positive equals zero. But that can’t be correct; this is only my logical thinking. My right brain and all of my emotive side knows that this was not a zero-sum case. I gained so much, and it makes it difficult to walk this earth knowing that I’ll never meet my real hero, who is someone who should, by all rights, still be here. I’ve had dilemmas of worthiness, but I’ve come to realize that perhaps I deserve a second chance at life just as much as any other lung transplant patient. More than ever, therefore, I now feel a purpose and ambition to live a full life with a grateful heart. For Connie, and for myself. I didn’t make it this far to fall into mediocrity. I have the desire to soar, and right now I’m working hard to get back to full strength and ready to spread my wings again.

Dan and Sandy were extremely supportive and kind. We talked like old friends and I learned a bit about the kind of person Connie was. They also shared photos of her with me, and she was beautiful- a petite woman with dark blonde hair and dazzling greenish eyes. I’m guessing it was difficult for them to relive Connie’s passing and think of the void she left behind, but they didn’t focus on such grief. Their words reflected an attitude of love and faith that things happened for a reason. Graciously, both Dan and Sandy told me how they believed we were all family now, and I truly felt accepted by them. Sandy said I could be her youngest daughter, which meant a lot to me. I felt very comforted in their presence. If ever I need to remember why I’m here, I can draw strength from my family, old AND new. I’m so incredibly blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life, and I look forward to growing closer to Connie’s family over time.

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My angel, Connie.

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The Lung Transplant Diary

The Journey Continues…

Things are quite a bit more settled than when I last wrote in August. Circumstances required me to be hospitalized again for a few weeks. I was really uneasy and anxious this time because I had grown too weak to do much of anything. With my huge 30th birthday party quickly approaching, I needed to be recovered enough to first get out of the hospital and situated at home again. I worked hard, but progress was slow to non-existent. Even though I wasn’t truly ready, I got discharged and went home the week before my party. Back in my house, I was severely debilitated and deconditioned. I spent nearly all of my time in a recliner since I was virtually unable to walk or stand up. Still, I was dead-set on enjoying my birthday.

The party was AMAZING and there were over a hundred wonderful people there to help me celebrate both my lung transplant and my 30th birthday. I really felt special just knowing how many people cared. I was wheelchair bound but I was still able to dance around from the chair thanks to some great friends who helped wheel me around the dance floor. I thought that this would be the start of a hospital-free future, at least for a while. I was wrong.

I wound up needing to stay in the hospital for a couple weeks sometime between September and October (by now, I’ve lost track of when/why each hospitalization occurred). If I remember correctly, I was discharged a few weeks before Halloween (my FAVORITE holiday). This was the most recent hospital stay. I’ve only been back to Madison for checkups since then, which is a great leap forward for me! So, that’s my last few months in a nutshell. I’m still working on my strength and endurance and dealing with some fierce lower-back pain, but I’ve come a very long way just since August. And if I may say so, I’m proud of myself.

Sharing this long, hard transplant journey through my writing has been quite a healing mechanism for my soul. I feel the need for my family and friends to be a part of such important milestones in my life and the only logical way I know to do this is by bringing everyone around the proverbial campfire to hear me tell the story. Perhaps this is a way to make the whole experience more real to me because sometimes I feel like this year has been a dream. I need only look at my scars, feel the cool air circulate in my new lungs, or remember my donor and her family, however, in order to remember that all of these blessings have truly come to me. This is REAL life, and it’s getting better every day.

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The Lung Transplant Diary

Back into the “Real World”

Being such a fragile patient so recently discharged, my pulmonary team, the surgeons, and my coordinator decided that I shouldn’t leave the Madison area any time soon. On March 13th, I was sent out into the “real” world to live at a hotel. Since I was still unable to eat normal food or drink liquids because of my vocal cord paralysis, I needed to stay in a hotel room with a kitchenette so I could prepare my own food and drink. We were fortunate enough to find a clean comfortable room in a good part of town, where I lived until I had to be re-hospitalized on April 6th. It had only been about a week since the final two chest tubes had been removed, and I began having a great deal of difficulty with fluid retention in my lungs. I was increasingly short of breath, and my lungs had a small amount of air around them. These circumstances were obviously NOT conducive to the immediately spectacular outcomes to which I had aspired.

So on the 6th, I went back to UWH, where my fluid levels were managed until I was back on track to recovery. The doctors also had to tweak some of my medications in order to boost my white blood count, and to control my blood thinners. It’s common to need to switch or re-dose transplant medications, and it’s always a balancing act between how the body reacts and how the meds affect it.

Until April 14th, I stayed in the hospital in order to navigate the bumps in the road that needed to be addressed; afterwards I returned to the hotel in which we’d been living until I was FINALLY deemed safe to return “home” home to Iron River (called such since so many other places have unfortunately become like other homes to our family) on April 17th. This was not to last, much to my dismay; by April 24th I was having difficulty breathing again and my oxygen saturation was dipping rapidly. I rushed to Iron River’s local hospital, and was promptly set up for a helicopter air ambulance ride. When I arrived at the UW Hospital, I was put back on the ventilator in the Trauma & Life Support Center (TLC) for the FOURTH time. Given enough time and some changes in medications, my lungs began to cooperate again, though, so that I was able to be moved to the “normal” part of the hospital where I had stayed in the initial days of my transplant (the B4/5 unit).

We thought I was out of the woods, but we were incredibly mistaken. Apparently, at some point after Mother’s Day, I took a real turn for the worst. I began coughing up blood and needed to be moved BACK to TLC and put on the ventilator for a 5th time (the pattern gets pretty monotonous here). This time, however, my body was laid face-down in a prone position in an attempt to take some of the pressure off of my exhausted lungs. I was kept this way from May 15th through the 17th while my family and doctors prayed that I would make it through another bout of illness.

I recovered eventually, and was moved back to the general care of B4/5 for a few days. After I was released THIS time, I moved into a wonderful place called the “Restoring Hope Transplant House”. Almost like a bed-and-breakfast for those who are involved in the transplant process, the house was a comforting place to regain some normalcy in my new life. It would be much too difficult to describe how incredible this house was/is, so I will simply note that I caught glimpses of the great life to come while living there. When I was allowed to leave Madison again and make a go of it in Iron River (June 16th) for the second time, I really missed those who run the house because they were my family now.

In order to spare some of the tedium of the revolving door narrative of my time in and out of the hospital, I’ll simply note that I’ve only been home to Iron River on three separate occasions since my transplant was completed in February- while I’ve been in the hospital SIX times, if I’ve counted correctly. Each time I’m hospitalized, my doctors edge a little closer to understanding what is going wrong just when I believe I’m improving. However, it seems that before I can fully recuperate (or even partially regain some significant measure of health) I am knocked down again by some unforeseen complication. Such has become the way I live, but only for now. Anyone who is familiar with bilateral lung transplants (especially for those with Cystic Fibrosis) tells me that the first year is hell, but after that things do improve and life is truly miraculous. I cling to that promise every moment that I’m awake.

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The Lung Transplant Diary

The Lung Transplant Diary

When I last wrote, I was on the lung transplant list, but I can’t really say that I was waiting for lungs. I wasn’t expecting to be called for many months. Before I dive into the last four chaotic months of my life, I must disclose that my most recent post (December 2014) left me in limbo on the transplant list. However, there was a communication error on my part and it turns out I wasn’t officially listed until January 7, 2015. I only note this because it means that I was listed for transplant a miraculously meager 30-some days before my time came. It’s one thing to know logically that “the call” is coming, but it’s another state of being to actually live with the constant notion that any minute could ignite my new life. I don’t really know where or how to begin a recap of the last four months, however. I want to share my story in all its ups and downs in the hope that I might reach someone and inspire them to be a donor. Without my donor, I might not have been here this year- certainly not a few years from now.

New Lungs Test-Drive

I should start by expressing my ultimate gratitude for the chance to have a new life with new lungs. My donor is my angel. I’m so extremely fortunate. I have as yet been unable to find the words to convey my gratitude to my donor’s family. I’m also incredibly blessed by a phenomenal support system, at the forefront of which is my family. They have been with me through everything and I’d be lost without them. My entire community has also shown me such love and kindness- through their faith and encouragement, I always knew someone was thinking of me and praying. Although this quest has tested me in ways I thought I couldn’t handle, I am STILL HERE. I’m still standing. I’m perpetually working on myself and my health. There is nothing static about my life; things can happen in the blink of an eye.

“The call” happened mid-afternoon, in quite a casual way on February 10, 2015. My mom had just hung up the phone after scheduling my next clinic visit with the Madison pulmonary care team. I therefore almost didn’t answer my phone when my transplant coordinator Kelly called me a few moments later and nonchalantly inquired as to whether I’d “want to have a lung transplant” that day. She could have been reading the want-ads out loud, for as calm as she was. My body began to shake violently as I tried to digest this weighted question. My mom saw my eyes develop into wide saucers as Kelly imparted to me a last few pieces of advice and direction before I jumped into action. Luckily my mom was home early from work for the day, and my dad was working in the woods (a self-employed logger) no more than 20 minutes from home. After ransacking the house, trying to plan and pack for something so momentous, the three of us were on the road in about 45 minutes. I also called my sister Sarah (Dr. Carlson, actually) and she immediately booked a flight to meet us in Madison.

From this point on, timelines get blurred and some events seem fuzzy because of the nature of the whole ordeal. Medications, emotions, and situations changed how I perceived things, and changed my reality of things so one can imagine how difficult it was and still is to sort out everything that’s occurred.

Waiting for surgery

Waiting for surgery

The transplant itself went extremely well, I’m told. I was taken into surgery late on February 11th and it was finished about 8 hours later on the 12th. In a quick recap of events, I began this first transplant hospital stay by spending about 2½ weeks post-transplant on the transplant unit until I grew well enough to transfer to the rehabilitation unit, where I worked on strength, endurance, and stretching exercises for an additional week. After multiple hurdles and triumphs, I was discharged on March 13th to stay at a Madison hotel.

After surgery

After surgery

This is obviously the abridged version of the odyssey that has become my story. In more detail, the surgeons and those whom assisted with the transplant were pleased with the results, and within the first 6 hours after the surgery, they decided that they could take me off the ventilator (the breathing machine) and let me breathe on my own. As is turns out, my body was just not quite strong enough to breathe for itself. I was struggling too much and needed more oxygen than I could obtain on my own, so the next day the surgical team had to sedate and reintubate me (put the ventilator’s breathing tube back into my windpipe). After a few days on the ventilator, the team tried it again- they took out the tube and I felt great. I even got up and walked to the nurses’ station with assistance. As I’ve learned, though, anything worth having is not usually easily attained- I started to backslide again and I had to be re-reintubated (that’s the third time, if you count the initial intubation). After my body could rest some more, I was finally able to be taken off the ventilator for the final time. I don’t really recall much of that time after the transplant, but I do remember that simply walking a few yards was incredibly difficult. My weakened body had to push itselfself mentally and physically with the encouragement of my family; if I wouldn’t/couldn’t get up and keep moving about, I might end up back on the ventilator. I can’t credit my determination alone, though, because with every step of the way, there were people cheering me on and assuring me that my progress was nothing less than stellar.

First walk!

First walk!

At some point among the multiple intubations, my vocal cords were damaged. I found I was unable to speak above a whisper, and therefore swallowing was also precarious. Because my vocal folds wouldn’t close all the way, any small food particles or liquids could go down my wind pipe into my new lungs instead of into my esophagus and then stomach as it’s supposed to happen. If anything were to accidentally get into my lungs, it could cause very severe pneumonia to develop, which would be detrimental to such new and fragile organs. Therefore, no eating or drinking. This whole situation was only one of many complications that arose after the transplant surgery. I also developed a deep blood clot in my neck/upper arm region from having an IV placed in my jugular vein. This seemingly small problem posed larger problems further down the road.

Two of the chest tubes that were placed into my lungs were left in to drain all the fluid that collected as I recovered. (I had come out of surgery with 5 chest tubes.) They wouldn’t stop draining even after I left the hospital to stay at a hotel, and the doctors didn’t want to pull them out too soon and have the fluid collect in my lungs. After 50-odd days with these painful, inconvenient tubes, the doctors took a leap of faith and pulled them with the hopes that my lungs would acclimate to the fluid and eventually equalize. I would have no such luck. Approximately a week passed before the fluid was too much for my lungs and caused me to be short of breath and gain an excess of water weight. This caused me to be hospitalized for a second time. I didn’t fully know, even at that point, how much harder this journey would become.

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Finally Listed

Lately I’ve been trying to digest the idea of my impending lung transplant. Every other thought in my head is of the transplant. Questions that I never thought I’d have to ponder now swim in my consciousness. The most tiny detail can derail an entire morning. I find myself snapping at unrelated problems- those that would have never been an issue on their own but echo heavily now in the light of this enormous event. My fingernails and cuticles have been anxiously chewed to the point that they’re bloody and raw. I seek reassurance that this will all turn out okay while simultaneously dismissing such solace for fear of being too optimistic. In short, I feel like a basket case.

While hospitalized at Madison’s UWHC in October, my doctors and I collectively decided that I didn’t need to get put on the lung transplant list immediately. I was sick but not critically so. This was a relief to me, seeing as I was still having a hard time getting on board emotionally. I was torn between wanting to be listed ASAP so I could be that much closer to taking my first breath with healthy lungs, and hoping to delay this entire process and push it all to a corner of my mind. It seemed I had more fear than faith. I was in need of a sign, a symbol, something that would tell me unequivocally that it was the right time to get listed.

I hadn’t even been home from my October stint at the UW hospital for a month when it became obvious that I needed to be admitted again. (This latest span ran from Nov. 24th to December 9th ; with another two weeks under my belt, I’m back home awaiting the New Year.) Getting sick again so quickly indicates that my body, and the germs that infect it, are no longer responding to the IV medications that are available. There’s not much any doctor can do anymore for me. It’s scary to think that I mostly likely won’t “get better” to the extent that I used to. I might just maintain a very meager baseline. It’s quite possible that until I get my transplant, I will mostly be homebound (or hospital-bound when I’m acutely sick), struggling to breathe, needing to wear oxygen, clinging to the hope that I will get “new” lungs in time. Which also means I’m inadvertently hoping that someone will no longer need those lungs, which means some family’s awful tragedy will be the answer to my family’s prayers. Miraculously, I can be given new life where another life has ended.

After doing a lung function test when I first arrived at the hospital, I learned that my numbers were even lower than when I was sick last time. Because I felt so shitty, I knew that these numbers were appropriately representative of my worsening condition. They reflected the persistent wheezing and gurgling of my labored breathing; the loud, harsh coughing; the inability to physically exert myself in any way; and the copious amounts of phlegm that accompany each cough. If I had needed a sign that it was time to get listed, this was it. My mom and doctors voiced their opinions, which coincided with my own thoughts- I should list now before I become too critically ill.

When I told one of my transplant coordinators that I was ready to be listed, they contacted my insurance to get approval, and had all of the “i”s dotted and the “t”s crossed. I officially accepted the offer to be put on the transplant list on Tuesday, December 9th. I felt as if I should have had to sign my name in blood in some momentous ceremony. All I did was give my verbal consent. A couple of emotion-charged tears were shed by more than one, and I immediately began going over the possible scenarios that could take place- both good and bad. Since that fateful moment, I’ve been struggling to put the details out of my mind and just remember that this transplant is going to save my life, and make it worth living. Period.

Life will never be the same now. Until the actual surgery takes place, I will be tied to my cell phone, obligated to answer any and all phone calls. Because there is only a four-hour window for me to get to UWHC, I will need to be ready to go within approximately 30 minutes so I can drive an hour to a nearby town and get on a life flight with a service that I’ve been in touch with. From there I will fly about an hour to Madison. (Unless there is extra time to drive the 5 hours that it takes to get there.) Once I get to the hospital, I’ll hand my life over to a team of experts and pray that all goes well. What happens then is largely unforeseen…

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Getting Listed

Before I get to the good news, I think it’s crucial to write about the last few months and what took place in that time. This is the much abridged version of events, however, seeing that I need to get everyone up to speed. Yet even if I had the luxury of time and space, I couldn’t possibly describe all that has transpired or all the emotions I’ve experienced since last I wrote. Bear with me here.

During my stay at the UW Madison Hospital this past February (see “I Hate CF”, posted February 24th, 2014) it was suggested that I complete a lung transplant evaluation just to see where I might fall on the list of others awaiting a transplant. Even though the infection I had in February was quite severe, I wasn’t thinking that I would really need to put myself on the list any time too soon.We simply wanted to present my case to the transplant team to see if I could even qualify to be listed at all.

So, we set the evaluation up for the second week of June. By the time I was set to return to Madison for the evaluation, I had realized I was at a point where I needed to get on the list. It was no longer a matter of experimentation. Things were now more serious. Therefore, the results of the tests I underwent would be of utmost importance. The evaluation was a four-day process to test, monitor, check, evaluate, and investigate all that is necessary to know about me when being considered for a transplant, including CT scans of my sinuses and chest, X-Rays, blood work, dental exam, acid reflux testing, heart catheterization, psychological consult, financial consult, cultures of my mucus, bone density scan, etc.

It was a bit taxing and extremely overwhelming, but I made it through the evaluation unscathed. Back at home, I assumed it would be at least a few weeks before the team could process my numbers and make their decision as to whether or not I could qualify to be put on the list. It took 4 days. I got the call in the afternoon.

My little balloon of hope burst when the transplant coordinator informed me that the team met and there was a problem. My sinuses showed some kind of infection or scarring or something. I could hardly focus on her voice after I heard that I was not able to be listed- things got muffled in my own head. My mom saw the dismay on my face, so she took over the call and spoke with the coordinator. We decided that another visit to Madison was necessary in order to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist (ENT). I felt hopeless. My sinuses seem to always be infected, so my worry was that this chronic problem would keep me from ever being put on the transplant list.

After analyzing my CT scans and looking into my frontal sinuses with a probing camera device that was pushed up my nostrils, it didn’t take very long for my ENT to conclude that my sinuses were actually pretty clear. He said there was no obvious infection and no real reason to operate on my sinuses, although after having had 5 sinus surgeries, a 6th wouldn’t have phased me. This was the outcome I was hoping for, even if it was the same one I had doubted would happen. (My credo: “Hope for the best but expect the worst.”) My ENT said he would pass along his findings to my transplant team, giving them the last piece of a puzzle that would hopefully show my need for this transplant. As far as I knew, there was nothing else standing in the way of me getting put on the transplant list. I felt cautiously triumphant. Again, I went home and waited by the phone.

Approximately one month later, on September 11th,the nation mourned and remembered those whose lives were lost. That same day, my life was potentially given a second chance, should I accept such a gift. My transplant coordinator called me again with a question that was so simple, it was much out of proportion to the weight that the answer would hold: “So, do you want to be put on the list for a lung transplant?”

This was the huge, life-changing question I’d been waiting for. Its immensity held sway over my every thought. The answer, though, had seemed straightforward until I was finally asked. Now, many things ran through my head. Too many. Especially when I was told that the list was relatively short at that point. I wasn’t quite ready. I decided to hold off on accepting a place on the transplant list. I explained that I was extremely thankful and honored to be offered this opportunity. However, I felt as though I needed to talk to my family, become more educated about the process, talk to someone who has had a lung transplant, and make sure I was emotionally ready. To be clear, I will say “yes”. It’s just a matter of when. Once I affirm that I want to be listed, there is no room for passivity. That is why I believe it’s prudent to wait until I’ve completely wrapped my head around the idea.

A transplant is such a bittersweet transaction. Like two souls exchanged, one life for one death. Am I worthy of this extraordinary gift? Can I live as good a life as the one whose breath I will breathe? Are we playing God? These are but a few of the thoughts that I am able to snatch out of the swift currents of my mind.

I am getting sicker, though. Once again I am writing this from my hospital room in the UW Madison Hospital. That’s my reality, so I don’t have long before I must list myself. Every few months now I feel a marked decline in my ability to breathe. Oxygen often eludes me- something invisible and intangible that makes or breaks me daily. This explains my absence on this blog. I’m often SO exhausted that my fingers can barely press hard enough on the keys of my laptop to relay my thoughts into text. I’m told that if I receive a lung transplant, I will have more energy and be able to breathe like a normal person. I just can’t fathom such a gift. However, it seems as though that dream is not as far off as I had thought.


If you are not an organ donor yet, please go to your state’s donor registry website and sign up today! As of October 18th, 2014, there are 123,938 people waiting for an organ that will save their lives. Some do not get that gift in time because the demand for organs is greater than the supply. Even if you have it marked on your driver’s license that you’d like to be a donor, the only way to be certain that your wishes will be carried out is to register yourself on the appropriate site. Don’t wait; BECOME A DONOR TODAY!

Michigan Donor Registry: www.giftoflifemichigan.org

Wisconsin Donor Registry: www.donorregistry.wisconsin.gov

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CF Awareness in May

May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month. This is wonderful news; cystic fibrosis needs to be brought into the spotlight in order to attract more donors and fund more research. I’m somewhat stuck in a paradox when it comes to my cystic fibrosis. I live in a small town where everyone knows everything about everyone else, right down to his/her blood type and driver’s license number. So I would think that people would freely raise awareness for cystic fibrosis, knowing that someone in their little community would benefit. On the other hand, since cystic fibrosis is so rare (only about 30,000 people in the United States have CF), most people in my area of the world don’t know anyone besides my family and me who’s been affected by it, so they may choose to support other charities. And therein lies my frustration.

I would really like to see cystic fibrosis get more publicity, but some other diseases are much more familiar to the ordinary person than CF is; cancer, asthma, muscular dystrophy, etc. These seem to take up the general public’s awareness and charitable feelings, leaving little room for CF to get recognized and receive donations. I have to admit that I kind of resent this. For example, when I see all the windows at my local grocery store overflowing with paper ribbons representing dollar donations for other illnesses, I feel saddened; when it comes time for the CF ribbons to be sold, they barely cover one window pane. It’s hard to see this without feeling a lump in my throat. I just wish that more people understood the disease with which I live; I don’t want every cough of mine to be confused with a severe cold, I’d like to be able to huff and puff while climbing a set of stairs without people assuming I’m smoker, and life would be SO much easier if the majority knew that CF entails much more than coughing and taking handfuls of pills.

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Cystic fibrosis affects many different parts of the body. 

Perhaps it’s my own fault, however, that my community is only now learning about my cystic fibrosis. Until I got to high school, I refused to talk about CF. For some reason, I was embarrassed to have been born with something so serious, something that I didn’t understand- I didn’t know why I had to do so many treatments, take so much medication, and have so many appointments with my doctor. I hated that part of me, because I viewed it as a weakness. When I developed CF-related Diabetes just before my Freshman year, though, I could hide it no longer. So I began to explain what was really wrong with me, and dispelled so many rumors about cystic fibrosis and the role it played in my life. Now I want to shine a light into every dark corner of CF so it can be fully comprehended, and so those with CF can be understood in turn.

I think one aspect of CF that is most misinterpreted is the life expectancy of CF patients. The truth is, it’s disconcerting to think that had I been born even 5 years sooner than I was, my final days might have been upon me right about now. In fact, it was only in the 1950s when those born with cystic fibrosis weren’t expected to live long enough to begin elementary school. The median life expectancy does improve slightly with each year that passes. Right now, about half of all CF patients survive beyond their late 30s to early 40s, which obviously means that half don’t. And meanwhile, we get sicker. This is unacceptable, and I feel the need to educate people about CF so more people will donate to CF charities that are working on a cure.

So, this month, I want to ask everyone to think of cystic fibrosis and the people that are affected by it. Make yourself more aware of this shitty disease; visit any of the following websites to learn more about cystic fibrosis, and how/when you can help the cause.

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http://www.cff.org/ -An awesome website with everything you could ever need to know about CF, as well as a link where you can donate.

http://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/about-cf/what-is-cystic-fibrosis/?lang=en -This site is from Canada, but still has some great information about CF.

http://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/ -This site is from the UK, but it’s very useful and has lots of important information about CF.

Go to http://blausen.com/?Topic=9262 to see a short video about CF.

http://www.medicinenet.com/cystic_fibrosis/article.htm

http://www.healingwell.com/library/cysticfibrosis/info2.asp 

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