Here's the problem with CF, it's not a lung disease. If it only affected the lungs it would be a lot easier. CF is a disease of the cells. They don't work properly. I'll spare you with the science talk and just put it simply. The cells in my body can't regulate a proper balance of water and salt. It's way deeper than that, but that will give you the gist of it. The problem with the cells not doing there job is that it throws off a good portion of the rest of the body. You name the organ, and someway somehow, it is affected by CF. I've had multiple surgeries on my intestines and sinuses, as well as problems with my skin, kidneys, liver, and spleen. For me though, those things aren't the main problem.
The main problem that I have is a bulid up of thick and sticky mucus in my lungs. When there is a ton of mucus in there it makes it harder to breathe not only because your airways are full of junk, but because they are also irritated and swell up. Mucus is also a great place for an infection to be born and hide out. Infections are the main reason I am hospitalized. How do I know that I have something going on? My mucus becomes green, sometimes very dark green, and almost to the point of a brown (especially if I've been coughing up blood, which I'll get into at a later time). I also become very tired, short of breath, and shutter at the site of food. It can all happen very fast too. Once it starts it's really hard to stop. The key is that darn mucus. Generally speaking; No mucus, no problem.
Why did I tell you all of that? Surely not to play the victim or even worse have you feel sorry for me, but to put CF into real life. Let me be real clear: I love my life. Wouldn’t change it. I have learned to “deal” with the consequences of this disease over the last 29 years. I never question “why?” I know why. CF has shaped my life into who I am today. Has there been negatives? Of course! But way more blessings have come my way by having this disease.
One thing to remember is that CF affects thousands of different people in thousands of different ways. I can only tell you my story. I hope to write at least one personal story or thought or opinion a week so you can get to know me better. You can follow my entire journey on www.RunSickboyRun.com.