Tuesday, January 11, 2011

That's the Way It's Supposed To Feel

That describes my attitude towards CF for much of my life. Whether I was short of breath, had lung pain or a bloated stomach, my response was, "well, that's the way it's supposed to feel". As I've "matured" in this CF life, I've realized that I have much more control over this disease than I used to give myself credit for. You see, maturity isn't necessarily what you know, it's what you do with what you know. I've always been up on the latest medicines and treatments offered to the CF community, but I wouldn't be the first in line to take advantage of the "latest and greatest". It's certainly not the case that I didn't care, but in a sense, I didn't want to rock the boat. I felt fine. That's pretty common for us isn't it? Feeling fine. We figure that if we're not feeling horrible, we're ahead of the game. We get used to feeling "just ok" and that quickly becomes our normal while feeling "pretty good" becomes the peak of which we think is possible and feeling "awesome" seems out of reach.

This couldn't be more true in regards to my digestive enzyme choice over the years. I was taking the same PEP (pancreatic enzyme product) for as long as I can remember and because I never had much trouble putting on or maintaining weight, I figured it was doing it's job. Problem is, a PEP should be that and so much more. While I was maintaining weight, I did my best to ignore all of the stomach pain, bloating, inconsistent stools and frequent runs to the bathroom. It had been occurring for so long I figured it was "just the way I was supposed to feel". It wasn't until my hand was forced that I ever even thought about switching enzymes. I mean, why rock the boat right?

When the new FDA regulations came out regarding PEPs, I had no choice but to hop off the sinking ship that I was sailing. I had heard rumblings in the CF community about a new enzyme hitting the market called Zenpep. After doing a little bit of research on my own, I decided to approach my doctor with the information I had uncovered and suggested that I make the switch. He agreed and my journey with Zenpep has been a good one. Instead of being bloated after every meal, I now only look pregnant if I over do it on fast food or pizza (I'd assume that falls in the category of- it's that way for everybody). My stools have become more consistent and it doesn't feel like I'm sitting on a toilet for most of the day. I'm still maintaining myweight, but like I said, that's never been an issue for me.
The biggest thing that Zenpep has done for me was made me realize that "that's NOT the way I have to feel". I got stuck in the "just the way it is" mentality and it was that little blue and white pill that snapped me back into reality. Things CAN change. You DON'T have to settle for "just ok". You DO have options when it comes to PEPs and other meds. I'm very happy that I made the switch to Zenpep and so far, there's no looking back...

...I just wish I would have woken up sooner.