Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Best Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis

I often get asked about the best treatment I use or do when it comes to managing (or as I like to call it, "kicking the crap out of") Cystic Fibrosis. This is probably one of the easiest questions that I get asked. The best treatment for cystic fibrosis is undoubtedly, unequivocally, no doubt about it... the one that you'll actually do and do consistently.

That's the real struggle isn't it? We all know that treatments work. Anyone who says to me that they consistently do treatments and it doesn't seem to help, generally fall into one of two different camps - They've either waited too long to decide to do treatments consistently or they have a hard time telling the truth. Is there somebody out there who has tried every different treatment option available, given it all that they have and still doesn't feel any positive effects from treatments? I'm sure there is. But I'm also sure that that person isn't you and that person isn't me.

Growing up I was good at doing the limited treatment options available to me, because my mom was good at making sure I did them. It wasn't an option in my house to miss a treatment and when I did, I suffered. No, usually not health wise, but, "what-I-wanted-to-do" wise. If I decided that a treatment wasn't going to happen a particular morning or a particular night, my parents then decided what wasn't going to happen for me later that day or the next. That could mean no hanging out with friends, no football practice, or no leaving my room unless it was for school. I'll tell you what, because they were consistent and because what they said they would do, I rarely missed a treatment!

Now, did I nail the doing all my treatment thing when I moved out of my parent's house? Nope. I nailed it about half the time. As a result, I lived about half the quality of life that I would have had I taken care of myself consistently. It wasn't until people came up to say goodbye to me in my ICU room in 2009 that I finally "woke up". The last thing I want for my cysters and fibros out there is that!

So, to my friends out there with cystic fibrosis, stop thinking about it and just do the darn thing! If that darn thing isn't working for you then find another darn thing that will. It may take some effort and commitment on your part but if you're serious about either staying or getting healthy, you can make it happen.

To the parents out there, don't allow your children the option of not doing their treatments. Sure, they can pick what to do, when to do, how to do, or where to do, but they should have no control over the to do or not to do! Follow that? And another thing, start immediately! Don't wait to implement this groundbreaking strategy until they are (fill in the blank) years old. Adherence to treatments starts from the day they are born on and so does non-adherence to treatments.

What treatment option have you found works best for you "kicking the crap out of" Cystic Fibrosis?