I’ve wanted to talk about this for a long time…
For a long time, this blog has been an outlet for things I love and want to be apart of. So apologies for the slightly dark turn we are about to take. That’s because this post hits home… BIG TIME! It’s certainly not a sob story on how difficult life can be but rather shed light on some issues that are often thrown under the rug.
To those of you who have never heard of it before, CF is a genetic disease that attacks all vital organs (primarily the lungs and pancreas) with thick, sticky mucous, blocking various air passages and tubes. Because of this we are much more prone to chest infections and serious illnesses. There is no cure, it can be terminal.
From ages nil to 11 I was ok with it all. I was open about it, my friends would come and visit me hospital, and I would openly cry with friends when my numbers weren’t looking to good. Cue: High school. At the time, it is a person’s most exciting and terrifying aspect of life. I had left a public primary school where I had made friends when I was eight years old, and making friends was easy, and was moving to one of the most prestigious private schools in the state where I knew no one.
For the first two years, like any student it was a struggle. A struggle to make new friends and ‘be cool’, a struggle with school work and underestimating the massive jump I would have to make from a public education to a private education where I had to work harder to not only pass but excel to the schools standards, and a struggle keeping on top of my health. Doing all those mind-numbingly boring treatments, choking down copious amounts of pills.
Come senior school and I had done pretty well. I had caught up academically, found myself a wonderful group of friends and my health had been in decent condition… until year 10 where I developed CF-related diabetes.
This was probably one of the biggest hits I had ever taken in my life. Mentally, and physically, I deteriorated fast. Contrary to popular belief of my family and friends, to me, my future was starting to look hazy. I started to look towards accepting defeat rather than conquering. My mum had always told me that we will beat CF but that’s not how I saw it anymore. I didn’t see myself finishing my degree, walking down the aisle, having children or growing old. I instead saw a hospital bed and my mind didn’t venture beyond 5 years.
I. WAS. DEVASTATED!
After years of trying SO hard and overcoming one hurdle after the other, I was tired. I just wanted to be happy and care-free.
So what changed? Nothing major if I’m being honest. I didn’t experience any life-changing epiphany, nor was it an over night change of mind-set. It took many months of little sleep, eating, socialising and treatment before I slowly realised that this is not how I want to go. Over time I attended as much of uni as I could and didn’t do too bad in my grades. Got back into the swing of meeting new people (thanks to Haileybury I had gained a world of confidence when it came to experiencing new things), and I found some new hobbies (travelling and horse riding). Step by step I slowly re-taught myself how to create a balance between the life I wanted and the life I had to accept. And bit by bit I slowly started to improve, I’m still not 100% but I’m getting there and with the festive season now upon us I am all at once feeling happy and healthy (a rare combination).
So why am I telling you all this? There’s no one reason. This blog was made for that reason to help me. So why not let it help other people. I have met so many other CF people in my time and would love to meet more. Make both them and myself feel less alone, to raise awareness, express, to be honest I’m not entirely sure. But I know I wanted to write something so I have.