Skip to main content

CF cough

Ahh the CF cough. It's recognizable by pretty much every CF patient, family member, and caretaker. "Normal" people tend to run the other direction when they hear our body-shaking coughs, afraid of contacting some horrible cold or flu virus. But alas, we are not contagious. We cannot suppress the urge to cough...and cough...and cough. And we certainly don't need your freaked our stares. We are just CFers, and the distinct cough you may hear is normal for us.

I've had people tell me that they didn't know such a sound like my coughs could come out of such a small person's lungs. When I cough, it's not one of those cutesy coughs that a delicate girl trying to act properly would let escape because of a tickle in her throat. No, I'm the exact opposite. I sound like I'm hacking up a lung. I know what you're thinking--so attractive.

Hence the reason for all the breathing treatments. I feel like I'm constantly doing treatments, maybe because between school, work, and extracurriculars, the free time I have at home must be devoted to my health. It's not like I can skip a treatment here or there very easily, either. If I skip a treatment, my lungs never neglect to let me know they're suffering. Coughing attacks become more frequent, my lungs work twice as hard to circulate air, and exhaustion sets in rather rapidly. I just wish that for one day, I could feel what it feels like to actually breathe, without any constraints, struggles, or coughing. I wish I could skip a whole day of treatments and not notice. I wish I could run a mile without stopping to catch my breath. Just for one day.

That day isn't today. And it's not tomorrow. But maybe, just maybe, it will be soon. For now, I will keep on coughing the recognizable CF cough, doing my treatments, and avoiding the awkward stares from my classmates. In advance, please excuse my cough attacks.


Popular posts from this blog

CF Walk Letter 2018

Dear friends and family,
I hope this letter finds you doing well! My life looks pretty different this year from last year. In May, I graduated with my master’s in communication sciences and disorders. I started working as a speech-language pathologist in June for a company called SpeechCare, and in July, Eric and I got married. That was a very busy couple months! I love my job; I work mainly with adults with intellectual and/or social disabilities to help improve their communication skills. My clients bring me so much joy! I love being able to help them communicate better with others. Eric and I are also loving being married. Living with Cystic Fibrosis has taught us to never take the time we’re given for granted, and we are making sure we soak up all the moments we’re given and go on plenty of fun adventures. 
My health has been a bit of a struggle in the past few years. I had a round of IV antibiotics in May and then again in September and January. I will be starting IVs within the ne…

The day that was yesterday

Wow. What a day yesterday was. Here’s what happened:
At around 4:45, my hand became numb and tingly. Because I’m a knowledgeable SLP, my first thought was “oh my gosh I’m having a stroke”. Although the numbness was my first (and only) symptom, it was so bizarre how my hand just all of a sudden lost feeling in it. About 5-7 minutes into the numbness sensation, it started traveling up my arm and reached about midway up my forearm. Due to my history of a PE and being on Amicar (a blood clotter) right now because of a lung bleed, pretty much the only option was to go to the ER. I called CF clinic, and they confirmed that I should head over there. The ER is the most disgusting place, especially in the middle of cold and flu season. They also apparently have never heard of CF protocol because I had to demand to be put back in a room immediately and for everyone who came in my room to be gowned, masked, and gloved. From the beginning to the end of the 5 hour ER stay, it was pretty disastrous.…

Thankful in the hard times

With a disease like cystic fibrosis, it can be easy to get lost in all the pain, fear, and frustrations and lose sight of what we have to be thankful for. This year has been rough. I started the year with a blood clot, quickly followed by increasing worry about the state of health care in America, all while losing a significant amount of lung function and dealing with way too many lung bleeds. However, no matter how hard the year, I believe it’s always important to reflect on the many blessings we have been given. It’s too easy to wallow in self-pity and pain otherwise. So this post is dedicated to just that—thanking God for all He has given me. 
I’m thankful for... My new husband ❤️. As I’ve said before, many CFers wonder if they will ever find someone who will choose to love them day in and day out with all the stresses that come with cystic fibrosis. Being the spouse of someone with CF is not for the weak or faint of heart. My husband has taken a crash course in medical terms, health…