Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Check up and a Challenge

I had a CF check up today to make sure I'm recovering nicely from my disastrous Christmas break. And guess what?! My pulmonary function test result was 2.0 liters (65% lung capacity). That's the first time my PFTs have been that high since October of 2012! I know that PFTs are just a number and that they don't completely define how my health is doing, but boy does it feel good to see that 65% again. 

On a related note, my CF doctor told me today that I'm a superstar, and my picture should go on the clinic's wall because I am so on top of my health. I have always been compliant with my treatments and therapies, which is why I have stayed relatively stable the past 21 years. I know that even when I am compliant, I don't have full control over my health; I could be doing everything I'm supposed to and still decline in lung function. However, I do not understand why or how some people with CF seem to just ignore their disease and refuse to do treatments and take pills. Seriously? You know that treatments and pills keep you healthy. You know that your lung function declines rapidly when you ignore much needed therapies, and when you're put in the hospital for three weeks and are forced to actually take care of yourself, your health "magically" improves. You know that after you get out of the hospital and your PFTs jump 20-30%, you feel significantly better and can function in society. Why then do you decide to let yourself get so sick when you know if you just take care of yourself, your quality of life will most likely improve drastically? Reality check-ignoring your CF does NOT make it go away. As annoying as it is to stay on top of everything you have to do for your health, wouldn't you rather be able to breathe? Wouldn't you rather not suffer severe lung exacerbations because of your own inability to take care of yourself? Wouldn't you like to go to school and have a core group of friends and meet new people and simply enjoy life for as long as you can? I know CF is rough. I know being compliant can be hard when no one understands what you're going through. I know it's frustrating when you're taking care of yourself but seem to decline. I'm not denying any of that. However, I am saying that you have no excuse for refusing to care of your body. Do your treatments. Take your daily intake of pills. Go in the hospital when necessary. Stay up to date on CF research. Please, for your own sake, don't let the disease consume your every thought, but be aware of its effects on your body. You are so valuable. Let that value show by the way you treat your body and care for its needs. 

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