There is no cure.
Every individual has to deal with school, work, relationships, and becoming an adult. It requires a lot of strength and energy, both physical and mental. When it comes to CF, taking care of your health becomes a full-time job. Sometimes, it involves putting on a brave face for others when you feel emotionally exhausted on the inside. It can take a toll on a person, by knowing that what you are doing is simply sustaining and not curing.
A diagnosis of cystic fibrosis can be a shock at first. It represents a change in day to day life and many individuals tend to experience anger, denial, and confusion. To others, the symptoms and feelings may be overwhelming. The reality of CF is that it is a complex illness. There are several different factors - such as age and genetics - that can affect an individual’s health and the course of their disease. The types and severity of symptoms differ widely from individual to individual. Therefore, although treatment plans may contain many of the same rudiments, most are designed specifically to each individual’s unique case.
It takes time to comprehend and accept the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. A diagnosis of any illness takes getting used to and unfortunately, there is no specific framework to be followed. Still, with today’s rapid technological advancements, it is possible to have access to the best treatment plans. An important first step is to learn about cystic fibrosis and how to manage symptoms.
An individual with cystic fibrosis wants you to know that their illness is real and it is a constant everyday battle. It is not an illness that they develop; it is simply something that they were born with. We all have our moments of weakness and if anything, CF makes most individuals strong-minded, incredibility determined and above all, realists. Things that are easy to most – such as changing bed sheets - may prove more difficult to those with CF due to lack of oxygen and energy. The same can be said for academic achievements and the work environment. This does not mean that they can’t move through personal and career aspirations, it just takes a little extra time. Like anyone, excelling through life can be done with much needed support and patience from family and friends.