In 28 years of dealing with CF, I think I've finally gotten pretty used to the concept of prescription drugs and the interactions they often have with my body. In fact, I would say I'm about one prescription refill away from deserving an honorary advanced degree in pharmacology. My medicine cabinet quite literally runneth over, and I'm not expecting that to change anytime soon. Certainly not with transplant, that's for sure.
Yep, I've dealt with the prednisone munchies and albuterol jitters. I've had sun poisoning because of cipro, vomiting after ceftaz, and fevers when faced with zosyn. I was lucky enough to have my tinnitus resolve after just a few weeks off tobra altogether and my kidney function eventually bounced back after the polymyxin, as did my iron and magnesium levels. I don't have a rash or bruising from the blood thinners anymore, and I'm pretty sure that whole oral thrush incident brought on by general antibiotic use is now a thing of the past. Oh, and that whole raspy (whoops, I mean "sexy") CF voice thing from all the inhaled meds? Yep, got that one too.
I'm kind of a side effect junkie, when you think about it.
When I first started dealing with all my prescriptions and refills as an adult I was always super into reading those little print outs that they put in the bag to tell you about all your drugs. Okay, so maybe not for the obvious meds I had been on forever like Pancrease (which, by the way, lists stomach pain as its most common side effect, making it clearly one of the more ironic meds out there) or even Pulmozyme, but definitely with the "newer" drugs like Prednisone and certain antibiotics. I knew which meds were best taken with food, which meds were likely to cause headaches or blood sugar spikes, and which meds meant I had to stay out of the sun at ALL costs.
Not that any of it really mattered, of course, since I had to take the drugs anyway. That's another great part of having CF -- you can educate yourself all you want on potential side effects, but unless something is causing hemo, bronchospasm, or serious allergic reactions, you're not likely to get the go ahead to cross it off your routine. And this makes sense, because really at the end of the day being able to clear the lung goo is more important than the sound of your voice, reducing inflammation trumps the desire to get to sleep at a reasonable hour, and fighting pseudomonas matters a whole lot more than that perfect summer tan. It's not rocket science or self-torture; it's just that the benefits outweigh the costs.
Recently the CF community has lost a lot of wonderful people, all of whom will be missed dearly. It seems like the past couple of weeks have been particularly tough, and to be frank about it all, it sucks. To find a group of people to connect and share information with about CF is such a gift. To then lose members of that family, their spaces left open like missing pieces of a beautiful jigsaw puzzle, is a heart-wrenching experience, to put it mildly. The passing of a friend, or of multiple friends as is (sadly) the case in this instance, from the same disease you're fighting can send you reeling. The side effects of a million strong drugs put together could hardly come close to matching the feeling of having to say, once again, "breathe easy, my friend."
And yet, none of us seems willing to call it quits. There are plenty of opportunities to do so, to shut down our blogs or erase the forums from our browser's memory, to just sign off with a simple "okay, enough, I'm done. I don't need to know anyone else with CF and I don't need to suffer another loss. Thanks for the laughs and the memories guys, but I'm out." And I can only guess that the reason we don't just throw up our hands is that the friendship, the support, and the strong sense of mutual understanding between CFers is a benefit that quite simply outweighs all the potential for loss, pain, and even fear when someone moves on in his or her journey away from this world. In other words, we stay for one very simple reason:
It's worth it.
Cystics don't come with a warning label or an expiration date. There's no handy little print out given to you when you meet a fellow cyster or fibro that spells it all out in clear and simple English.
Warning: PLEASE USE WITH CAUTION as contains mutated genes and may cause deeper understanding of oneself and one's condition, a tendency to share common concerns or medical issues, empathy, and laughing that lead to coughing fits. Other side effects might include friendship, community, and even love.
A serious side effect indeed, but I for one am definitely not giving up my prescription.
- I am a 33-year-old wife, sister, daughter, friend, law school graduate, CFer, lifelong student of public service, blog writer, patient, Sagittarius, reader, Top chef fan, double-lung transplant recipient (twice!), and dog owner living in Colorado's beautiful Mile High City. I love all things colorful, funny, inspiring, or needlessly sarcastic. I share my city with about 2,500,000 other remarkable people, share my disease with 70,000 other beautiful souls, share my life with some unbelievable family and friends, and share my apartment with one very handsome guy and one really fat mutt with a kick-butt personality. We make it work.
About This Blog:
This blog is about me, my life, my sometimes craziness, my disease, and my current journey as a double-lung transplant recipient. It's also a celebration of everyone out there with CF (and other chronic illnesses). It's for you, inspired by you, and dedicated to you -- the community that keeps me writing, living, and breathing.
Want to Contact Me?
Please email me suggestions, thoughts, comments, or criticism. Seriously, I love hearing from you guys!
Send all emails to:
- ► 2013 (30)
- ► 2012 (36)
- ► 2011 (42)
- ► 2010 (117)
- ▼ December (10)
Alternative Medicine Anniversary Antibiotics Anxiety Artwork Attitude Awards/Opportunities Awareness Bacteria Birthday Bronch Career CF Clinic CF Community CF Story CFF Challenge Choices Clot CysticLife Death Diabetes Doctors Donor Bob Drugs Dry Run Education Evaluation Exercise Family Fevers Freematour Frequencer Fun Fundraising Goals Gratitude Great Strides Guest Blog H1N1 Healthcare Heart Hospital ICU Immuno-suppression IVs Lessons Life Listed Loss Marathon Meditation New Year New York Organ Donation Oxygen PFTs Poetry Polymyxin Port Positive Thinking Post-Transplant Prednisone questions rant Recovery Rejection Research Rock CF Sampson Scar Sick Girl Speaks Sickness Side Effects Solvay Cares Stream of Consciousness SVT t-shirts Team Boomer THE Call Therapy Transplant Transplant Clinic Treatments Vertex Waiting Weight Writing