No matter how many times my parents, my friends, or my therapist insist that having cystic fibrosis is a full-time job, I can never seem to internalize the concept. When I’m healthy, walking to class is easy, I sleep through the night, and my bones rest beneath my skin. How can a body this functional be a full-time job? Why does everyone say CF is so hard when, at least right now, life’s kind of a breeze?
It’s because things change. That breeze grows, swirls, and morphs into a hurricane. It’s because the waves swell and begin to crash and swallow. When life is comfortable, it’s easy to forget discomfort ever existed — and that it will inevitably exist again.
Now, I’m talking to myself as much as I’m talking to you guys right now (probably more, actually), but do not let the combination of ambition and good health distract you. Do not let it deceive you into believing your self-care is optional.
Feeling healthy enough to go to the gym doesn’t warrant a three-hour lift sesh that distracts you from eating dinner. Studying is good, but studying in the library from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. is not. When the going gets tough, the tough get going — but when the going gets easy, the tough still need to keep going!
It’s time for a check-in. When was the last time you …
- Ate a home-cooked meal?
- Ate any meal?
- Brushed your teeth?
- Had a conversation with someone?
- Did your treatments or physical therapies?
- Took your pills?
- Cleaned your space?
- Exercised or stretched?
- Changed your clothes?
- Did laundry?
- Went outside?
- Washed your nebulizer pieces?
- Touched base with your doctor?
- Turned off your computer or closed your book?
If it’s been an unusually long time since you’ve done one or more of these things, be careful — you might be on a self-destructive path.
Feeling good is an effective motivator. Invigorated by energy and strength, we can’t help but want to get to work and make our dreams come true! But as I constantly need to remind myself, you won’t be able to enjoy the products of your dreams unless you’re alive to see them. Sacrificing the “then” for the “now” may feel good at the moment, and it might even make you feel normal (for once, am I right?), but in the long run, it’s not the smart choice.
There ain’t no rest for the wicked sicked, friends. Now go do your treatments!
Note: Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cystic Fibrosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cystic fibrosis.
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