I did not trust the process. I was impatient. A common theme with technological advancements is the expectation of instantaneous results. How many times have you heard someone tell you to “Just give it time”? That’s easier said than done.
We started walking to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation 30 years ago. It took that long to get where we are today. Our friends and family never gave up on us. Yet here I was giving up on myself. I used to have long conversations on the phone with my childhood CF pen pal about our hope for a cure. One day we’d talk about the endless possibilities, and the next we would share our disappointment about another failed trial.
We had many reasons to doubt the process. Over time, I watched my CF friends slowly pass away. My health was on a steep decline, even though I was putting more effort than ever into staying healthy. Despite all of it, I continued to raise money for CF research, participate in clinical trials, and do everything I could to preserve my health.
A couple of years ago, I had to retire my service dog and start the process of training his successor. This involved starting over from scratch with a puppy — a squirmy little fluff ball eager to explore the world.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of raising a puppy or training a service dog, you may not realize the range of emotions it brings out in you. There is the excitement of the first few months at home, when you’re playing and getting to know each other. During that time you’re the puppy’s entire world.
Before you know it, you have a teenager on your hands. They spend several days, months even, with their head in the clouds. They seem to forget everything you’ve taught them.
But you keep at it: training, teaching, and bonding. The process is frustrating and tests your patience to its limits. It feels as if you’ve taken too many steps backward.
I remember being in the thick of teenage hormones with Felix, my poodle and current service dog. I had so many nights when I would rip my hair out with frustration. We had our nightly routine: get ready for bed, jump in bed.
Finn, my other dog that I had realized was unsuitable for service work, would follow, then Felix would jump up and start grooming Finn. Finn would get annoyed. I would rip Felix off him and then crate the punk for the night.
This happened for weeks. It got to the point where I would lie in my bed and wonder if this stage would last forever. One day, I realized that it hadn’t happened in a week.
Eventually, your puppy’s hormones calm down and everything clicks into place. They become attentive and helpful — all of your hard work has paid off.
I have felt hopeless at many points in my life, as if my hard work toward a goal was all for nothing. However, it feels good to have stayed true to my goals. Although I’ve had losses and hardships along the way, I’ve kept going.
Your efforts may seem for naught now, but trust the process. Stay true to your goals. It will be worth it in the end.
» Follow my journey at “The Living, Breathing Wendy.” «
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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