31 Days of CF: How I Manage CF with ADHD

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by BNS Staff |

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31 Days of CF

Photo courtesy of Aimee Lecointre

Day 22 of 31

This is Aimee Lecointre’s story:

Cystic fibrosis is hard, for an infinite number of reasons. One area I struggle with is compliance. There’s a lot that goes into managing CF on a daily basis: treatments, medications, exercise, nutrition, sleep, etc. It can all feel overwhelming. 

I also struggle with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). When I was diagnosed with ADHD at 18, a lot of things started to make sense for me. I began to realize why I struggled so much with things that others didn’t, or why I struggled to remember something like taking my enzymes, even though I’ve had to do this my whole life.

Having ADHD has impacted how I manage my health with CF. Often, it interferes with my treatment compliance. It’s not intentional, but it happens. I used to carry a lot of shame about that, so I kept it to myself.

As an adult, I’ve found that having simple morning and evening routines helps ensure I’m taking my meds, eating breakfast, getting in my treatments, and taking time for exercise. These routines are simple and I tweak them as my needs change.

In the beginning, I had an actual checklist to help remind me of everything. When it’s time for Cayston, I set an alarm on my phone to remember that afternoon dose. I have alarms set to help me remember to check my blood sugars. And I even have notes posted in a few places that say things like “Tired? Confused? Shaky? Sweaty? CHECK YOUR BLOOD SUGARS.” 

It might seem silly to some, but these things have made a huge difference for me. If I skip just one part of this routine, I’m likely to let the whole thing slide unintentionally and forget to do things like take my meds or do a treatment.

If you struggle with adherence, just know you aren’t alone. We deal with a lot, and we have lives outside of CF to handle too. Hopefully, you have some tricks to help you, and maybe one of my tips can also help. 

Cystic Fibrosis News Today’s 31 Days of CF campaign will publish one story per day for Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month in May. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofCF, or go here to see the full series. 


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