31 Days of CF: Navigating the Seasons of CF with Grace

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31 Days of CF

Photo courtesy of Teresa Sutter

Day 17 of 31

This is Teresa Sutter’s story:

“I don’t let my disability get in the way of me living my life.” I’m sure we’ve all heard iterations of this statement that, though well-intentioned, can cause feelings of guilt or inferiority when we are, in fact, limited at times by cystic fibrosis. 

For me, there was the season in my life with CF when I was hospitalized five times, for a total of 12 weeks, over an 18-month period. At that time, I was limited in my ability to be the mother to my new baby that I thought I should be. 

There was the season of my life with CF when, after an episode of massive hemoptysis, I was told I should not travel to any parts of the world that did not have access to good healthcare. Because of my husband’s work, my family and I have spent a lot of time throughout the years in Central America and to be told I might never safely travel there again was devastating, and felt very limiting. 

Fortunately, because of the way my body has responded to Trikafta, this season of my life with CF feels very different. Currently, I am not limited to hospital stays and travel restrictions. This season of my life has allowed me the health necessary for our family to buy a farm, on which I work hard every day taking care of my garden and animals, restoring my old home, and taking care of my four kids. 

We all will go through different seasons of our lives with CF. Some will be harder than others, some will be more limiting than others. I hope that no matter what season we are in, we will give ourselves, and each other, the space to grieve the limitations, the permission to hope for a better season, and the strength to find the joy in the season in which we currently find ourselves.

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.