Columns

Returning to the Clinic Means Lung Test Anxiety Again

Through the sliding glass doors and down the stairs of the medical plaza, the midday news played — muted, but with captions running — on the TV mounted across from the reception desk. The water fountain hummed. Where I live, case numbers from the COVID-19 pandemic remain high, and medical…

Here Is Why Saying I Have a Dancer’s Body Is Not a Compliment

Someone told me I had a “dancer’s body” the other day, and I pretended it was flattering. “Thank you,” I said, since I hate refuting compliments (and believe intent matters more than execution), but inside I felt conflicted. Gross. Sad. I felt conflicted-gross-sad because the term “dancer’s body” should mean…

I Want to Do More Than Survive in Life After Transplant

Are you living or surviving? Most cystic fibrosis patients have dabbled with this question. To what extent does your health guide your life, rather than love or ambition? I knew the answer back in 2018, but after my bilateral lung transplant in June 2019, things grew complicated. Letting go…

How My Pain Could Make You a Better Person

I’m starting to doubt the reasons why I doubt myself. Let’s start this column in a weird place: constipation. If one of my best friends is constipated (I bet you didn’t think we’d drop BMs into your DMs that fast, did ya?), she might complain a little to me,…

How Others Showed Me Love on My Darkest Days

I’ve witnessed the greatest acts of love at my sickest. Whenever I reflect on how love has shone through on my darkest days, my misty eyes reveal how much someone has touched my life forever. Sept. 30 is National Love People Day. It’s a timely reminder to love others;…


Featured Column

What It’s Like to Have a Family Member in the ICU

Main graphic for "Safe and Sound," Cystic Fibrosis News Today, by columnist Shelby Dell
Five years after her brother, Bradley, fought for his life in the ICU, columnist Shelby Dell reflects on how his hospitalization affected her.

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