Columns

If You Need a Miracle Today, Read This

“What should I write my column about?” This is what I asked my Tiny Dancer the other day, while mass-prepping as many columns as possible before having surgery on my cervical spine. This is my third spine surgery in less than a year. You’ll likely be reading this…

How COVID-19 Has Changed the Rules for Hospital Visits

My sister Mary was just in the hospital for the first time in nine months. Though she was an inpatient over the holidays last winter, as so many cystic fibrosis patients often are, we couldn’t visit her because of the pandemic, which made the experience even more difficult. Nine months…

Trusting a Future Where I Do More Than Just Survive

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced two years ago it had approved Trikafta (elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor) for some cystic fibrosis (CF) patients 12 and older, I carried what I considered to be a healthy amount of skepticism about the hype. Articles like this one from The Washington Post…

‘Disappear’: On Being Absent From Your Own Life

In honor of the mixed reviews of the screen debut of the Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen,” I wanted to write about something every chronically ill teenager has taken part in: disappearing. High school In high school, I was voted most likely to be absent during the senior superlatives.

Don’t Discourage Your Hurting Friend’s Faith

When things fell apart, I screamed at God to glue me back together again. I’d been struck deaf, and putty clogged my lungs — airways literally gurgled when I inhaled. I puked several times daily between the panic attacks that ripped my mind to shreds. My whole body ached…

Finding Balance in Life When Managing Multiple Health Conditions

If I were to describe all of the health conditions I have, I’d need more column space. Each aspect of my health entails a unique story that requires explanation to understand the complexities. It’s challenging to balance all of the coexisting health conditions while maintaining my sanity. At an appointment with the pulmonologist last week,…

‘One Day More’ (Until Discharge)

Transitioning home from a lengthy hospitalization was always bittersweet. While I longed for the comforts of home, being an inpatient for weeks on end turned into a strange “Beauty and the Beast” situation. I was a volunteer hostage, and I became dependent on my host. Dependence Like a zoo animal…


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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