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A Message to Those Who Say ‘Ew’

Cystic fibrosis is nasty. Bacteria makes my breath stink. Malabsorption makes me fart a lot. I cough so much that my face turns red, and blobs of mucus often fly out of my mouth and onto the shirts and/or pants of those standing in my general area. If I could…

7 Tips for Managing Your Pain

I’d been anticipating my bilateral cochlear implant surgery for more than a year. I knew it required some drilling into my skull, cuts behind the ear, and having devices shoved into my cochlea. I did not expect to be restricted to Tylenol…

Practical Tips for Improving Treatment Compliance and Efficiency

Only 61.8 percent of cystic fibrosis patients comply with their daily respiratory medication and 41.2 percent comply with physiotherapy plans, according to a 2008 study. I’ve observed that most patients and their parents want to be perfectly compliant — they just haven’t formed good strategies for…

Importance of Turning to Others for Advice

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is horrible. Say it again for the people in the back: It is horrible. To be transparent, I’m writing this article in a bad mood, so naturally, I look to my diagnosis as a means to understand my frustration. I don’t believe this is unfair…

The 6 Doctors You’ll Meet in Your Cystic Fibrosis Journey

You’ll meet legions of doctors throughout your life with cystic fibrosis. You’ll encounter doctors you adore and who will save your life countless times. And you’ll encounter some who make life a nightmare. Here are six “characters” you’re bound to meet, plus things they’re likely to say, at…

A Letter to CF Parents

Dear parent, I know you’re afraid. My parents were afraid, too. My mom left a college biology class crying; the lesson on genetics included the life expectancy of a child with cystic fibrosis. There’s an old home video of her talking to Baby Bradley before I was diagnosed. I was…

Mistakes I Made in the War for My Mind

I fought cystic fibrosis for 15 years before the overwhelming burden collapsed. My family was driving to get dinner when my brain and heart suddenly exploded. I was sobbing and gasping for breath, able to hear every rapid pound of my heart against my ribs. I couldn’t think,…