We’ve got Aubrey as our WCW and we’re STOKED. Aubrey is 23 years old and from Washington State! Here are 3 things she wants ya to know about her life with CF. ⠀
👾The first couple of years of my life were nerve-racking health-wise. I was born with meconium ileus, and my umbilical cord was wrapped around my arm and neck. This was dangerous for both my mom and I, but we made it via emergency C-section. This was not the end of my health struggles. As an infant, I was eating like crazy but not gaining weight. I seemed to be congested and in near-constant abdominal pain. I became very ill around 6 months old and was hospitalized for pneumonia, whooping cough, RSV, and pseudotumor cerebri, where I was finally diagnosed (after being being told I likely wouldn’t make it out of the hospital) and properly treated.⠀
👾My biggest struggle with CF has been my mental health. I had depression & anxiety before I was 10, and over time also developed PTSD. These things relate to many aspects of my life, but the medical component has been by far the most complex part to work through, and I still have a long way to go. Attempting to mask these symptoms in my teenage years likely took away some lung function and overall health. Which, I would have been able to enjoy today, had my mental health been properly managed with healthier choices. For this reason, I think that mental healthcare is imperative for chronically ill patients of all ages. If your mind isn’t healthy, other aspects of your health often suffer as a result. Advocating for mental healthcare within the chronic illness community is one of life’s purposes.⠀
👾Striking the delicate balance between “person” and “patient” is one of the most important things to me. To be vigilant about how my body and mind feel at any given time, and that I am compliant with my 2 daily hours of breathing treatments, my exercise and diet regimen, and getting enough rest in between. At the same time, it is important that I maintain hobbies & interests unrelated to my health so I’m not stuck in a constant anxiety trap. I love gaming, hiking, and music including dance & singing. ⠀
How do u maintain balance bw person & patient?
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