5 Things You Need To Know About Cystic Fibrosis

5 Things You Need To Know About Cystic Fibrosis

"Yes, I have tried. Yes, I am still trying, and yes, I am still sick."
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I Know It May Not Seem Like It Because I'm Coughing My Head Off, But I Swear I'm Not Contagious!

Okay, so as a girl with Cystic Fibrosis, I tend to have coughing fits WAY more than I plan to (thanks a lot, lungs). And when this happens, obviously people give me frightened looks as if I am dying of some alien disease that is going to take over the world and kill them too.

Not possible.

See, Cystic Fibrosis is genetic and even though it appears that I have the worst head cold of my life and it could infect you, I promise it's just my lungs.

So on behalf of myself and my fellow "cysters" and "fibros," here are 5 things you should know about Cystic Fibrosis so you can stop giving us those uber weird stares...


1. We Cough... All The Time

So as I said before, we have coughing fits a lot. Our bodies are always using coughing as it's natural remedy to rid the mucus from our bodies. Because CF is so complex, we have all kinds of issues with our lungs. We tend to trap nasty bacteria that causes infections and inflammation (causing us to need frequent hospitalizations and intense IV antibiotics)... and if you're lucky like me, we also can develop asthma on top of the Cystic Fibrosis. A lung disease on top of a lung disease is absurd but it happens. So next time you meet a person with CF who is coughing his or her head off, instead of scowling at them, CHEER THEM ON!

2. Don't Judge Me For Making 5 Trips To The Buffet...

Seriously. As a person with Cystic Fibrosis, I have to eat anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 calories a day... A DAY...This is to maintain a healthy weight. You see, our pancreas doesn't get to do the job it is actually supposed to do because of all that gross, sticky mucus. So we take enzymes (that would normally come from the pancreas) in the form of a pill every time we eat...THAT IS ABOUT 40 PILLS A DAY just for digestion... so to maintain our nutritional goals, we eat a good bit WITH NO REGRETS.

3. There's No Such Thing As Being Too Sweet... Right?

Because our pancreas doesn't work like it's supposed to, not only can we not secrete enzymes, but some of us (ME) can't secrete insulin either... meaning we develop Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes (CFRD). SOOOOOO fun. It's always a fun time when we have a random low of 34 and within the same hour have a high spike to 450 when our normal should be 120. Yes, I'm speaking from experience people. But thankfully there are insulin pumps that make life SO much better.


4. The Ocean Has Nothing On Us...

You know when you're outside in the summertime and it's hell on earth and it's inevitable that you're going to sweat (even if you are just walking from your house to your car) and it runs in your eyes? Normally, people just wipe it away and move on, right?? For a person with CF, it induces major burning, temporary blindness and sometimes tears. That's because our epithelial cells can't regulate the way our body's salt passes through the membranes in our body making us have A LOT of excess salt that comes out in our pores. So when we say we are salty... I don't mean I'm in a bad mood... I mean more along the lines of I could personally salt your fries with what comes off of my skin in the summertime.

5. We Are Some Of The Strongest People You Will Meet...

Dealing with work, relationships, school, and #adulting things requires a lot of strength and energy... take all of that and add in a full-time job of caring for your health and you get a whole new picture of strength. Not only do we have to make sure our physical health is maintained, but imagine the mental issues and emotional toll it can take on a person. Knowing that all you're doing is maintaining... not curing. That's perspective. We put on a brave face for others, but inside and behind the closed door, we are mentally exhausted and emotionally drained. If we're lucky, we have an incredible support system of family and friends to back us and encourage us. But more times than none we are all alone with our emotions and thoughts. But nonetheless, we are not defeated. We carry on day-to-day and we will never give up. Because we have the hope that one day CF will stand for Cure Found.

Cover Image Credit: Amye Dykes

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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10 Ways To Make College Life Easier With ADHD

With a little organization, your schedule will be so much smoother.

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I have lived with ADHD my entire life. Just like many other people have, and I am sure they would tell you that it presents some obstacles. In elementary, middle, and high school I felt like I really owned my disability. I had it locked down. So naturally, I thought college would be different, but still a breeze when it came to cope with my ADHD.

I was wrong! College doesn't provide the schedule I was used to. The professors are amazing and willing to help, but they also have a ton of other students. Way more than my high school teachers had. My first semester was rough. I struggled to schedule my homework, class, work and social life. so here I will outline ten ways to be successful in college with a learning disability. However, these tips can help anyone!

1. Keep an organized planner

Keeping an organized planner is essential. In my planner, I plan far ahead in the calendar section. Stuff like test dates, quizzes, events, and projects. In the weekly section, I put all of my up and comings, like homework, when to do laundry, my workout schedule, and my work schedule. It helps a lot to see my week laid out. It keeps me responsible and on top of what I need to do.

2. Keep a clean living space

My first semester, I put organized living on the back burner. I didn't realize that it stressed me out subconsciously. I typically do my everyday homework in my room, so having a nice space is crucial. I usually dedicate about fifteen minutes a day to tidy up. Living in a dorm, my space tends to get messy within about a day, so doing the small things like making my bed every day and doing my dishes. Having a clean room to come home to is a great feeling and lessens my stress after a very busy day of classes.

3. Study for test outside of your room

Doing your homework inside your room is fine. However, tests are a different story. I find it really helpful to use a study room. The space doesn't have a lot of distractions and usually, I choose one near other resources that help with studying.

4. Study in a group

Sometimes you don't know all of the material that your peers do. Also, it helps to teach each other the material. It's been proven that teaching is the best way to learn material. Usually, I have classes with a few of my friends, so learning and teaching material with them is extremely beneficial.

5. Make a schedule that works best for you

Do not overcrowd your schedule. Your life will kind of revolve around your schedule. So, make sure it doesn't stress you out. I would highly recommend not taking classes early in the morning. You might think it will be easy for you to get up that early because we've been doing that all of high school. However, here you have to walk to classes. Sometimes your classes are far away. So, make sure you take that into account as well. Try to walk your classes and make sure you haven't scheduled them to close together.

Also, keep in mind that huge breaks between classes might not be a great idea. I tend to want to go home between classes if I can and sometimes that gives me an excuse not to go. Just do what you know you can handle, my best advice was don't be too ambitious with scheduling at the start, you can always add classes if you think you can handle more. Also for the video I linked above if you want some more information I'd skip to around three-minute mark.

6. Use your resources

Colleges have a lot of great resources for people with learning disabilities and a ton of other resources for everyone. I find tutoring extremely helpful, and you can find a lot of it online. So, if you have breaks in your day I would recommend going and getting some extra help.

7. Get ready the night before

Rushing to get ready and get all of your class supplies in the morning is no fun. However, a great way to get rid of some of that stress is to prepare the night before. I always lay out what I am going to wear the next day and pack my backpack before I go to sleep. I also recommend making it part of your nightly routine to plug in all of your technology. Nothing is worse than having a dead phone or computer when you have class all day.

8. Ask for help

I know sometimes I feel awkward when I don't understand whats going on, but I have learned to always reach out when I need help. Professors and TAs have office hours so use them! Most of the time if you are busy during their office hours they can set up another time to meet with you. Talking to an expert on the subject that's confusing you is extremely helpful. that being said, sometimes you can't get there with your schedule. Ask a classmate! they might not be as knowledgeable as your professor but they might have the answers you are looking for. You can always look into getting a tutor if you are struggling with the materials.

9. Make plans ahead of time

I love having a good time with friends but sometimes those plans can interfere with my school work if I don't watch out! If you make plans ahead of time then you can do your work early. Put it in your planner! I have to admit sometimes I grab dinner or go out last minute, but I always feel like I should be doing the work I haven't finished yet. when you make sure to have your work done before leaving for the night you feel so much better. Planning your nights might seem redundant or annoying to you and your friends but I promise it will get rid of a lot of stress. You won't be rushing to get work done and you won't be thinking about school work while you're having fun!

10. Learn to say no!

Sometimes I get stressed out because I have too much going on. So, if you feel that way start saying no to what you ca not handle at the moment. If you have too much homework and your friends want to go out then maybe you should stay in. It could also be telling yourself "no, when you want to stay up until 4 a.m to watch Netflix, when you have class at 8 in the morning! College is a great time, so you should try to involve yourself in as many opportunities as you can. However, if you feel as if you have been stretched too thin, say no for a while and cut back on what you can't handle.

I hope these tips help you out! I have found all of them extremely helpful in my everyday life. They might not all work for you, that's okay. Try them out and see which ones do! If I've learned one thing, it's to do what works best for you and your personal preferences.

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