I've asked some very special people in my life to write about what it is like to have a daughter, family member, friend, girlfriend in their life, who has cystic fibrosis. I did this so people could develop a new frame of mind about loving and living with someone who has a chronic illness.
I've come across many people who view my disease as unfortunate, depressing, and ultimately feel that my existence is a burden on others. This is NOT how my life should be idealized. In fact, it's purely insulting to my loved ones and I.
The first writer to contribute a brief summary of what it has been like to have me, a CFer, in their life, is my ex-boyfriend, Eric. I asked him to write because I wanted every perspective possible. In my dating experience, I have found that it's very hard for other people to want to be with someone with a chronic illness. It's all very pathetic to me, however, I get that some folks aren't emotionally willing and able to care for someone with a disease like mine. Eric was different in that none of this was ever even a thought for him. He supported and loved me for me, not because of my disease.
Below are his own words of what it was like to be my significant other...
"I was asked to write about my experience about dating someone who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. To be truthful, when I met her, I had no idea that she was any way different than any other girl I have ever met. I couldn't have been more wrong but not in any way that had anything to do with her illness. She is outgoing, social, funny, spontaneous, and very pretty. She cares about her friends and she cares about herself, and she was never afraid to tell you her opinion. When we first started dating, I didn't even really know what it was to have CF and I never knew what the symptoms were. She was very upfront with me and told me what was going on. In finding out about the illness, I remember going with her to the hospital when she had to get IV treatments and getting results for PFT tests. I remember her getting very excited or very concerned based on those test results. But through every roller coaster ride at the hospital, I always knew she would be ok. I cant explain it or quantify it in any medical way, but she really was/ is full of too much fire for me to think of any other outcome. While we don't date anymore we remain very good friends. My family loves her and my friends love her and they always ask how she is doing. And the thing that makes me happy is that they are generally not asking about her health. While they know she has an illness, and certainly that is a concern, but they don't see her as ill. And I love that."