CF and dating
By: Sydney Senger
Having CF and dating is hard or easy depending on if you found the right person. I didn't find the right person until I was 22. Trust me, I didn't pick the right guy at first. In my opinion though, I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't experience those relationships. After finding the right man for me, I finally know what it's like to have someone care for you no matter what. I knew Jackson for 2 years before we started dating. I was with someone else and Jackson was in an accelerated program for engineering so we didn't get to see each other than when our friends hung out. He graduated from his speed program and started hanging out with our friend group more. I graduated from my undergrad, started in my 3 year grad school program, and I was single at the time. After hanging out more, it didn't take long for us to realize our connection. Once we started dating, I immediately realized a difference from past relationships. We didn't get to have our first date until like a month in cause I went into the hospital, but he was by my side the whole way. He helped when I was admitted, he came everyday after work and stayed late, and even took me home after I was discharged. He brought me anything I needed, helped with my home IVs, and was the sweetest. He was assuring me the whole way cause I thought I looked like crap. In that one visit, he was there for me more than anyone in the past who I dated. I already knew then this man was a complete upgrade and was healthy choice for me, rather than the toxic choices in guys I had made before. Then once I was better, he took me on our first date. We have been dating for about a year and a half, and I have had the time of my life. I started trikafta a little after we started dating as well and I've had the highest numbers I've had in a while. I haven't seen these numbers since I was in my early teens before I had some lung and diabetes problems. I honestly think being in a healthy relationship with someone also had something to do with my health improving. That's just a little bit about my story and my experience. I want to talk about a few things to help you identify or realize when a relationship will be healthy and help you with your CF and maybe some potential risks.
- Maturity for dealing with you having CF and willingness to learn
Now in the past, I picked some guys who were not mature enough to deal with me having CF. Their families also looked to me as a problem because their boy is going to date someone with a low life expectancy. You are going to run into that. Now not to say if that happens, cut it off then. In my experiences I should have, but if they are eager to learn and they are open to educating their thoughts or views, then that means they care about you enough to learn. My experiences had them tell me I was lying or other crazy things because they went on cff.org and saw the lowest life expectancy without reading in the fine print that it was an average of all CF patients and their different mutations. That is not a good sign. My current boyfriend and his family are supportive, go out of their way for me, whether if my sugar is low, making sure my health is ok. They try to learn new stuff and are always thinking of me. That is a good sign.
- Their willingness to deal with you having CF
In the past, my ex boyfriends were not as ready as they wanted me to think. They barely would visit if I was in the hospital, they didn't help very much if I was sick, they would put more stress on me instead of trying to take my health into consideration, and they would use my CF against me. These are toxic traits. 1 1 m not saying they are always going to be ready. 1m not always ready for the stuff CF throws at me. However, just like your family had to adapt and learn how to deal with punches from CE he or she will have to learn too.
In comparison, Jackson has been to the hospital on that first visit more than anyone in the past, who had more opportunities to visit me. Trikafta has helped so I haven't been in the hospital since, thank the lord. Jackson helps me with my confidence, helps me with anything that I worry about, supports my goals, and is my biggest support system
besides my family.
- Giving yourself grace
(Now, to be clear, 1 1 m saying this for the ones without toxic traits that are trying to be there for you, not the ones using it againt you. If they are toxic and you realize that, you might have to accept the fact and move on. Your health is the most important.)
You need to forgive yourself and your significant other when it comes to understanding and dealing with CF. It's not easy for them either. They want to help you and find a way to make you feel better, even when there isn't anyway sometimes so they feel helpless. You can't be mad at yourself either either CF gets in the way of your plans. It's a part of your life. When you realize that, and find someone that also realizes that, that is when you both can grow together. Also, when you do realize it, don't get frustrated if you still get upset if CF gets in the way. Its a human instinct and especially a CF trait in my opinion to keep going back to What if I didn't have CF?". If a person makes you feel like you have to ask that question, that's not the right person. The right person will understand and will wait with you until you can do whatever it was you were planning to do.
- Time is a very important thing
Finding someone that makes time for you, especially with CE is one of the most important things. Having someone to stay with you in hospitals besides family is nice. I always enjoy when my friends come up to visit. As I mentioned before, the last time I was in the hospital, which was over a year ago thanks to Trikafta, Jackson came to visit after work everyday for 3 days. With CE sometimes time is such a valuable thing to receive from someone when you have a shorter amount of it. Whether you are in the hospital, or can't go out, or you are finally feeling good enough to go out, spending time together is a beautiful thing.
- Relax and take a deep breath (or as deep of a breath as you can e)
Life isn't a fairy tale. You aren't going to always be the high-school sweethearts couple. 1 1 m not saying you can't be, however do not limit yourself to that. I used to think that anyone who would date me because of my CF was such a great person for even considering it. I now know my worth, I know what I deserve, and I know what I won't tolerate. Jackson treats me like a queen, like 1 1 m the only woman for him. He never hates on my CF or gets mad at anything. We both have a great sense of humor that can be dark so it's nice to have someone who can laugh and get through more darker times. He is always there for me. That's what everyone deserves. So if you don't find your person right away, do not panic or fret. They are out there, they are wondering where you are too. But limiting yourself to "this is the best I can get" because you don't know your worth will hurt your health in the long run. We already have a hard enough life with CE we don't need to add anything to it if it's not necessary, right?
So with those tips and tricks that I wish I would have known or learned in an easier way, I hope this helps anyone that reads this with CF or someone dating a person with CF. If you are reading this and you are really struggling, I want you to remember a few things:
-You are not defined by your disease or your situation.
- Don't let someone else define your worth. -You are worth so much more than you think. -You will find someone, your time will come for that.
-Some people can't handle your worth, and that's ok. Keep your head high, your person will be able to.
I really hope this helps anyone struggling. If anyone ever needs to talk, 1 1 m on Instagram. You can always message me. I hope you have a great day and a great life!