Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My special glasses

Having cystic fibrosis is not all bad. Granted it sucks when I have an infection. I can't stand having quarterly doctor's appointments. I would prefer not taking 40 pills a day and hours of treatments. Still there are positives to having it. CF has helped me to see the world a lot more clearly. It's almost as if CF has given me special glasses. Here are the Top 10 things that CF has shown me.

10. Friends are as important as the oxygen we breathe. Without supportive people around me, I don't think I'd be alive today. At one point or another, I have had people in my corner and have truly appreciated their support.

9. Seize the day. Who has seen Dead Poet's Society when Robin Williams' character tells his students that they must seize the day? CF has shown me how important that mindset is. Having a disease that limits your time makes you appreciate the time you have so much more. I also spend so much time doing treatments and taking medications that I know that every minute I have available for non-medical stuff needs to be used wisely.

8. Don't sweat the small stuff. With CF, I have learned that little issues that go on in life aren't worth fussing about. We live in an imperfect world. It's crucial that we don't let the less important things get to us.

7. "Dreams make life tolerable." That's a line from Rudy when his friend is telling him how important it is to have your dreams. I had all these dreams that I didn't think were possible but I kept them in the back of my mind. I wanted to get married, have children and beat cystic fibrosis. I'm 2 for 3. I can never consider the war against CF over until a cure is found.

6. Faith is key. I am not a very religious person but I truly believe that faith and spirituality are so important to overcoming anything in this world. I believe that people who I've lost that were close to me are still there. I believe that if you never give up then good things will eventually happen. The important thing is that we believe in something and that we have some type of higher power that gives us faith and also allows us to leave our past mistakes behind.

5. Nobody's perfect. CF has been a large cause of my mental issues. I have been to many therapists to work on these things. I think I'm finally getting it. For one, it's important to communicate your issues. For another, don't let your issues make you spiral out of control. We all make mistakes. We all have skeletons. The important thing is that we work to improve ourselves and to limit our mistakes.

4. Be a good teammate. I'm not just talking about on the field of play. I'm talking about life. I referred to how important it is to have friends. Well, it is just as important to be a good friend to others. It's important to have people that you can count on and talk to. When life is tough, it's good to have people that you can depend on and vice versa. It's also great to win in a team atmosphere whether it's at work or in sports or even as a family. Nothing is better than sharing a great moment than sharing it with someone else who just experienced it too.

3. Exercise is forever. I have learned that exercise is not something you can do one day and then wait a few weeks before you try it again. It's critical to get some type of exercise in every day. My doctors never get on me about exercise because they know how passionate I am about it. Exercise is not just a good thing for your physical state but it's very important emotionally too. It helps to release endorphins but also it makes you feel good when you can look in the mirror and know that your efforts have changed the way you look in a positive way.

2. Find your passion. Sometimes we all need distractions. That's why it's so important to have hobbies. I know when I have a bad doctor's appointment, I need something to distract me. I find that to be my fish hobby. Sometimes I just need to take some time and watch them swim. It calms me. I know it sounds crazy but it really helps. Sometimes I even listen to classical music. Those of you who know me must think that's bull but I do listen to it in my car when I'm having a bad day. It relaxes me a lot more than sports radio or hard rock.

1. Find your legacy. Having a terminal disorder means that I was afraid that I would be written off in time. I didn't want that to happen. I wanted to do something to be remembered. Yes, Andrea and I have kids and that will continue a legacy BUT I was referring more to what I do in this world. Fighting the battle against cystic fibrosis is probably my legacy. Still if an opportunity comes to make the world a better place, I will definitely lend a hand.

Thanks everyone. I hope that all of you are well.


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