Friday, April 18, 2014


What do you find in your pockets at the end of the day?  Change? Chapstick? Keys?  Gum?
My pockets are usually filled with cough drops, tissues, and Tylenol.  They're the staples to my daily life: I don't leave home without them.  Let's just say, however, that they aren't such a great combo when going through the wash machine and dryer.  

Frequently, I am asked if I have a cold. I smile to myself and just say yes, as we talk about "that cold that is going around." But really, it's just me. I cough a lot and I have a chronic stuffy nose: all caused by CF.  Most often, especially when I have to be in public, my cheeks are packed like a chipmunk with cough drops.  Every pocket in my life is stashed with either a fresh cough drop or its old wrapper.  The cough drops [without menthol] also help with having a dry mouth due to the side effects of some of the medications I am taking.  

A Hot Mess
Sinusitis is a common complication associated with CF.  What are some of the symptoms associated with Sinusitis? Headaches, congestion, needing to frequently clear your throat, and a gravelly voice. Check. Check. Check. And check.  This meaning, I take decongestants like they're candy and irrigate my sinuses like a swimming pool.  Because the sinuses are part of the respiratory system, they are plagued by chronic infection and inflammation.  Infection in the sinuses can contribute to the level of infection and inflammation in the lungs: making the entire respiratory system a hot mess.

My CF team aggressively treats both the lungs and sinuses, trying to prevent one from fueling the flames of the other's infection.  

Chipmunk Cheeks 
Need a tissue? A cough drop? I am your girl. No, I don't have a cold: it's just the way I am.  And you know what? That's ok.  I am so thankful for the lotion tissues and lemon honey cough drops that help get me through the day.  I am even more grateful for those days when my head isn't pounding and the world seems so much clearer.  I am grateful for each breath that fills my nose and gives air to my lungs.  Honestly, I am just grateful for every breath.  Love to you all.

Reach into your pockets.  
What did you find?

1 comment:

  1. Love to you too, Ashley. Happy Easter and happy holiday to you.