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Adjusting to Life As an “Old CFer”

Senior couple smiling portrait outdoorsNearly three years ago, I turned 30 and was rewarded with an awesome stainless steel grill to mark the milestone. Thanks, Beautiful! Since then, my appetite has decreased, my weight has (finally) increased, and I’ve been met with some really bad days recovering from things that used to pose no problem. Since returning from our second cross-country trip to and from Ohio in 8 weeks, I thought it’d be good to discuss how our bodies change as we get older.

I used to run all day and all night, only getting a couple of hours of sleep. When dating, I’d get up at 4am, be at work by 5am, get off work at 3:30, drive across town, and wait for Beautiful to get out of class and stay out with her until midnight… or later. Rinse and repeat. On days she worked, I’d go to Barnes & Noble and catch some winks in the comfy chairs until her shift was over. We did this for days at a time.


I used to have a very physical job in construction material testing. I moved several hundred pounds of 40-pound concrete cylinders by 7am and then moved, packed, and tested a solid ton of dirt throughout the day. Other days, I lugged around a 60-lb radioactive density tester around development sites that I stuck into the ground by driving an 18″ stake into the packed foundations of roads waiting to be paved.

The reality of aging with CF

What I’ve learned (but very slowly taken action as a result of knowing) is that I need far longer to recover from activity than I used to AND from doing things that I do with others. If we spend all day out and about on vacation, it’s pretty much a given that I need to rest the next day. Even things as simple as being outside my comfort zone and being social for a weekend takes its toll on me. Some things that have made me sick in the last 3 years or that I’ve learned the need to recover from:

  • travel by air or car
  • weekend conferences (even a 1-day conference) [Read more…]