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Stress and its Effect on Cystic Fibrosis

StressedLast week I discussed having reserves (both in weight and energy) to fight against bugs and other attacks. This week, Beautiful and I have felt the full effects of one of those attacks: stress. Dealing with the health insurance company over the 20% copay for Colistin and Plumozyme ($1500/mo) has taken its toll on both of us, but more so on me.

Stress does not do the body good, especially the body of a CFer. Cystic fibrosis leaves our bodies in a perpetual state of being on the precipice of “the next disaster” to strike us down. Sometimes it’s hard to not thing about that. It’s impossible to not think about it when the very stressor is a very real danger of losing access to the things that keep or make you healthy.

What does stress do?

Stress increases your heart rate, churns up extra stomach acid, increases blood pressure, and often causes insomnia or just sheer exhaustion. All of these are bad for cystic fibrosis and lead to secondary issues in our bodies. With these effects, CFers are prone to an exacerbation such as hemoptysis, decreased peak flow, or a raging lung or sinus infection that takes hold while the body is weakened.

I’ve been put on IVs (or very close to it if I’ve been healthy enough to stave off a desperate measure) for the following stressors:
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Bumps in the Road

125lbsBack in March when I started this site, I really wasn’t my normal optimistic self that it was going to last because I didn’t think the weight that I had just gained would take. It never has before, so I didn’t have any reasonable expectation that it would this time, other than having hopes that I was going to use sheer grit and determination that I possibly hadn’t given it before. Besides, creating a site and getting some readers (or a lot of readers is even better) creates accountability. If you want to be sure you do something, tell the whole world about it and see who calls you out on it when you slip, I say.

I decided to look back at my stats archive that I was keeping when I first began the site, and I’m glad I’d been doing that. I don’t miss doing all of that work now, because it was a lot of work, but I’m very pleased to be able to remind myself of where I came from on this journey.

A little weight history

Since high school, I’ve always bounced between 108-115lbs. Nothing ever seemed to make a difference one way or another on weight gain or weight loss that I was aware of, other than a few nice days on Prednisone that would take me up as high as 118 for a day or two. I’d “write home about it” and then the weight would be gone again, back down to 113 or something.

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