Monday, January 28, 2008

Being diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis

When I was born I had meconium ileus. This is the tar-like stools that come out of all babies when they are born.....mine was backed up in my intestines. My Mom didn't know it then, but later I would be diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Because of having this backed up in my intestines, I had to have surgery right after I was born and the doctors told my Mom that I had a 5% chance of living. My Mom wanted to see me but one of the nurses wouldn't let her because she said that I was all black and blue and my belly was distended (swollen) and that she wouldn't want me. My Mom demanded that the nurse bring me to my Mom. Finally, my Mom got to see me and she fell in love with me right from that moment on. The surgery went fine and I was in the hospital for a little while before my Mom got to take me home. I had a few problems following that and even though we didn't know that the CF gene ran in our family (it has to for a baby to be born with it), I was tested for Cystic Fibrosis 3 months after birth. That test came back negative saying that I didn't have the disease but I continued to exhibit CF symptoms. So, at 6 months after birth, I was tested again. This time the test was Mom was told that I have Cystic Fibrosis and that the average life span for a CF patient was 12 years old at the time. I would likely never make it past middle school. I have a brother and a sister who were born ahead of me and they do not have CF. I have two sisters who are half sisters and they also do not have CF. My Mom and Dad both carry the CF gene (and didn't know it) and I was the lucky one who received one defective CF gene from each parent, which made me have the disease Cystic Fibrosis. I am now 26 years old and the average life span of a CF patient is 35.1 years at this moment.

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