Cystic fibrosis patient dating

I love new sports and I've been whitewater-rafting, tandem sky-diving and bungee-jumping in Australia. When I'm asked what is the worst part of my illness, I'd have to say the exhaustion.

The rigorous exercise and physiotherapy regime required to help loosen the mucus on the lungs would tire anyone.

Of course, my parents didn't burden me with all the details about the illness immediately but I knew I was different.

When I was 12, I used to tell each of my family before I went to bed that I loved them - just in case I died in my sleep.

The effect of absorbing a cocktail of drugs - up to 50 pills a day - plus inhalers, also saps the energy.

The onset of infection will often bring appalling pains in my chest and either side of my spine. I never leave my hair wet, because the cold and damp would make my lungs produce more mucus.

Improved medication and physiotherapy have changed my life.

Blowing out the candles on my 18th birthday cake felt very good indeed.

Students treated me no differently to anyone else, even if my housemates in Kingston could tell when I was in by my coughing.

When I was diagnosed, I was not expected to make it into my 20s.

Every day since has been worthwhile and all the better for their support.

I also avoid mould, especially in fruit, which contains the staphylococcus aureus bacteria that can grow in cystic fibrosis mucus. My mother always threw me into exercise - swimming, dancing, trampolining and gymnastics - and I have continued into adulthood. I remember one mum telling me I was not to blow up balloons at a party: far too strenuous for a frail little thing like me, she said.

Despite this, my mum Moya and dad Phil - a chemistry teacher and a BA pilot - never wrapped me in cotton wool. Fine, I thought, I'll sit in the corner, chill out and eat the food.

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