Wednesday, May 13, 2015

CF Awareness Post Question Day 13

How come you didn't tell us about your CF while we were in school?

This is a great question and one I am sure many young kids will relate to.

In elementary school I was not so shy about it.  I went to the nurse daily for pills, I got out of gym glass when I got my flu shots (I hated gym lol), and over all I was not quiet about it, but I was not shouting it from the roof tops either.  Some of my friends in elementary school knew about it when they slept over because I had weird medical equipment in my bedroom.  But other than that I was pretty whatever with it.  That all changed in junior high school.

Anyone who knew me in school, whether it was junior or high school, knows I was a shy person.  I am still very shy to this day.  But now we have the internet.  And much like the bullies who can hide behind a computer screen, those of us that are shy in person can come out of our shells online.  In junior high and beyond I did not want people to know I had CF.  Being unique is not something most kids in school look on with admiration, and while many can ignore that, I was not one of those kids.  I wanted to fit in. I did not have very many friends since I started public school in 7th grade and did not move over with many I knew from Catholic school, just some close ones I started to make in my new school.  I was far from popular.  I was far from athletic.  I was artsy and followed that path, but even so I made next to no artsy friends until college.  I had enough for the kids to make fun of more for; I did not want to give them any more ammo.  Of course hindsight is 20/20 and all those things I thought I could be made fun of for, were probably all in my head.  But some were not.

For example, and I remember this like it was yesterday and I still remember the girls who were involved, though I will not say their names (I know their faces not really their names anymore!).  In 8th grade social studies I sat near a small group of girls who were friends, and of the popular crowd.  One day as I was sitting there doing work (must have been a free period type thing because they were all facing each other) I overheard the girls talking about me.  One of the girls was sick with a cold and was complaining how annoying it was.  I heard another of the girls respond with “it must have been Amy who got you sick, she is always coughing…it’s gross.”  From that day forward I vowed I would never tell anyone about “being sick.” 

And I held that promise, pretty much to this day.  I am not vocal in person about CF.  I will talk about it after people know but I will not come out and say “I have CF” to new people I meet, face to face.  If they see it online then the ice is broken and I can talk about it.  And I am more than willing to get involved and throw benefits and do walks and educate.  It’s very hypocritical I guess you could say.  I also don’t like to say the words “Cystic Fibrosis,” I don’t even like writing them.  I pretty much use CF for everything.

Similarly, I do not like when people tell people about me having CF.  I don’t mind if we are talking as a group and it comes up, but I don’t like when people tell people it to get something.  Again hypocritical I know.  If a friend/family member/co-worker is soliciting donations for the CFF walk and they say I have CF, I don’t mind it.  But if a friend/family member/co-worker uses my having CF as an excuse to get out of doing something or to try to gain something for themselves I don’t like it.  Even if it is to try to gain something for me and my family I don’t like it. 

So in short, I did not tell people in school because kids can be mean lol.  

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