Monday, October 12, 2009

Guest Blog by CysticLady: CF and Relationships

I knew this day would come where I would post here, and I've had this idea percolating; however, I don't think that now, or any time in the near future will I know how to handle relationships and CF.

A bit of history:

I was married once.  We dated four years prior to our marriage and were married for six.  Around year four of the marriage was my lung transplant.  Before we were married I felt I had properly vetted the husband for many types of health issues.  He'd seen the gross hemoptysis, spent lots of nights in the hospital, changed a port needle, put the nebbies together.  Still, things fell apart in a complete and unsalvageable way in the two year period consisting of the year before transplant where I was dying all year, and the year after transplant where I was recovering all year. 

I think all the time really, what was it all about?  It was no secret I was sick, it was no secret that I'd eventually need a lung transplant.  I know for sure that the transplant was not the only reason for the end of the relationship, and for all I know it would be over now if I didn't have CF, or I didn't need a transplant.  Still, I always felt the need to isolate the final straw.  What I think it was, six years after transplant, four years after divorce, is that although my husband could deal with the illness, the hospital, the doctors, the coughing, the hours of therapies... really like a pro; that when it came time for him to actually give something up, change military bases to one he didn't like, give up being deployed, slow his career down - that it made him so mad, and in turn it made ME so mad.

So, what do I do with this information?  Can I trust enough to ever have another relationship?  I built up these walls, stay out, you don't want to come 'round here. 

Disclaimer:  I have Cystic Fibrosis, I had a lung transplant almost six years ago.  In the next four years I will probably need another one, or I might die of something else.  If I need another one I might not want one, but I might and either way it is up to me and me alone.  I will probably also need a kidney transplant one day, if I live long enough.  If we happen to procure some babies using one of the various methods babies come around, i.e., stork, adoption, emergency, then you will probably raise said baby by yourself one day.  And oh yeah, the biggest one, I am a survivor, and as such, I will pick me over you every day of the week and twice on Sunday. 

So, do you still want to date me?  I'm so cute.

Question one:  When do you tell them, in a way that makes the future relationship understand, buddy, this is serious?

Question two:  Once you tell them, and they have the moment where they think and say, "what kind of asshole would break up with someone because of their health?"  And you look over at them and think, "you would, and so would he, and him, and that one, and her too."  What now?

Because let's face it, when we think, "in sickness and in health", we assume that means a lot of health and maybe a little sickness, not mostly sickness.  And when we say "until death do us part", we mean when we're both really old, not in the next decade.

Personally, I have this idea that if the potential relationship is given the disclosure early, then they can walk away, no harm no foul, mitigate the damages, lessen the hurt feelings.  But, it never works that way for me.  Instead, it is the acceptance of the disclosure, and me proceeding like a green light GO.  Until the day that we both realize, yeah, he's that asshole we both denied he is.

I think that I need a yellow light, proceed with caution.

Teeda (CysticLady)


  1. first reaction by CG to first CL post...hold on still reading... want to enjoy end...
    you rule!
    this post f-in rules!
    you are super good writer!
    we have same style!
    we are same smart!

  2. awesome post, guestblogger cysticlady! I share many of your thoughts...although, unfortunately, I start at RED, meaning I generally don't even give hypotheticalman the chance to take a chance on me. Therefore, I have had lots of "guy friends," no real relationship. I need a yellow light, too...but with emphaisis on the "proceed" part, I've got the "caution" part down pat.

    Thanks for a neato post that a)validates that I'm not crazy or cynical for being afraid of exactly what happened in your marriage (I'm sorry, by the way :o/) and b)validates that I'm not crazy or cynical for sharing your same thoughts about peoples' underestimation of their capacity for assholery. As a sidebar, I also love that you seem to love Beaker.

    Sorry to hear CG is back in le hospitale :o( Hope she (you? In what person are we to refer to CG in a comment on a CL post?) feels much better very soon - thoughts/prayers/good vibes/crossed toes from me!


  3. Sensational! Words cannot express the emotion I felt when reading this. You are the BOMB! Robin~

  4. Teeda,
    AWESOME post! I'm going to think about this one for a while. It begs the question, when is the right time to let someone in? Too soon; and you could scare off a good guy. Too late; and they feel deceived. Everyone carries some baggage and as we get older, the complexities can become a deterrence. I have had horribly low expectations for men and high ones for friends - and both have been fulfilled. My recommendation is to aim high. We have to believe the the right guy (and friends) will value you more than the extra Samsonite.

  5. Great post! Here's one thing that I believe without a doubt: it is harder for Cysters than it is Fibros when it comes to relationships. I think it has to do with women being more nurturing and men wanting that "perfect" woman. I dealt with feeling guilty about "putting a girl through" all of the crap I go through, but eventually realized that that's just part of my package. And without CF, I'd probably be presenting a whole other package all together.


  6. I feel blessed to have had love in my life. For years, I shut out the idea of letting someone love me. I was very healthy when we started dating and married. The past 3 years have been rough but our marriage has stayed strong. I am waiting for a lung transplant and I hope that is not a down fall to our marriage. I have tried to draw a line between my husband being my care taker and my husband. I want him to feel free to love me and not feel like he has to take care of me.

    P.S. cysticgal...I hope you are sprung soon.

  7. Cystic Lady you remind me of Cystic Gal - very honest writing. Cystic Gal- Jeez! The idea of you ova there on the floor bums me out - I date myself with that phrase. but you know what a Jewish mother I am. Oy gevalt. Are those doctors taking good care of you? Hope the transition to hospital was okay and breathing is now more comfortable. Quite sure the cats miss you too. xxoo


Thanks for commenting! Your comment will be posted ! -CG