Thursday, April 8, 2010

Depression, Anxiety, and Hope for a CF Parent

Depression and anxiety are things we struggle with in our family, even before we found out that Peter had cystic fibrosis. For about a year and a half after Peter was diagnosed, I spent a lot of time feeling miserably depressed and anxious. I couldn't sleep; my time with Peter was devoid of joy; and although I tried to be happy, I couldn't get over the overwhelming feelings of loss and anxiety about Peter's and our family's future. Fortunately, I have a sister who recognized these signs and urged me to get help. So, thanks to medicine and therapy, I have been able to see our lives and cystic fibrosis differently. These are some of the things I have learned that have given me a new sense of hope:
  • It's normal to feel angry, upset, sad about CF.
  • It takes a while to adjust to the reality of the disease.
  • CF is not an excuse to stop enjoying life.
  • When I focus on what "could have been" or "what might be" (and it's often been assuming the worst will happen), I rob today of its happiness.
  • It's not my fault that Peter has CF. I can't choose what genes I pass on to my children.
  • By fund raising, we are working towards a cure and new treatments.
  • Being compliant with Peter's meds and treatments teaches Peter that it is important to take care of himself.
  • I have to take care of myself -- including exercising, eating right (not doing so good with that one lately), spending some "me" time everyday, and getting to bed at a good time every night.
  • Peter can have a great life even if it is shortened.
  • We can make our own happiness even in discouraging circumstances.
Here are some fun photos from Easter. It was the first time Peter dyed eggs!


    1. My sweetest, most darling sister. I love you. God loves you. He loves Peter and Jacob and he will bless you and strengthen you. He is always there for you, even when I can't be.
      Love the pictures, Peter is getting so big! We go to the Endocrinologist in a week to see why Blue isn't growing. We're excited to see you this summer. Let's hope the bake sale is a success!

    2. I have felt and can relate to everything you have written here. You are a fabulous mommy. Peter couldn't have been given a better one! The pictures are awesome, as usual. Looking forward to seeing you guys at the walk. It's not too far away...

    3. Marchet,
      What a wonderful post! I am so happy and so proud that you are dealing with things so well. I'm gearing up to start some fundraiser for my walk on June 13th!!! Give my sweet, cute nephew a hug and kiss for me!



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