Cystic fibrosis dating another person with cystic fibrosis
They haven't batted an eyelid at the extravagant things I've done. My illness has always made me value relationships and be wary of fickle people.They even trusted me to go to Ibiza with girlfriends at 16. My early relationships were with boys from my crowd of friends, so I never had to explain that I had cystic fibrosis.This was before I understood that sufferers rarely die without warning.My personality has been shaped by the disease, too. As I moved from school to further education and work, I found grooming and make-up a useful way to cope with the illness.In my early 20s I worked for the publisher Haymarket, but a severe infection brought on by my illness forced me to quit.Abandoning my career was the hardest decision I've made, but there was little choice.The effort of keeping fit and to a professional standard actually improved my health. I was able to double my lung capacity - a crucial measure of my fitness - from 1.5 litres to three litres.I liked the physical challenge, but decided to return to Kingston to do a postgraduate diploma in psychology, at the same time working two days a week in the prison service.
That meant I had to choose the right moment to mention my illness and if it was an issue, I would walk away. He said he felt he'd been cursed, falling for someone who was ill. I will try everything once but it's different with relationships.
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.
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.