Treatment Compliance

When I was teenager, I was never compliant with my treatments. I used to do them sporadically at best. It was hard to understand what purpose they served because I didn’t cough often, I felt really well nearly all the time, and I had really good lung function. The teenage mentality had hit me, and I couldn’t understand the concept of doing something now that would help me later. 

Sadly, I do believe some of the neglect to do my treatments was due to fear of the disease. I feared other people finding out about it, I feared what would happen if/when I got sick, and I feared dying from it more than anything. It took me a long time to get over these fears, and I struggled to be “normal” for as long as possible. Unfortunately, these fears and lack of compliance with treatments have taken their toll, and my lung function is nowhere near the 100+ that it used to be. It truly saddens me to think that I couldn’t be responsible enough to take care of my body at a younger age.

Fast forward to 2012. 

It’s 4 AM, and I am sitting here doing my treatment. In fact, I can’t tell you the last time I missed a treatment because it’s been years. I don’t care if I’m super busy, I don’t care if other people are around, and I certainly don’t care if I’m too tired to do it (a common excuse I used to give and still sometimes try to pull off until my husband gives me the “are you kidding me?” look). I do my treatments. Every day. EVEN when it’s not easy. 

Today was a prime example of not easy. We were lazy this morning and I didn’t get my first treatment done until 2 PM, and I needed to do chores/get ready to leave for a surprise baby shower for my sister-in-law so I put off boiling my nebulizers to sterilize them. I should note here that I have to boil my nebs every single day. Insurance won’t let me have more than 4 nebulizers, and I’ve cultured bugs in my lungs from tap water so the healthiest thing for me is to do daily boiling. It’s a little inconvenient at times, but it’s not too big of a deal. 

Well, I got dressed and did my chores, and I left the house without boiling my nebs (shame on me). Because it was an awesome party, and we don’t get to see David’s family enough, we didn’t get home until 10 PM. That meant I was sterilizing nebs at 10:15 PM. This meant that I was looking at 12:15 before I could do my treatment because the nebulizers need time to air dry. Sometimes, there are really hard times when I just want to go to bed rather than do my treatment. I force myself to remember that tiredness is not worth the way I will feel in the morning if I skip a treatment, but I also compromise. I usually take a nap when late sterilization happens. Today was one of those compromise days.

So I went to bed. And slept. And slept. And slept. Sometimes, compliance is more than just a one person job as I need a kick in the behind once in awhile, and thankfully I have a wonderful husband who does just that. He says he does it because he wants to see me around for quite some time, but sometimes I think he just enjoys seeing me extremely groggy and confused from being in a deep sleep 😉 . Today was one of those times where, if it wasn’t for my other half, I wouldn’t have woken up and my compliance streak would have been broken. But he woke me, and I grumbled and got out of bed to start my treatment at 4 AM. And, in my opinion, anyone who wakes up and gets out of a warm comfy bed when it is 32 degrees outside, stumbles downstairs, and does a treatment this late in the night just so she doesn’t skip a treatment, is 100% committed to compliance. 

I’ve decided I want to be here a long time, God willing, but if I don’t make compliance and exercise my priorities, I won’t have that luxury. So, while getting up at 4 AM is not fun, it’s one of the million things I’m willing to do to try and keep myself healthy. AND my lungs will thank me in for it in the morning.

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