- Cystic Fibrosis is one of the UK's most common, life-threatening inherited diseases.
- Cystic Fibrosis causes the internal organs to become clogged with this sticky mucus attracting infection and making it difficult to breathe and digest food.
- People with Cystic Fibrosis have to undergo a tough daily treatment regime including taking dozens of pills, inhaled and intravenous drugs and physiotherapy.
- During Cystic Fibrosis Week, five babies will be born with CF and sadly, two lives will be claimed by Cystic Fibrosis.
- Only half of those living with Cystic Fibrosis are likely to live past their late 30s.
- There is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis.
- Money raised during Cystic Fibrosis Week will help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust continue to fund medical research to fight the symptoms of, and treat the cause of Cystic Fibrosis. It will help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust improve the care of people with CF, and will help provide direct support for people with Cystic Fibrosis and their families.
On a more personal level, I thought I would post a copy of my repeat prescription, which runs to four pages these days. From this rather long list can see just how many drugs I actually take or use every day, and this is on a good day...
These are enzymes to digest the fat in my food. As my pancreas is screwed I don't get them naturally. I take 6 pills with an average meal and 2 with snacks, so it totals about 24 a day.
One pill a day, antibiotic and gunk reducer!
Antidepressant-pretty self explanatory, but without it I am an emotional wreck.
Two pills twice a day. Antibiotic fungicide to combat Aspergillis (nasty fungus) growing in my lungs
One pill twice a day. Antibiotic to damp down the bugs in my lungs.
Two pills twice a day. Not sure of the technical name for this but it thins the gunk in my lungs making it easier to cough up.
one pill twice a day. Strong antacid for digestive problems caused partly by CF and partly by all the other drugs...
Inhalors and Nebulisors
Two-four puffs twice a day depending how chest is. Steroid to combat inflammation of my lungs
One puff a day. Bronchiodialator acts on the small airways of my lungs to keep them open.
Serevent 25 Micrograms
Two puffs twice a day. Brochiodialator (like ventolin but stronger)
As needed when I get wheezy.
Colistimethate Sodium 2 million units
Nebulisor solution twice a day. Inhaled antibiotic has to diluted by me with 2ml of sterile saline per vial. Used for a month in turn with-
Tobramycin Nebuliser Solution 300mg
Nebulised twice a day for a month-tastes awful but works.
Mucoclear Solution 6% hypertonic saline
Nebulised salt solution to thin lung mucus, once a day. This is just soooooo salty-but it does work so I do it...
Salbutamol Nebulisor solution 2.5mg
Nebulised ventolin used once a day to open up lung airways to allow the hypertonnic saline to penetrate lungs as much as possible.
Novarapid Penfill cartridges
I take insulin with food, the amount I take is dependant on the carbohydrate content of what I am eating. This means I have to this out before I inject myself... this is annoying!
Aviva Test Strips
Strips for my blood sugar monitor
Needle for the stabbing device so I can use said monitor.
Microfine needles 4mm
Needles for injecting insulin-they really are tiny so it doesn't hurt-unless you do it wrong and hit muscle...
So that's my everyday medical regime. If I want to go away for a weekend all this stuff and paraphernalia has to come with me... including the nebulisor and all its components-it all takes up a lot of suitcase space! Not to mention the fact that if I am ill then I will have to take intravenous drugs and that adds a whole new dimension to the regime, as most of the antibiotics come in powder form so have to be reconstituted by me. The number of needles, bottles of saline, water and syringes that fill my house during IVs is huge! And that is not including the antibiotics themselves and the hepsal flush (dilute heparin solution) that you have to do after each dose to keep the line open. I really am a walking pharmacy!
This regime is my life-every damn day, and I know that the regime will not get better, that my lungs will not get significantly better and that I will always have to take these drugs. The individual doses or pills may change from time to time but this is the way I have to live if I want to go on living for a reasonable length of time. Please think about supporting CF Week -you can join on Facebook here. Or there is more info about it here.
(I think that this info is all correct and that I've got the reasons I take the various drugs right-if you know that I've spelt a drug name wrong or got the explanation of what it is wrong, don't make a smart arse comment please. I take them and that's what matters.)