Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Difficulties of Dating

Relationships & CF: 

So yesterday was my boyfriend and I's 2 year anniversary. It seems crazy to think I've been dating Andrew for two years. Well, not completely crazy. He's simply amazing and he makes me happier than anything else in the world so of course we are dating. But, what is crazy about it is that I, ME, that's right, Cheriz, has been dating someone for 2 years! I think I've only had 1 relationship make it past 4 months. A whopping 6 months and that was in 2003. I've only had a couple "good or  semi-serious" relationships. I've been in love before, but the truth is it is difficult sometimes to be in a relationship and have Cystic Fibrosis. Finding someone you love or care for is only one part. Finding someone that helps me succeed in my health and makes life richer is another.

So many problems can happen...
There is always the awkward moment when you tell the person you have CF. And one of two things usually happen. 1. They are interested, care, and want to know more. OR 2. They seem apathetic towards it and are like that's ok. But don't really get involved. They figure you can handle it on your own. Luckily, I didn't have to worry about telling Andrew about my CF. IN FACT: Andrew and I met through a show choir in college. He later told me that he was interested in me, so he started to read my blog. He said the more he read it the more in love he was with me. He felt I was the strongest person he knew and from knowing me in show choir he could tell I was fun, sweet, and smart too. He wanted to know more about my CF, so he eventually read every post I had written and even did a little research about CF. And after all that he wasn't discouraged at all. He decided more than ever he knew he wanted to date me. A few weeks of us talking, etc. We decided to start dating on Oct 27th 2012!

I couldn't believe that a huge part of him falling in love with me was my CF. Well, not my actual CF, but how my CF has shaped me as a person.

Some of the past boyfriends I had in college, said  they cared, but they didn't think about how anything would affect me. For example: They might want me to go out for dinner at 9pm or stay out late. Back then I still was doing stomach feeding every night. I'd end up getting home at 11pm, doing my meds until midnight. I'd hook up to my feeding at 12am and would only be able to do 1/2 the formula, since I didn't have as much time. Or boyfriends would make me feel bad for not wanting to go out. Sometimes I just don't feel well and I wanna stay in. My stomach will hurt, or my lungs will be wheezy. Andrew always can tell and notices. He always just tells me we will reschedule. He thinks about how my Cystic Fibrosis will affect everything.

At one point while attending U of I, I dropped down 20 lbs. was hoovering unheathily around 90 lbs and my lung function took a big hit as it dropped to 38%. SCARY! I was skipping meds, not eating enough, and hanging out with a boyfriend that constantly wanted to be on-the-go all the time. Don't ever stay in a relationship that jeopardizes your health!!! After that I decided to a take at least a year away from dating and work on my health. And did that. I was single all of 2011 & part of 2012. My lung function went back to my normal 55% and my weight got back above 100 lb. I was nervous to start dating again when I first started to think about dating Andrew. But I had nothing to worry about. He always assured me, he wouldn't let anything affect my health.

Seriously, it's adorable how he packs snacks for me if we will be gone all day. Or how he refills my enzyme pills in my purse if it's running low. Its the simple and small things he does every day for me that I really appreciate.

One of the biggest fears I always had in the past with a few boyfriends is that they wouldn't really be able to handle my CF. They would try, but it would freak them out and eventually it would wear them out. In Andrew and I's first 2 years of dating I've had two surgeries, been in the hospital 4 times, been on medical leave from work for 3 months, and then again for 5 months, I've been so ill my oxygen level was so low I kept passing out. Andrew literally carried me into the ER. I've thrown up on him, I even have peed my pants, from a huge coughing attack (yep, embarrasing, but true). He doesn't judge. He just helps me with whatever I need. I would never have been able to deal with anything like that with my past boyfriends. In fact, when I would get sick I'd avoid my past boyfriends. But, Andrew is such a laid back, nice, amazing guy I just feel comfortable with him. I don't hide anything. I don't have to.

Other CFers: Here is a little note. You may be scared to share about your CF, don't be, if they truely see you for the couragous person you are, then they appreciate you more for it. Therefore, they see your strength and are strong too.

But what does CF mean for our future?

Nobody knows what the future holds for anyone, so I try not to dwell on fear. However, I did push guys away in the past. I didn't want to "ruin" their lives. I felt bad they had to deal with my CF and some boyfriends would mention things that would upset me. For example wanting to do traveling all the time, or how many biological kids they wanted... etc. Yep, well traveling is super hard on me and I can't have children. So those relationships ended fast. Lots of topics go through your head when you have a "terminal disease." Can they handle this or that? Especially after watching others with the same disease pass away. I'd get scared and think. Will they be upset since I can't have kids and we have to adopt or go through surrogacy ( if they aren't a CF Carrier)? Are they type of person that could handle being a single parent if something happened to me?

Those topics are sad, but truthfully I think about them sometimes. Andrew is the first guy I've ever actually discussed all these issues with. I love that it didn't make him change his mind one bit. He discussed everything with me & to be honest I love that I can be completely honest with him! I know with him, we can tackle anything life gives us!

The key to a relationship while having CF: is talking, honesty, and caring.

I know these seem obvious to any relationship. But, the fact I can be honest and talk to Andrew about anything shows that I don't need to hide or be afraid of anything my CF may bring to our lives. I know we will have medical obstacles more often than the normal couple. BUT, talking and being honest about feelings will keep us on the same page! And they have to care, help you when you need it. Never complain about it and want to do it. I'm completely comfortable around him and he cares enough to always think about my CF. He's carried me during arthritis flare ups, picks up my prescriptions all the time, does maunal CPT on me daily. He cares. We care for each other and that is the biggest success to our relationship!

You may have heard the saying:  Love is putting their needs infront of your own. 
I think of it like this: Love is putting their needs infront of your own, and them putting your CF infront of everything!

Last year for our 1 year Anniversary Andrew planned a whole suprise weekend! It was one of the best weekends I have ever had! Make sure to check out the fabulous weekend HERE!

Pic left: Us Mini Golfing last year! 

This year Andrew had to work from 9-5pm, but he brought me home flowers and the sweetest card. Then we got dressed up (my sweater dress- pic right)  and he drove me to my "secret" date night. Which consisted of Shopping at my favorite mall! I love Crate & Barrel and the Body Shop. This mall has both! We bought me a couple banana shampoos & he got a cologne! We then had dinner reservations at a Restaurant called Tuscany. The food was delicious! We had Calamari for an App, then I had " Spaghettini Di Mare". I love seafood and this pasta had every kind of seafood I could think of in it! We also ordered this beautiful Creme Brulee for dessert (pic below)!



It was a great date, honestly we could of done anything. I'm just beyond lucky that I have Andrew. He has completely changed my life!

So don't let CF or anything make you believe you won't find someone who fits perfectly with you! You will, just be patient! I was and I am very glad I was ( which we all know patience is not something I'm good at), but this time it sure paid off. I simply Love him!

& now part two:   Relationships from HIS perspective








3 comments:

  1. You're lucky to have him. He's lucky to have you. It's wonderful that you love each other.

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  2. I am very glad for you both! Be happy and keep fighting!

    LT
    HomeSaltTherapy.com

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  3. Thank you, both of you! I am very lucky and I will never stop fighting :-) With Andrew's help it makes life a lot easier and happier! Thanks for reading. As a blogger I always know what I'm going to be writing/posting, but with Andrew writing his perspective for the next post... I'm anxious to post it and read it along with my readers! lol

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