The Hickman's Story

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After getting bronchitis a few times a year and pneumonia a couple times a year and my doctor noticing my medical chart was quite thick for a nineteen year old, my doctor in the small town of Chowchilla, California refered me for a sweat chloride test. Two sweat chloride tests confirmed that I had Cystic Fibrosis…six months later…my first sinus surgery. After going to a CF christmas party one year, the adult CFers couldn’t believe that I had CF. (I don’t have a problem losing weight, I have a problem of gaining weight.) Comparing their lives to mine, I almost couldn’t believe that I had CF. I requested more testing and two sweat chloride tests came back normal. So my doctor referred me for genetic testing. That confirmed that I was a carrier of CF. Wow! I was so excited, I was told I didn’t have CF!!! Six months later I get a call that they found my other mutated gene. So now I have CF again and it was here to stay. (My diagnosis of CF was interesting so I thought I would share that with you)

I have been married to my husband Robbie for six years now. I tell you the lord blessed me so much by bringing Robbie into my life. I may have a mild disease but, I still have doctor appts. all of the time or this test or that pain and he is always there and always patient with me. Robbie and I have two boys: Christian is four and Ty is two. They are my miracle babies! When I was diagnosed with CF, I was worried most about maybe not being able to have children. After two miscarriages and a difficult pregnancy, I was blessed with Christian. I went into the hospital at 30 wks pregnant with ruptured membranes and on complete bedrest until I was 37 wks pregnant and delivered C-Section. Two years later I had my little Ty Ty! That pregnancy went better the doctors just took me off work early in the pregnancy. BTW, Robbie is not a CF carrier so my boys do not have CF.

I work for Kaiser Permanente in Fresno, California. I have been working there in the Emergency Room (administrative) for six years now. I know, you guys hate the emergency room and their long waits…I get yelled at all the time from patients. Anyways, I have been off work since July with this pancreatits – gallbladder stuff going on with me.

I attend the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at Valley Childrens Hospital in Fresno, California. They are great! I have had three sinus surgeries and I know I’ll have many more. As you know already I have more GI problems than I do lung problems. Although, even having pancreatitis, I don’t have a problem losing weight. I have a problem gaining weight! When I have my acute attacks, I lose some pounds but then I gain it right back as soon as I feel better!

To the best of my knowledge, I know nobody in my family history that has CF. My older brother has never had any symptoms, so he has never been tested.

I think that is a pretty good history. Now you know me. Thanks for letting me in on Cystic L. I have to admit that I haven’t had much communication with other CF patients. I am very uninformed with CF. I was just amazed when I was reading all your posts on Cystic L. I feel awful for not keeping updated on CF. I do have a “mild” disease, but everyday I still think of what my future brings and I get scared. I think I have been looking at CF as “what I don’t know won’t hurt me”. I am making a pact to change that. I am going to become aware of what is going on and I thank Cystic L for being here to help me get informed.

— From messages posted by Kim to Cystic-L in November, 1999