Kelly Bergeron's Story

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Kelly Bergeron’s Story

My name is Kelly I am going to be 27 on December 30, 2005 and I was diagnosed with CF when I was 15. I’ve always been told I have a “mild” case of CF. I think being diagnosed when youíre in your teens is very tough to deal with. I never knew what Cystic Fibrosis was, never mind never hearing of such a disease. Telling my friends as sophomores in high school was a little hard. I didnít want to scare them off, I barely knew what it was and I didnít want to have to try to explain it to all of them. My closest friends of course knew something was wrong cause I always had this coughÖI was known as skinny girl with the permanent cough. My closest friends took the news very well, only asked a few questions and that was it, we never really talked about it much. My boyfriend at the time was very nervous and read and printed every piece of information he could find online. He read as many medical books he could find in our school library and that of course didnít put him at ease at all. But of course, I hid my emotions, no one really knew I was upset to find out I had a disease at the age of 15. I remember my mother crying and crying and I felt bad so I didnít want her to know I was upset too. That is how I have continued to be. I donít want anyone to worry about me, so I try to keep things from them now that Iím almost 27 and live on my own. I donít tell my mom, sister or boyfriend if Iím not feeling well right away, I rarely tell them if Iím upset or sick of dealing with having CF. My family and my boyfriend are what keeps me strong. Without them I don’t know what I’d do. Overall I have always been very carefree and tend not to worry about myselfÖjust worry about others. Which I know I shouldnít do.

Yes I do have a hard time with keeping up on my meds, but overall I feel pretty good! I am going thru a lot of tests right now due to the fact that I got Pancreatitis twice within a 3-month period. The first time I got it was Memorial Day weekend of this year. It happened 2 weeks before I was supposed to leave my job to start a new job. The job I was at, at the time, was very understanding whenever I needed time out. They actually made a schedule for me so if I had to take some time out during the week for appointments or what not I could still do that and be able to make up my time at another time in the same week. When I first started there I had one partner at work that would get really mad cause I got sick and was out for about a week or so. She was my fill in so she didn’t appreciate my being out. She didn’t know about my CF and went into our boss complaining and he told her I had CF. Of course she then understood. I have always been lucky to have co-workers/bosses who are understanding and have never given me a hard time about missing work. The only thing I ran into recently was I had left my company and later wanted to go back for a different position. They would not take me back because they were concerned about me missing time with this new position.

So as of right now my GI Specialist is trying to find a way to prevent a re-occurrence of the Pancreatitis again. My biggest problem is gaining weight. I am 5’3 and weigh 105 lbs. I was told at my last clinic appointment if I do not gain weight and keep it on, a g-tube is going to be highly considered for me.

I am happy to say that I am able to work a full time job as an administrative assistant to the District Tax Manager here. I do shows in selling PartyLite candles as a part time job and just completed Bartending School, hoping to find a job in that in January of 2006. I live by myself and do not depend on anyone but myself to take care of me. Lately with doing all these different tests, and being sick for different things I can definitely feel the changes in my lifeís health. There are more times in my life now than before that I get very upset about dealing with everything. Again, Iíve always been so strong. But I think you can only be so strong and hide your feelings for so long. Itís hard to be that way forever. SoÖI honestly donít know how to handle my new emotions. I know I will get through being upset and be back to my carefree self eventually. All I do know is I feel very fortunate to be this healthy and to have such a great support team that include my parents, my sister Lisa, brother Michael, brother-in-law Wesner and boyfriend Scott. You definitely have to take care of yourself, don’t make the wrong choices in life (drugs, drinking heavily, etc), pray and think positive! That’s my thing, always-think positive; live each day like it’s your last.

— Submitted by Kelly in December, 2005

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