How I Manage Cystic Fibrosis with ADHD

Published by: Cystic Fibrosis News Today
Written by: BNS Staff

Cystic fibrosis is hard, for an infinite number of reasons. One area I struggle with is compliance. There’s a lot that goes into managing CF on a daily basis: treatments, medications, exercise, nutrition, sleep, etc. It can all feel overwhelming.

I also struggle with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). When I was diagnosed with ADHD at 18, a lot of things started to make sense for me. I began to realize why I struggled so much with things that others didn’t, or why I struggled to remember something like taking my enzymes, even though I’ve had to do this my whole life.

Having ADHD has impacted how I manage my health with CF. Often, it interferes with my treatment compliance. It’s not intentional, but it happens. I used to carry a lot of shame about that, so I kept it to myself.

As an adult, I’ve found that having simple morning and evening routines helps ensure I’m taking my meds, eating breakfast, getting in my treatments, and taking time for exercise. These routines are simple and I tweak them as my needs change.

In the beginning, I had an actual checklist to help remind me of everything. When it’s time for Cayston, I set an alarm on my phone to remember that afternoon dose. I have alarms set to help me remember to check my blood sugars. And I even have notes posted in a few places that say things like “Tired? Confused? Shaky? Sweaty? CHECK YOUR BLOOD SUGARS.”

It might seem silly to some, but these things have made a huge difference for me. If I skip just one part of this routine, I’m likely to let the whole thing slide unintentionally and forget to do things like take my meds or do a treatment. Click here to read the rest of the story

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