Cystic Fibrosis Dating

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Everyone it seems is flocking to  the Internet in search of love. But are they finding it? Join me as I unscramble the myths of  modern love, in “Lovesick: The Web Series”. Our cultural stories tell  us that true love is blind. Online this is anything but the case. We’ve filters to now screen our potential lovers. Anyone who doesn’t meet our  criteria gets edged out. But what if you had a trait that nobody liked? A trait that was entirely beyond your control? My name is Amy, I’m a finance student. And I suffer from cystic fibrosis, diabetes,  and I’ve had a liver transplant 13 years ago. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic  disease, so I was born with it.

Diabetes and the liver transplant  came a little bit later, but they   were both complications of having cystic fibrosis. I take 45 pills a day. I have seven doctors. I take insulin and nebulizers. I do physiotherapy to help me  breathe and clear my lungs. Cystic fibrosis has a life expectancy of 38. I mean, this number looms over me all the time. I think of it when I go to sleep,   I think about when I wake, I think of  it when I’m doing my uni assignment. What’s the point of living, if  you’re only gonna get to 38? It took me a long time to accept the  fact that I wanted a relationship. I came to online dating after very unsuccessfully   finding no one in bars and  clubs and through friends.

So I thought I would give it a go. Ultimately, cystic fibrosis  has to come up at some point,   and sometimes it was before the dates,  and sometimes it was after the dates. And when I told the guys that I had cystic  fibrosis, diabetes and the liver transplan,   some of them were asking me  questions about what it was. Which was fine, I’m happy  to answer their questions. Some of them were a bit offput  by it and stop talking to me. Others just ignore the fact altogether. So I met this guy online and it  started as a casual affair and then   it got deeper and feelings started  to grow and the “Ilove-yous” came.

He’d always known about the cystic fibrosis  and the diabetes and the liver transplant. And it never seemed like it was an issue for him. He never brought it up, he never  talked about his fears about it. And then one day he told me that he didn’t want  to be with a sick person and that floored me. I was always afraid that someone  would say that to me, and then he did. And I kind of started laughing,  and at the same time I was crying,   because I was like, “Well this  is a fear that I’ve always had.” I think people’s main fear of  dating someone with a chronic   illness is the burden that they have to take on.

It has to be a selfless person because  I’m gonna need you more than you need me. I don’t ask much from partners,  with having cystic fibrosis. I don’t want you to come to  the doctor’s all the time. I don’t want you to feed me my tablets. I don’t want you to be a constant presence there,  always reminding me that I have cystic fibrosis. I want your support, I want your love,   and I want you to ultimately come and sit with  me in the hospital and watch a movie with me. I don’t need a nurse or a carer. I need someone who is  compassionate and will love me. After a string of 16 bad dates, I finally had one  good one with a lovely guy, who I’m now seeing.

We met on tinder and on the first date the cystic  fibrosis issue did come up, as it always does. And it was really good,  because he had his own demons. I felt that we were coming at this  at a very dysfunctional, messy level. But it was real and human and the cystic fibrosis  didn’t seem like this big daunting issue. It was just something that  we both had to overcome. I think online dating has its pros and cons, but  it can be a way for people to shut off what they   don’t think or deem as normal, and the qualities  that don’t fit into a box that they wanted. For all those men who rejected me, and  all the men who never wrote back because   I have cystic fibrosis, I just want to say  that my fears are bigger than your fears.

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