Darcy is back with another blog! Today she’s going to be talking about our relationship!
Before Gunnar and I even went out on our first date, he told me not to google cystic fibrosis. I honored his request, and I let him tell me about CF though his own eyes… for the time being. After a few weeks of learning about Gunnar’s specific brand of CF, I walked into the welcoming embrace of my closest frenemy… the Internet.
If you have a blog about CF, I’ve probably read it. Ever posted on the CF forum on Reddit? I’ve read that, too. Use #cysticfibrosis hashtags on social media? There is a likelihood that I’ve seen your stuff.
At the beginning of our relationship, I just had this yearning to learn everything and anything about CF. This urge wasn’t a noble thing; it was born out of anxiety. It acted more like an obsession. Dating Gunnar changed my life regardless of the CF piece, but dating Gunnar was also like an invitation to come live on a different planet. On my own little planet, cystic fibrosis didn’t exist. Yet all of a sudden, it became the language I used, the rules I followed, the customs I observed, and in some ways, the dictator of my future. I was a foreigner who showed up to her destination empty-handed and confused, but I reallyyy liked Gunnar and I wanted to stay.
I guess then, it makes sense that my natural instinct was to google the crap out of CF, despite Gunnar’s warnings. I wanted to know things that Gunnar couldn’t quite verbalize to me (at least not at the beginning of our relationship). Some of the stuff I found was helpful, and some of the stuff I found was (**shockingly**) unhelpful. There was me, and there was Gunnar, and there was cystic fibrosis. Our relationship felt like the 3 of us.
…And then one day, probably upwards of 6 months into our relationship, I realized that I hadn’t researched CF in a couple days. I hadn’t even thought about it. So naturally, I pulled out my phone and researched it some more. But then I put the phone away for a while.
With some time, I had assimilated to planet CF. I was happy on planet CF. It felt normal. My relationship was just me and Gunnar, and CF was no longer our third wheel.
Some people say, “when you find the right person, they’ll be able to overlook the CF.” Gunnar himself says, “some people can handle it, and some people can’t.” I don’t think it’s that black and white. I couldn’t overlook it at the beginning. Nor did I know how I would be able to handle it. Never did it cross my mind to end things with Gunnar because of CF, but there was definitely a long adjustment period of consuming internet searches and endless questions before it felt natural to me.
There’s no need to discount people who don’t seem like they can take on CF right away. For most people, it takes time. And some internet stalking. And then before you know it, that once anxious person is cleaning up your mucus puke with as much thought as if you had spilled a glass of water.
The views expressed on any guest column, are that of guest contributors, and not necessarily those of Gunnar Esiason or the Boomer Esiason Foundation. Nothing in guest columns should be considered medical advice; such advice can only be given by a physician who is experienced with cystic fibrosis. The Boomer Esiason Foundation, Gunnar Esiason, and guests cannot be held responsible for any damage which may result from using the information on this website without the permission of your medical doctor.