I have to tell you… when I asked Darcy if she’d take over a guest column on my blog, I didn’t think this is the direction we’d be going, but alas here we are… talking about my farts.
Gunnar is often asked questions along the lines of… what do you do about coughing in front of a date? …when do you fart in front of your significant other? …what do girls think about all your mucus?
Cystic fibrosis is definitely gross. It’s really just boogers galore. When I hear about people with CF who worry about sharing the gross side of CF with their partners, I can totally empathize. Typically, that kind of vulnerability (“I’m going to be late to our date because I have explosive diarrhea”) is reserved for looong-term relationships. People with CF don’t have the luxury to wait until it’s safe to share those kinds of things.
The thing, is, though, it’s not going to bother someone who is really into you.
I am reminded of a conversation I had with my Mom when I was about 12 years old. On the brink of starting my teenage babysitting career, I asked my Mom how often an infant needs a diaper change. “About 10 times per day,” she explained. I was disgusted. “You wiped my butt 10 times a day!? How on earth did you get through that!?”
“Yeah,” she said, “When its your own kid, you love them, and you just don’t care.”
How I feel about Gunnar’s CF-related grossness, is how I imagine I’ll feel about changing my own kid’s diapers someday in the future. I love him, so I just don’t care. I’ll be the first to notice a little bit of mucus in Gunnar’s beard and give him a subtle hint to wipe his face. I’ll help dispose of mucus cups or mucus-puke if I’m there when it happens. I’ll write lyrics to the symphony of farts he rips all night long. If it was someone else, I’d be super grossed out. But it’s Gunnar, so it’s just a part of my life.
Ironically, Gunnar is the one who is a baby has a more difficult time tolerating gross stuff. A few years ago we were taking care of his parents’ dogs for an evening, and it was time for them to be fed. Gunnar started gagging as he scooped their food into their bowls (and the food wasn’t even dog food, it was ground beef). He was so grossed out that I had to finish feeding them. Guess who also handled the dog poop?
And yet… when it comes to Blink, our puppy, Gunnar is a new man. We once left her in the crate while we went to dinner for an hour, and we came back to what I can only describe as a poopsplosion. Gunnar, who used to be unable to dish out dog food, scooped up our poopy little puppy into his arms and reassured her that the poopsplosion would be resolved. He loves her, so he didn’t care. These days, Gunnar and I are both dog s%*t connoisseurs, often discussing the minutiae of her bowel movements and making sure our girl is regular.
Much like dirty diapers and dog poop, the grossness of CF has become an everyday part of my life that I am happy to embrace. Love conquers poop!