The Internet Thinks I Might be Dead

Apparently the Internet thinks I might be dead, and I think that’s hilarious.

Like any normal person, I was Googling myself and this came up….

Suggested searches are my favorite searches.

The answer for those of you keeping score at home is, YES, I am still alive.

I suppose some people come across the old Sports Illustrated article from 1993 and then wonder, “Wow is he still alive?

I guess if I weren’t me, I’d wonder the same thing too. In those days, when the Sports Illustrated article was written, we had lots of hope about the way things in CF were going to go, but we didn’t really have much else.

You’d go to the doctor, get a prescription for your enzymes, albuterol and Pulmozyme, and then leave with a nice pat on the back and a “good luck!

Now it’s very different, but unless you’re living in the world of CF you probably don’t know that…. and that’s why people may think I’m dead.

But I’m not! I’m still here.

It’s a weird feeling to be confronted with my own mortality on the Internet. Strangers and the trolls out there thinking I’m 6 feet under. It’s sort of like a reminder that a lot of people associate chronic illness with impending doom.

I suppose the natural course of my life probably should have ended long ago, but luckily science has intervened and I’ve been defying natural selection for a few decades.

Truthfully I do think about my health quite a bit. After all it is what gives me the ability to do (or prevents me from doing) whatever I want. It’s a hard thing not to think about. Spending a few hours doing treatments each day is the only reminder I’d ever need!

But I don’t really think too much about death, although my health is certainly tied directly into such a topic. I do make an exception when I’m making light of my terminal illness in an attempt to make people laugh (my mom doesn’t like when I do that).

Death is a reality that all of us human beings will face. In my case statistics show that I may achieve that eventuality a bit quicker than the rest of the general public. But that’s just what the statistics say.

Sure death is a single end point of cystic fibrosis, but it’s just one of many.

“But Gunnar, how can we see another an end other than death?”

Feeling fulfilled is the only end point I care about. Going through life, living in a way that leaves me feeling proud about the things I have done (and not done – choosing not to do something can be a point of pride too) is all that I hope to achieve. CF serves as a major obstacle in that department, but it’s not a barrier. There’s a difference – a barrier is something we can’t get through, an obstacle can be overcome.

Maybe the only lasting mark I’ll leave is a Sports Illustrated article from 1993 and if that’s so it’ll be all right! At my end all I’ll want is to be able to look back and smile.

So that when the answer to the above Google inquiry is “no,” people will then learn how fulfilled I was in spite of living with CF…. a chronic illness. They’ll know it because they see CF as it once was, and no longer is – whenever that may be.

I’m not to that point yet… there’s plenty left to do, for others and for myself. Sometimes I forget I’m only in my 20s. I feel like I’ve lived a long life already, but that means there’s still so much more to enjoy, stress, resent and love. Until then, the chronic illness I’m living with doesn’t mean impeding doom – believe me, I’ll let you know when I think it does.

Rather it means tougher life, but one worth living… one to make count, and you know what? We’re all given that opportunity.