Where are you now, Sophie?Sophie lives with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and has shared her experiences with us for two of the young people’s sections on Healthtalkonline.org since 2007. Here she tells us about how life has been since then.
It’s been seven years since I was first interviewed and during this time I’ve been on many adventures and lived some of my dreams!
I graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in Psychology before working and travelling around Australia for a year. I’ve also visited Africa, India, Indonesia and South East Asia.
I’ve competed in a triathlon and a half marathon; taken part in a BBC Horizon documentary; done the highest bridge bungee jump in the world; swam with dolphins and fallen in love. But there is one thing that has remained constant over the past seven years: my daily battle with cystic fibrosis.
Each day I have to do around two hours of physiotherapy to clear the thick, green sticky mucus from my lungs. I also take over 20 tablets and do four nebulisers a day to thin the mucus and fight off infection. I’ve managed to maintain a good lung function through exercising everyday and having regular intravenous antibiotics. However, living with CF is not easy; it’s exhausting. There is no break. On a bad day I may cough up blood or feel like I’m drowning in mucus. Some days my chest aches and I feel drained of energy, but when I’m feeling well I certainly make the most of every day. My aim in life is not to let CF stop me from achieving my dreams and I’m lucky that I have amazing support from my family, boyfriend and friends who are always there for me.
I’m now living in Perth, Australia with my boyfriend, Ryan. I am passionate about supporting and empowering young people and I work for a charity that encompasses these principles. It is a challenge working full time and fitting in my daily treatments. I’m often left feeling exhausted but I love my life here in Perth and have great support from colleagues and friends.
I sometimes think how different life would be if I didn’t have CF and all the extra time I’d have each day to do other things. But then again, if I didn’t have CF, I don’t think I would have the same appreciation for life. I wouldn’t have met so many incredible people or had the same amazing opportunities and adventures.
I do everything I can to stay as well as possible. I am currently taking part in a clinical trial for a new CF treatment. My hope is that an effective treatment will become available for everyone living with CF during my lifetime.
See Sophie's interviews on living with long-term health conditions and taking part in clinical trials.