Many of my life goals are limited by my sickness. My parents and doctors and the internet and my teachers and the school nurse and guidance counselors like to tell me that I can be or do anything! Just like any other kid! But, while I appreciate their attempts at convincing me, this is just not true. Maybe I can be or do anything, but it’s going to be a very different and much more difficult path to get there.
So what do I want to do? I want to work in medicine – it’s natural. I have spent most of my life growing up with hospital and doctors visits every week, being surrounded by medical professionals at each visit, charting and graphing my medical improvements and declines, reading package labels and warning about hundreds of different drugs, counting calories, counting fat grams, trying new drugs, trying new treatments, giving away blood, meeting with other CF kids in chat rooms and on skype, etc. My entire life has revolved around medical treatment.
I could certainly pursue a career path in medicine but it would be very limiting considering how sensitive my sickness makes me to germs. Spending more time than necessary in hospitals is not wise. I could work in medical research, helping kids like me have better options for treatment for this same illness, but there’s like no money in medical research and eventually I’ll have to pay for my own healthcare and it’s going to be expensive.
People tell me I’d be a great teacher! But teaching is another profession which exposes one to germs and illnesses.
My dad would like me to consider law school so that I can work in personal injury law because it’s pretty low-risk high-reward. I have no interest but may meet with someone from a personal injury law firm to explore the possibilities. I could also stay home, go to college, save money, work my way through school at my dad’s firm, and not have to worry too much about disrupting my lifestyle and therefore health.
I can’t be or do anything I want to, but I can adjust what I want to align with my abilities. It’s ok.