CF Awareness Month: Bugs (Bacteria)

One thing people with CF are good at is hoarding bugs in our lungs.  If you have seen the Mucinex monster commercials, our bugs are kind of like that but on steroids!  They like to hang out in there and not budge.  The problem is, that once the bugs are in there, it is hard to get them out.  The bugs thrive in a wet environment which is defiantly our lungs.  All of the thick sticky mucus in there holds onto the bugs and doesn’t let them go.  Therefore we have to take antibiotics to help kill the bugs, whether it is pills, IV or inhaled.  It can be a combo of those 3 methods also.  Reoccurring infections lead to scaring in the lungs which leads to lung damage.  Once again CF is progressive so it will get worse over time. I like to describe my lung infections like this, “it’s like mono (the kissing disease), once you have it, it’s always there, it’s just whether it is active or not.”  So yes my lungs will most likely always have these bugs in them but it is whether or not it is making me show signs and symptoms of an active exacerbation (infection).  I have not had a clear sputum culture in too many years to count.  It was when I was a kid.  Don’t worry you “normal people” don’t get bugs like us.  We are special.
day15 aspergillusday15 b cepaciaday15 candida

day15 hfluday15 mrsaday15 pseudomonas

day15 staphday15 steno

 

These are some of the most common bugs found in people with CF.

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