Picks-at-Flies's Cystic Fibrosis Blog

I suffer from the genetic condition Cystic Fibrosis. I generally keep myself comparatively well with Western antibiotics (and steroids, and vitamins and...), Osteopathy (generally to tackle tightness on the lungs) and Acupuncture. Unfortunately I tend to lose track of how I was behaving this time last year so I have started this blog to help me keep track of things. You are also welcome to look. For more on Cystic Fibrosis see the CF Trust website http://www.cftrust.org.uk.

Articles: Chinese medicine, CF and Me :=: Another year on :=: Top ten ways of staying healthy
Reference: Description of herbs :=: List of herbs :=: About this blog


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> pwcf.com
A "fan" site created by People With CF. Highly recommended.

> CF Trust
Official site for this excellent British charity. Includes extremely well populated forums - highly recommended.

> What is Cystic Fibrosis?
A pictorial guide to the key parts of CF and to living with it.

> Cystic Fibrosis Medicine
A somewhat thin internation site for CF patients and specialists.

Other blogs

> Breath of Life
Another CF blog, rather more complete than mine!

> Cystic Fibrosis and Me: A Personal Journey
(Clockwatcher sadly passed away 2006; the site seemed to follow him)

I seem to have lost my links to other CF blogs. If you want yours added, give me an email.

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Fri, Aug 20 2004

Three years of acupuncture

15 months ago I wrote my first article, "CF, Chinese medicine and me" printed this Summer in CF Talk. Since then I have developed further understanding of Chinese medicine - specifically acupuncture and herbs - and how it interacts with my CF. However nothing that I wrote in the first article do I now disagree with, good or bad.

I am more firmly convinced now that the treatment has helped me. The problems that I suffer now are different but distinctively easier than they were three years ago. In fact that biggest problem that I suffer from at the moment is fitness (as more and more of my time is devoted to projects in books and on the computer).

In the past eight months I have concentrated almost totally on my Masters course, except for a two month spell when I had my portacath put in (I was out of hospital within the week but suffered a long six week reaction to the general anaesthetic). During those eight months I have largely neglected my swimming, and my lack of fitness reflects that. Luckily my recent holiday had its own private swimming pool - luxury!

I still suffer from heat, I still cannot work as hard as my parents and I still cannot push myself without repercussions. However my peak energies are starting to build back up to the levels they were when I was 14 but more noticeably my troughs are getting fewer and lighter. For the first time in ten years I do not feel the need for regular work to relax my lungs by a cranial osteopath.

As before there are too many factors to be able to claim with certainty the benefits of Chinese medicine. If I can say nothing else, it has forced me to take a deeper look at my health, but then I took cranial osteopathy for seven years beforehand without significant longterm improvement. I am certain that without this treatment I would not be in the healthy state I am today.

Think about this: a constant barrage of strong antibiotics will weaken the lungs and weaken your immune system. If Chinese medicine or other alternative treatments can slow the rate of antibiotics or even strengthen the lungs (again) then so much the better. Be alert for side effects, but apart from stopping a couple of herbs that were doing the wrong thing I have not noticed any. Nor have any of the vital CF medical tests.