When did you two meet and when did you tell your partner that you had CF?
Nicola- We met early in the new year of 2009. We had one date and then it was quickly a regular thing so I felt I had to tell him in the first week that I had CF because of my daily routines with medications etc. I have never really had a problem with telling anyone about it, partly because I think most people really don’t know what it is. I’m always fairly blunt and honest, describing it as a lung disease which effects breathing because of too much mucus and that the medications help to get rid of it.
Aaron- To be specific we met in a pub, she came up to me, poked me in the chest and said “I know you”. Following our date and at the time of telling me she had CF, I didn’t have any idea what it was. I wanted to learn about what it was.
What about with work do you tell them about CF?
Nicola- In my current job I told them in the interview because they asked about sick days, so I explained about CF and pointed out my past references in case they were concerned about how often I would be absent. Usually once in a job people witness what CF is like, they see you on down days and usually see you in the lead up to being admitted to hospital, so it is good to be up front and honest. In my experience people are supportive when they are able to understand what the issues are.
Has having CF impacted on the way you have gone into this relationship?
Nicola- Not at all. I have not let CF stop me from doing anything.
Did you worry about meeting your partner’s parents and how your partners parents would react when they found out you had CF?
Nicola- No, but I am always a little nervous and curious to learn about what they might say in reaction to finding out, however, I was confident that they would react like Aaron and be understanding.
Aaron- I can’t remember if they knew what it was to be honest, they were curious, but it wasn’t really an issue.
What was your wedding day like?
Nicola- Very relaxed on the day, bit stressed during the week before, however when it happened I was really calm and collected. I enjoyed the whole day; I had lots of family and friends over from the UK. On the day during the ceremony there were 2 black swans drifting past on the river, of which the UK mob had never seen before, and then after the ceremony there were a couple of dolphins which everyone really enjoyed.
Aaron- The week before the wedding she was Bridezilla! It was great to know it was actually happening. There were some funny moments; I split my trousers during the reception. Nicola says it was because of my erratic dancing.
What plans do you have for the future?
Nicola- We are going on our Honeymoon to Hawaii, Las Angeles and Las Vegas. We are also planning on doing up our new house, having more holidays and maybe a baby in my 30’s.
Aaron- I’m waiting for the last leg of my permanent visa to come through and then hopefully I can join the Police.
Any advice for balancing CF and relationships for other couples and others seeking a partner?
Nicola- Don’t try to make it more complicated then it needs to be. Though you may have CF you’re still a normal person, with similar expectations. When in a relationship, make sure your partner understands things like stamina levels and is sympathetic with the time that a person with CF needs to spend on medical routines. The partner may also need to take on more things, such as extra household chores, where a CF person can’t.
Aaron- Don’t treat it as a burden, encourage your partner who has CF to stay positive. Don’t have the expectation that they will always be able to do the same amount as you because they will have fluctuations in energy and ability to do things.
Article from RED Magazine, Autumn 2013.