Interview with Lynn

Interviewed by Inga Bajalyte on October 19, 2002

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: 

     Lynn is a single 35 year-old woman who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) when she was 6 or 7 months old. She describes her childhood and early adulthood as normal and says that CF actually started really interfering with her life in the year 2000. Lynn started coming to CF clinic at UNC 11 years ago and had her double lung transplant surgery there in 2002.  Before the surgery Lynn worked for a Public Relations Company and is planning to continue working there after her recovery. Lynn relocated to Durham for the surgery from Wilmington where she has been living for 11 years. Lynnís recovery seems to be very smooth. During her 6-week recovery process, she had only minor setbacks and no sign of rejection has been noticed so far.

Excerpts from Transcript

Excerpt 1 | Excerpt 2 | Excerpt 3 | Excerpt 4 | Excerpt 5

Excerpt 1

 

Background: 

Lynn describes the first time when she faced serious health deterioration.

Excerpt:

I worked real hard that summer and all that fall Ö then to that winterÖ just to gain some ground and start feeling better, put some weight on. I was down to about 95 pounds at that point of time. And nothing is working and nothing is working. By about January of 2001 I was on oxygen full time, 24 hours. I was still about 95 pounds. Just not having whatís accepted to pull me out of this. I think what had happened is my lungs have gone kind of beyond the point where they would really be able to recover. I just didnít know it at that time.

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Excerpt 2

 

Background: 

It was interesting to find out that for some people waiting for transplant was not stressful at all.

Excerpt:

So waiting wasnít hard for me. In fact my mind set was the longer the better. I had no problem with this.  The waiting was easy for me.

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Excerpt 3

 

Background: 

Lynn had a lot of doubts about having the surgery prematurely. Even when the doctors thought it was the right time to do the transplant, Lynn still believed it was too early.

Excerpt:

Everybody knew I needed a transplant. Everyone thought I needed a transplant, but me. Everybody thought it was time, except for me. It was the hardest thing about coming in terms of needing a transplant for me was not doing it prematurely. I really needed to believe that I have got as much mileage out of my old lungs as possible. I had gone as far as I could. It wasnít that I didnít want to do the transplant or wouldnít have evaluated, but I just did not want to do it too soon. And I had to be comfortable of what too soon was. Whatís the right time? So they would come in and say, ďAre you ready for this?Ē, and I would say, ďNo, I am not ready for this. I am doing fine. I donít need that yet. I am doing great.Ē Not great, butÖ

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Excerpt 4

 

Background: 

Lynn was positively surprised to find out that after surgery the maintenance is easier than before the transplant.

Excerpt:

Now Iíll tell itís a whole lot easier on the side of it. I was devoting hours every day to nebulizer treatments and airway clearance. And everything that was going on with it was just taking hours. And in this sense before transplant and on this side of it itís a handful of pills 4 times a day and, of course, the first three months youíre in rehab and at hospital a lot but thatís going to change.

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Excerpt 5

 

Background: 

Lynnís outlook on her terminal disease is very optimistic and encouraging.

Excerpt:

But as strange as it sounds and as sick as I was, I never thought of CF as limiting my life. I just I fully expected to live well into my old age; kind of before I got so sick. Never had a mind set that this is going to kill me early, this is goingÖI am not going to live till 30. Iíd never believed that. Even when I evaluated, I believed that I had good 5 years.

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For more information, contact Dr. Mary Jo Festle, Associate Professor of History at Elon University.

Email: festle@elon.edu

This page last updated 11/24/02