Day 2. Enzymes
After that came little round tablets, each enzyme came in a foil-wrapped packaging. It took longer to open them than it did to swallow them.
As a teenager, I used Cotazyme, which was in a capsule form and contains hundreds of beads, like Creon is today. I took 20 with a standard meal and 25 if I was eating fast food.
With the advancements in medical technology, the enzymes do their ‘thing’ better. Currently, I only need 10 Creon for each meal. If you’re a math-based person, you’ll realize that taking 10 Creon with three meals a day for seven days is not 238. I also take Creon with my immunosuppressant medications to aid their absorption.
Why people with CF need enzymes
For some people with CF, their pancreas has scarring. My pancreas tends to get blocked and unblocked regularly. Thick sticky mucous causes the blockages. In fact, thick sticky mucous is the cause of all the problems created by Cystic Fibrosis.
My on-again-off-again blockages mean that at the drop of a hat, my enzyme needs change. Which doesn’t bother me — I’m used to taking handfuls of tablets.
The transition period, however, can be an absolute bitch. I call it the Game of Creons. It even comes with its own throne. One minute you’re constipated, then the next, you have an exploding bottom.
Right now, I am totally dependant on enzymes. In comparison, eighteen months ago, I was mostly pancreatic sufficient. Back then, I took a measly two Creon with meals and nothing with snacks.
31 Days of Cystic Fibrosis Bonus Fact
27 is my magic number. I don’t just take Creon. I have quite the cocktail of medication that I consume daily. 27 is the number of tablets I can swallow with one sip of water.
It’s one of my superpowers.
Want to read more about Cystic Fibrosis?
View my Medium publication Speaking Chronically for more!
Sandi Parsons - Cystic Fibrosis Warrior.