The Many Colors of Cystic Fibrosis: Beige (Part 2)
In my last article, I discussed the impact of the color beige on my journey with cystic fibrosis (CF). Let’s continue talking about beige. You can read Part 1 of the color beige here.
I am a mixed race cystic fibrosis patient with two nonsense mutations. I've always been the oddball out. When I was a baby, a neighbor of mine made a comment to my mother: “Your baby is beige, huh?”
…and it just stuck! I often refer to myself as beige or tan.
I recently received an email from The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and their “Community Voice” group. (If you’re not subscribed to their email list, I highly recommend it!) They were asking for quotes from Native American patients, ones that they could share on social media throughout the month of November.
Growing up, CF patients were always white. Every pamphlet and poster reflected that. Present day, I feel seen as a person of color who battles CF. To know the cystic fibrosis community is celebrating my Native American roots (yet another minority group) makes me feel so proud to be a part of this inclusive group of patients and advocates.
Fall and fashion
Beige is the color of fall! It’s my favorite time of year for fashion, but my least favorite time for respiratory care. Covid, pneumonia, and flu… oh my! During this past hospital stay, I was recovering from back-to-back surgeries. I had a bronchoscopy and sinus surgery within 24 hours of each other, and I needed a pick-me-up. I stumbled upon an Instagram account online @officialsadbeige. This channel made me belly laugh to the point where the nurse came rushing in. Nothing says happiness like erratic vitals.
Food and drink
I've been told to eat the rainbow, especially after being diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes (CFRD) back in February. However, beige foods are often the most comforting. I eat them in moderation whenever I can.
I add sugar-free french vanilla creamer in my coffee every morning. I often wear a beige cardigan around the house because the coffee isn't as strong as my anti-rejection medication. I nice warm bowl of pasta, potatoes, or oatmeal keep me warm when I enjoy vintage cartoons.
Fun Fact: Some nail polishes can affect the reading on a pulse ox, so remember to leave one of your fall nails nude!
As a children's book author, I’m always looking for new and colorful ways to express a feeling and tell a story. Many publishing companies require that illustrations be submitted using a CMYK filter instead of the common RBG (red-blue-green) filter. Beige is infamously difficult to produce. Hence, the color beige is rarely at the forefront of my imagination.
However, sometimes the color is undervalued. The desert sand is a gentle reminder about the summers I spent at the beach, filling my lungs with salt air.
Khaki reminds me of school picture day that I was able to attend in between my many hospitalizations and absences.
In the end, there is so much lurking beneath the surface of the color beige.
Can you spot the color beige in your cystic fibrosis journey?
Check out more of Nicole's color series here!
PARENTS: Do you have a hard time finding snacks that your little CFer will eat?
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