Growing up, I never thought I would have a bright future ahead of me. I could dream, fantasise and only imagine what a bright future could look like for me. Then Kaftrio came along in 2021, and it changed everything.

You see, for those who don't know already, I have Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is a life-limiting lung disease and I was diagnosed when I was six weeks old. Basically, I've had it since I was a foetus. As you can imagine, my life is full of medication, phlegm and lung function tests. However, in June 2020, a brand new revolutionary drug was about to come onto the scene which would change everything - Kaftrio. Kaftrio is a triple combination treatment that helps tackle the underlying causes of Cystic Fibrosis. In other words, it's the closest thing to a cure. Well, one that I will see during my lifetime. 

A box of Kaftrio next to a retro letter board.

Fast forward from June 2020 to March 2021, I received my first Kaftrio delivery in a lovely little box. A box with a drug that can potentially change my life for the better. So, on the 5th March 2021, I swallowed my first two Kaftrio tablets and waited for the effect to kick in. I'm not joking guys, after 15 minutes, the phlegm was coming out of me like lava. I literally couldn't believe how much my little lungs had stored down there! I'm sorry if you're eating your tea while reading this! The day was then spent coughing and spluttering phlegm into a pot and feeling in disbelief that two little tablets could do so much! Honestly, phlegm was coming out of places I never knew existed. Again, I'm sorry if you're eating your tea.

The next few days followed and I started to feel the difference - in a good way. I could take a deep breath in without it being painful or having a coughing fit afterwards. My lungs just felt incredible! I did a lung function test a few days after my first dose and my LF (lung function) shot up 7% in four days! Stunned isn't the word for it! 

A few months later, my lung function monitor was giving me numbers I don't think I could ever aspire to in my whole life! I honestly never felt so well! 

A woman holding a box of Kaftrio

Obviously, all new medications bring with them their side effects. First, it started with acid reflux (under control now). Then came along sinus issues (kind of under control now) but at the moment (touch wood) things are ok. In this last year also, I've had Covid twice (thankfully made it through each time) and two chest infections. But that's ok. Thanks to Kaftrio (and Covid vaccines) I have managed to come through those obstacles unscathed thankfully!

One of my biggest, or actually biggest, issues with Kaftrio has been my mental health. I won't sugarcoat it, I've struggled. In a recent blog post, I talk about why I have been feeling overwhelmed by my future. Read here.

I think going from the probable prospect of a shorter future to the prospect of a brighter long term future is something I've been struggling to get my head around. My mental health has been up and down like a rollercoaster because of this. I've struggled.

It's something that I need to work through in my own time and at my own pace. This overwhelmingness is not going to disappear overnight. But with the help of my support network and psychologists at the CF clinic, I know I'll weather this storm. Because the first six months of Kaftrio was such a novelty that I didn't really think that far ahead. I was just enjoying the moment and enjoying feeling so well. In between that six month - 1 year period was when I started to fully comprehend everything. 

As I said, no new medication is going to come without its problems. Even Kaftrio has its tiny flaws and imperfections, but it's worth it. 

A woman holding a box of Kaftrio

One other thing that has gotten to me also is survivor guilt. Let me explain. Some people with CF cannot have Kaftrio because they don't have the right gene mutations that would help Kaftrio work its magic. I have a lot of CF friends who are on Kaftrio and are benefitting from it massively. But then I have some CF friends who can't have the drug for that gene's reason. It's incredibly heartbreaking and I kind of feel guilty for talking about Kaftrio online. It kind of feels like that I am rubbing their face in it. Don't get me wrong, that would NEVER be my intention in any way. But the only time I do talk about it is if I need advice about it. Otherwise, I just keep myself to myself and let Kaftrio do its job. 

So, one year on, Kaftrio has completely changed my life. 

It's not only helped me physically but it's made me learn about myself a lot mentally. As long as my liver continues to like it (it can affect liver function), then here's to a future on Kaftrio!

I hope you've learnt something from this post and if you have any questions, comment below or DM me and I'm happy to answer!

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Years ago, there were only two products that you could buy for your menstrual cycle - tampons or pads. You knew where you stood. Nowadays, there are not just tampons and pads. You have menstrual cups, reusable cloth pads and now period pants. 

Since I started my period at the age of 14 (TMI, sorry), I've only used pads. Purely because I'm one of those women who is scared that a tampon will get stuck or lost 'up there'. The same goes for menstrual cups - I won't even think of trying one. I may do it in the future, but not yet. Also, most tampons and pads are not environmentally friendly, which is not the best. 

A pair of lilac Ohne period pants

So, the only other option for me to try to replace pads is period pants. When period pants became so popular to use in menstrual cycles, I was both sceptical and intrigued. I never really thought they could absorb the amount of blog lost during one's period (again, TMI, sorry). There was always that scepticism that I could be walking around Morrison's and worrying I could be leaking. Also, I thought that period pants would feel incredibly bulky, similar to a nappy. Not that I wear nappies these days, but you know what I mean.

When Ohne reached out to me and asked me to try their period pants, I thought, why not?! They're worth a try! I thought it would be interesting to know whether I could convert to wearing these rather than bulky pads. I wanted to see if they could absorb, keep me remaining dry throughout the day and be comfortable to wear. 

A woman wearing period pants

Ohne is a period pants brand that sells toxic-free and plastic-free period pants. Their products have been certified by the leading organic certifying body in the UK - the Soil Association. They also donate a small revenue from their sales to The School Club Zambia, a charity that helps vulnerable schools in Zambia. Ohne sells pants of different colours and styles. Here, I'm wearing the High-Waist-Moderate in Lilac Sky.

Let's get back to how I got on with wearing period pants for the first time! I made a risky move and wore them on a day I was working. Could have gone either way! For the first time, as I wasn't sure exactly how much they'd absorb, I wore them for 8 hours. When I took them off at home, there was no mess and no sign of leakage. They were extremely comfortable and I didn't feel self-conscious or worried about leakage. An advantage to wearing period pants is that I don't have to worry about finding a toilet to check if I need to change the pad over. 

A woman wearing period pants

After use, it's as simple as rinsing them out and putting them in the machine for a quick spin. Then they're ready for use again, so easy! The only little snag with these is that they're a bit of an investment. You'll need to buy at least 3-4 pairs to last throughout your menstrual cycle, depending on how light or heavy your period is. In a way though, even though it's a bit of an investment, you're saving the planet in the long run! 

I would definitely recommend Ohne as your first period pants product!

They're comfortable, stylish and are a great menstrual cycle product to have at hand! I can safely say that I am now a period pants convert!

A woman wearing period pants

I'd love to know your thoughts on period pants - have you tried them before?

*This is a collaboration with Ohne. These pants were sent to me in exchange for a blog post. All period views are my own. For more information, please read my disclaimer. Thank you for your support!

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