Patient story: "I was 12 years old when I learned how to do the physio by myself."

Lauren talks about living with cystic fibrosis and how she doesn't let it stop her from doing the things she loves

"Cystic fibrosis stops me from going out with friends sometimes and from doing sports, because it makes me cough a lot.

"I also have to go to doctors' appointments and to hospital when Id rather be with my friends doing social things. It can get a bit annoying at times.

"My personal symptoms include coughing, wheezing and being unable to do things that I normally could do if I wasnt ill. For example, if I was coughing a lot, then I couldnt do any sports or dancing because it would make me more productive, which means bringing up lots of phlegm and isn't very nice. Sometimes it makes me sick in front of my friends, which can be embarrassing.

"My treatmentsinclude medication, or I have antibiotics through a needle in my hand or Port-A-Cath, which is a piece of metal under the skin. I also have inhalers and physiotherapy twice a day, which helps stop me getting bugs and brings up all the nasty stuff that can do my body harm.

"I was 12 years old when I learned how to do my physio by myself properly. I also learned how to use my inhalers andthe Positive Expiratory Pressure (PEP) mask. My mum taught me how to do it.I think it was easier for her to teach me than a doctor because she has been with me the whole way through.

There isn't a proper age for people with cystic fibrosis to start learning their own treatments, just when they feel confident. Its important that people learn to manage their own treatment.It makes you feel more independent and happy that youre not relying on somebody else.

"Havingcystic fibrosisdoesnt stop me from doing everything I want to do, but when Im unwell, it can stop me from swimming and dancing. When Im well, I can do anything that someone who doesnt havecystic fibrosiscan do. I love to dance and sing, and I want to be an actressor dancer inmusicals.

"When Im unwell, I always try to have something to aim for. When Im in hospital and cant go out for a few days, I always plan something nice so that I have something to look forward to when I come out. You can fight anything bad that comes along when there's something positive at the end."

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Nov 2016