May 06 2014

Dryden Groat

My childhood was a challenge for my family and I, as it is with most CF cases. I was a relatively healthy kid despite having this disease. My CF affects my digestive system and weight gain a lot more than my lungs, so the only real concern for my family was to keep putting weight on me. I started playing baseball when I was four, ran around and played with my friends, and was just as active as any normal child. My parent's never held me back and always told me to never let my disease keep me from doing things I wanted to do.

I wake up every morning and sit on the end of my bed to start my breathing treatment. I do two puffs of Xopanex then follow that up with a HyperSal treatment accompanied by 20 minutes on the vest and finish it off with Advair. With every meal I take six enzymes (Zenpep) and I take three with snacks, I also drink at least two Scandishakes a day to get in some extra calories. After I get home from class and work I take my dog, Beau, who is a chocolate lab, out for a jog and some fetch. In a day, I'd say we cover about two miles. When we get back I strap up to do another breathing treatment but this one is followed up with pulmozyme, then when it's time for bed I take my daily medicines, prevacid, zyrtec, aquadek vitamin, nasonex, and a zinc supplement. 

I'd say my main motivation for staying healthy is other people living with CF and their families. I'm blessed to be in such good health and not have as bad a case as most others, so I fight for those who are less fortunate. I make it my goal to not be a statistic and to show others that even with this disease we can achieve great things. Along with those individuals, I fight for my family, my girlfriend, and my friends who have done nothing but support me through all I've been through. 

I can't really remember a single worst day with CF, but I can recall how hard the times are when I get tired of fighting. I ask the question, "Why me?" and I sometimes get depressed, but with prayer and help from those who are closest to me I think of all those who are counting on me and how this disease was given to me for a reason and I keep battling. 

My best day with CF was the day I won the 2009 Texas 1A state baseball championship with my high school team. It was more than just a victory for my team, it was a victory for myself because when that gold medal was hung around my neck I was proud of myself for never letting this disease keep me from playing the sport I love, no matter how hard things got sometimes.

Yes, everyone who knows me knows I have CF. I'm very open about it. I like to share my story and experiences with others.

I love to play and coach baseball, it's what I've done since I was a kid. I grew up with the sport and it's something I plan to be a part of until the day I die. It's the greatest sport in the world in my opinion. Along with baseball, I enjoy playing guitar, exercising with my dog, spending time with my family and girlfriend, drawing, and writing.

My career goal is to be a counselor. I really enjoy helping others.

My personal goals are to get married and spend a long, healthy, happy life with my spouse.