As the Patient Advocate at Cystic Fibrosis & Freedom Pharmacies, I am pleased to embark on this new blog! I am here for you.
I look forward to discussing the impact of Cystic Fibrosis and other chronic medical conditions on patients and hearing your thoughts related to coping with these often overwhelming disorders. You may be a patient, a caregiver or a family member. And, if you are a clinician or healthcare worker, I would also greatly value your input! My role at the pharmacies includes serving as a resource to both patients and their clinics.
I begin this journey with open arms as well as an open mind to explore honestly what is important to YOU. So, the question becomes, “Where do we begin?”
I will simply start by telling you that I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with over ten years of experience in the mental health therapy field, specializing in the treatment of improving coping skills for people with chronic conditions. I also have a private, Central FL office providing mental health counseling for all ages.
I assist with treating depression and anxiety and work with stress management, grief and loss and coping with chronic conditions. I also help patients in adjusting to life transitions, conduct marriage, couples and family therapy and aid in patients’ personal growth and reflection.
Getting a feel for my professional credentials may help you in getting to know me, but it may also be important for you to know that I also have Cystic Fibrosis. I was diagnosed as a young child with only the term “failure to thrive” as a means of defining my prospective outcome. I then went approximately seven years without formal treatment of my pulmonary or digestive ailments.
It’s my understanding that this limitation (along with, potentially, the severity behind my specific genotype) led me toward continuous health decline throughout the remainder of my childhood and adolescence. I underwent the double-lung transplant procedure over 17 years ago.
Since then, I certainly make efforts proactively to maintain my health and be able to experience and live my life to the fullest. Now in all honesty, proactive healthcare was not always in my active vocabulary, specifically during adolescence prior to my transplant. It has taken time, guidance, as well as the improved development of healthy insight to come to healthier conclusions and change my perspective.
I offer these insights into my own history merely to welcome you to comment, share and begin to ask questions related to your own coping needs. I will also tell you that learning to cope effectively with the many frustrating aspects of the chronic condition is truly a process. It is often very difficult and overwhelming.
This new blog and my role as Patient Advocate at the Cystic Fibrosis & Freedom Pharmacies is just one of the many avenues of support for our patients, their caregivers, families and healthcare providers. I look forward to hearing from you, responding to you, and creating beneficial, encouraging relationships to aid in your mental and emotional healing. My wish is that this may have a positive impact on your overall physical health and happiness.
There are many important topics to be explored with you as we move forward. I’d like to start today by asking you personally… What are some of YOUR concerns in dealing with Cystic Fibrosis or your chronic disorder diagnosis?
Summer Katz, M.A. NNC, LMHC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Cystic Fibrosis Pharmacy Patient Advocate
*Disclaimer: This blog is provided for informational purposes only (including brief topic exploration or reflection) and should not be used as a substitute for professional mental health or medical treatment.