Kimmy Smith

CF patient Kimmy Smith

Have you studied beyond school? If so, how did you balance study, personal and CF responsibilities?

I completed a Certificate 3 in Office Administration which I completed as part of my full time employment that I gained not long after finishing school.  I have also completed a Certificate 4 in Telecommunications about 4 years later when I took on a role as a Call Centre – Customer Service Operator.  This extra study was part of my employment  so it didn’t really have an affect on my health at the time.

Do you work and if so, how many hours per week?

I currently do processing work (computer work sitting at a desk), 19 hours a week at the moment.  I find those hours currently give me a good balance between, working, being a busy mum and wife and also my health.  I worked full time for 7 years after leaving school, then due to health shortened my working week to 4 days.  I was very blessed to have our son in 2008 and after returning from maternity leave have worked mainly 2 to 2 1/2 half days a week since having our son 9 years ago.  I am very fortunate to work from home which helps to maintain a good balance between work and health and means less exposure to all the colds and flu’s you may encounter working in the workplace.

When did you tell your employers about your CF?

In all employment situations I have had,  I have told my employer immediately about my health.   I think it is always good to be open and honest and I think any employer would appreciate being given the heads up right from the start.  Discussing your CF with your employer makes it easier too so that if at any stage you are unwell, your employer is fully aware of the situation.

How did you and your employee address the need for time off for treatment?

I am fortunate enough to accrue sick leave and recreation (holiday) leave. I use my sick leave for most hospital admissions.  I have in the past used rec leave when I haven’t had any sick leave left, and in some circumstances have had to use leave without pay.

Have you got any tips for the young CFs looking for a job?

My tip would be aim for something that works in well with your health if possible, if your health won’t allow a more physical outdoor job aim for an indoors job, whatever you health permits.

What would the older you like to tell the younger you?

TREATMENT  TREATMENT  TREATMENT!!!! Our treatment regimes (tablets, nebs and airway clearance) are so important. Every single part is important regardless of if we are feeling well or not. Sometimes when you might be feeling a little better or clearer it is easier to say ‘ohhhh it’s ok I don’t need that airway clearance today’. NOOOOOO! Don’t slack off with treatments. It is the constant treatment regimes we do day in day out regardless that keeps us feeling that best that we can be.

What are few things you would love to be able to do in the future (i.e. climb Mt. Everest, meet Ellen, learn to juggle)?

I would love our little family to do a trip around Australia in our caravan. I would also love to own my own little yarn (wool) and craft supplies shop (physical shop front). A beautiful little boutique yarn shop that I could tinker around in all day, being surrounded by beautiful yarns and craft supplies. My love of yarn and craft supplies stems from my hobby of crochet which one of my crafty passions. A crochet hook and some yarn always make me happy.  Another thing to add also is after transplant when the time comes I would like to compete in a marathon or half marathon and climb every big mountain I can with my new airbags.

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