How long did you wait to get your diagnosis? Did it bring you relief? Show your support by Commenting!
My journey started some 32 years ago when I was pregnant with my first child. I developed chronic leg pain, breathlessness, and fatigue. Of course, the baby was at fault, depriving me of vitamins and minerals – this sounded plausible at the time. However, after the birth of my son, the symptoms continued, and the pain became unbearable. It just happens one doctor said during one of my rants, you could be anemic. Over the course of 14 months, I struggled to be a mum and housewife with new symptoms appearing now and then.
Finally, after months of suffering, I had someone who listened to me and referred me for tests, the results were in – I had pernicious anemia. Simple – 6 loading injections and maintenance injections every ten weeks for the rest of my life! Why has this happened? I cried, there’s sometimes no answers, only questions came the reply. Over the next ten years or so I had ups and downs with it all and suffered badly with my stomach. Again, it just happens.
Read more: Living With Multiple Myeloma
It was now explained to me that my stomach couldn’t absorb vitamin b12 as well as other vitamins. I’d acquired a hernia and chronic reflux, so the doctors gave me lifelong medications expecting that will resolve my health problems. We now jump to January 2016 – I felt just dreadful, arms and shoulder aching, pain in the chest, super exhausted, irritable and totally breathless. Doctors told me that I have a chest infection and that the antibiotics will cure it. Wrong!
Now I’d love at this point to describe in great detail all the appointments that took place in 7 months and all the different reasons I was given for feeling like that bad, but I know you’d stop reading. I also didn’t mention that I was diagnosed with asthma in 1999 and fibromyalgia in 2005. Just try and imagine the suffering, pain, and lack of oxygen while several doctors skipped around the reasons why all of this was happening to me!
Apparently, it just happens! We’re now in July 2016, and things are really bad, I’m hanging on in there, but I now have an impending doom. I then suffered a heart attack and required angioplasty to re-open the main artery blocked by a blood clot. I have to say that at that point I was on top of the world, I felt fantastic, the best I’ve felt since the late 80’s. This feeling was very short as by the end of 2016 I felt like rubbish again. Doctors told me that I’m just depressed, I should take some tablets and get over it. And oh, by the way, your asthma has now progressed to C.O.P.D, but it just happens!
Wait for it folks we’re coming to the finale – we’re now in November 2017, and everything hurts, constant pain, chronic fatigue, swellings, mouth infection that won’t heal, you name it, I felt it from every angle. I plead to have my blood checked just to soothe me and here it is folks, polycythemia vera, a rare blood cancer, slow progression. I have now started chemo and other than feeling very tired I, at last, feel a strange peace.
Don t get me wrong – this wasn’t what I expected nor am I happy I have it, however, I can now rest on my laurels, knowing that for 32 years I wasn’t nuts or depressed but the chances are all along this was festering inside me while being told IT JUST HAPPENS! No proof that this was the start of my problems, but the self-satisfaction is enough for me.
The moral of this story is to let you all know to listen to your body and mind, believe in your gut instinct and don’t be satisfied with “it just happens.” Fortunately for me, I lived to tell the story, for which I’m truly thankful. Take heed folks when it comes to your health, you know your body more than any professional!