At least you have your health

I’ve been struggling with various medical ailments since I was seven years old. It makes me think of the song, “Colours” by Grouplove when they write, “It’s the colors you have…no need to be sad…at least you have your health.” I used to cry listening to this song because I for one didn’t have my health.

When I was seven, I almost died from an allergic reaction to penicillin. I developed a severe rash that would move from area to area on my body in the blink of an eye. Doctors were puzzled by this disease and finally diagnosed me with erythema multiforme. The disease was very rare and caused me to have to go in to be seen by a medical professional everyday to see if the disease developed into Steven’s Johnson’s, which was very deadly.

I recall sleeping on the couch at night and my parents taking turns watching me sleep to make sure I kept breathing. I could always hear one of them crying when they would tell my older sister that everything was fine and to go back to bed. Obviously, I survived to tell the tale. But ever since that spring of 2005, my health and immune system have been deeply compromised.

I am legally blind in my right eye and have 25% hearing loss in my left ear. I get chronic ear infections. I have a bladder disease. Every flu season is rough because my immune system has been weakened by taking so many antibiotics over the years for illnesses that were really just viruses. My mother was a hypochondriac, so in my youth I went to the doctor a lot mostly for illnesses she thought my sister and I had, and maybe we did have them, but maybe we didn’t… the world may never know.

At the beginning of this year, I had the flu and was vomiting daily. But as weeks went by, the vomiting didn’t stop. This was accompanied by pelvic, flank, and abdominal pain. I went to the hospital twice, one time they just gave me anti-nausea meds and sent me home and the other tested my gallbladder which ended up being fine and they sent me with more anti-nausea meds and sent me home. I went to my regular doctor who said diet may affect the vomiting as I was only vomiting up stomach bile in the mornings. It wasn’t until two nights ago that I started vomiting up bright red blood which prompted another ER visit. After much bloodwork, I was diagnosed with a peptic ulcer, but I had to be referred to a gastroenterologist in order to further diagnose and medicate me.

I am so fed up with seeing doctors. I go almost weekly to the doctor whether it be to my therapist, to my urologist, to my primary care doctor for med adjustment for my bipolar disorder. I constantly go to urgent care for ear infections. I go to the orthopedic surgeon monthly because I recently had major foot surgery. It just doesn’t end and I am discouraged!

If I never had to see another doctor in my life, it wouldn’t be soon enough.

But at least I know it could be worse. Much worse. Just pray for my ulcer(s) and that the GI doctor doesn’t find anything else that will make matters worse.

Til next time,

Dani

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