- CASE FILE
Mysterious bacterial and inflammatory condition crippling neurological, GI, gynecologic, musculoskeletal, and cardiac systems.
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
I have been battling chronic issues associated with bacterial infections and inflammation since I was born. Every single day has felt like a variation of influenza disease and I thought it was normal until I was in my 20s. When I was between infant and toddler stages, I suffered from GI issues including IBS-C&D, excessive flatulence, and eating irregularities. I was also born with bronchial asthma and had breathing issues. Around age 2 I had pneumonia and then a series of chronic sinus infections thereafter every year until I was about 23 years old. As I aged I always felt pain from myalgias with cramping and sometimes burning. I would also have sensory issues such as sensitivity to sound and light. When I was 12, I began having chronic migraines accompanied by ataxia, blurred vision, and vertigo. Once my first menstrual cycle started, I began having GI symptoms again with bouts of constipation and diarrhea, mostly diarrhea. At age 14, I was extremely fatigued and would faint or become violent ill with vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, weakness, and other flu-like symptoms. Around age 15, I began having sharp pains in my lower abdomen and pelvis. When I went to college at age 16, I had 5 major laparoscopies in a two-year period to treat pelvic adhesive disease (which presented as endometriosis) and to remove several hemorrhagic cysts, endometriomas, and tumors. The surgeon would also give me routine shots for pain in pelvic floor muscles. The pain was sharp and excruciating to the point that I was bedridden and my college roommate would have to take care of me. To make matters worse, I would also have migraines, involuntary movement of limbs, and loss of functioning in the limbs (she would have to walk me to the restroom and back to bed). Thereafter, I was in and out of work as a special education and science teacher with several gynecologic, gastric, and neurological symptoms. I was somehow denied Social Security Disability benefits, most likely because of my age and decided to continue to try to work. I also had 2 ERCP procedures to remove obstructions in my bile and pancreatic ducts, because of biliary obstructions. I had extreme pain, was throwing up blood and bile, could not keep anything down, it burned when I consumed everything including water, and if I force-fed myself, I would either vomit or defecate without digesting. I developed chronic pancreatits and malabsorption/malnutrition and was down to 88 lbs. Recently upon my last attempt at work, my job would send me home or directly to the hospital with migraines, photosensitivity, vertigo, slurred words, memory loss, and other cognitive and neurological issues. These were acute symptoms on top of other chronic symptoms such as IBS, bowel incontinence/dumping syndrome/SIBO, pelvic pain, back spasms and pains, and flu-like symptoms. I worked hard to get off of opioids to treat pain because they disturbed my gastric system, but am left in limbo with ways to manage pain. I also developed PTSD accompanied by persistent clinical depression and severe anxiety. I am terrified to go outside--even to doctor's appointments and do not know why. A regular trip to the grocery store is always friendly, but leaves me with a migraine from the lights and debilitating pain from over-exertion, where I generally need at least two days of recovery. An average day for me looks like taking various pain medications, struggling to eat, needing assistance ambulating, and being exhausted after showering. On a good day, I can go to the grocery store, put away the food, and cook a small meal after. On a great day, I can go to a BBQ or gathering and stay for a few hours without getting sick or feeling too much pain. I am still in my 20s and trying to reclaim my life, but if I don't know the mysterious disease that I'm fighting, I have no hopes in addressing it successfully. Doctors are confused about how to treat my condition and continue to pass my chart along, referring me to other specialists and healthcare centers. I've had a total of 4 out of over 20 medical professionals actually try to solve this case. Others treat and mask symptoms, which ultimately allows whatever infection or issue to fester and grow stronger. I am at my wits end, but do not want to forfeit my life at such a young age. I am always the support for others despite my issues, but I am at a place where I need support. I desperately need help from dedicated professionals with skills and resources to win this fight!!!