Hi, I'm Jessica and my story starts off like any other story, at least I thought it did...
I grew up in sunny Florida in a nice gated community and had my typical May birthday parties which consisted of pool parties and cake for my friends, pie for me! I was in dance (tap, jazz and ballet) as well I enjoyed playing outside and riding my bike. But life wasn't easy even from the beginning.
*As a child I thought I was like everyone else, then it soon came out that I wasn't in good health. Being told I was a premi really put some things into a perspective, well as much perspective a five year old can have. *
I was born a premi, 3 months early and almost died. I was anemic, jaundice, had a collapsed lung, and was very very small at 2 pounds 13oz. I was jet-setted to a speciality hospital where I spent my early months.
As a child my parents were told I would either be a sick kid, but sicker as an adult, or the opposite, and that I was allergic to iron pills. But, back then we didn't know the extent of my issues. As a kid I fell down all the time, which led to the discovery that I was born hard of hearing, deaf in my left ear, and high pitch deaf in my right, which has gotten worse with age. I also had chronic ear infections, which resolved after getting tubes put in my ears.
I couldn't go to PE (darn, right?!) in Elementary school due to asthma. And I also was a VERY sweaty child, which resulted in a lot of bullying, from students as well as one specific teacher who was less than pleased that my papers were always wet and ripped from trying to erase on a wet paper. We later at age 16 found out it was called hyperhidrosis. Which, is a great segway into my adult years, as nothing too exciting happens in my teen years other than the common colds for me...
As soon as I hit 20 I felt my body revolting against me. It started with chronic sinus infections. I saw an ENT who after allergy testing started me on allergy pills, and immunotherapy, where they inject things you're allergic to into your arm. This helped some, with normal allergies, but I was still getting chronic infections, which lasted months and took multiple courses of antibiotics to clear.
As time went on, my IBS would flare up, causing me to have scopes done, showing inflammation, and grade c esophagitis.
My chronic infections kept up, as did new symptoms, and then came the time where I had strep throat and tonsillitis 3 months in a row, which caused me to develop c-diff from the antibiotics, and ended up with me getting my tonsils out as an adult! Not the most fun thing to do, especially since I had just moved out of my parents house for the first time in my adult life!
After this, my ENT suggested septum surgery, due to the fact I had a bone spur and blockage as well as deviated septum. I thought, GREAT! This has to fix my sinus infections!
I was wrong.
My sinus infections continued, and so did other issues which started creeping up. Around this time I quit a job I was at for 7 years, started a new job at a call center only to develop a double ear infection due to nasty equipment that was shared by all workers. I decided to go out on medical leave... then left completely.
My next job would show me really just how sick I was. I started a job in a Hospital. While working here I became the most sick I would be for quite sometime.
I would develop weird rashes on my arms from whatever they cleaned the desk with. I would contract weird diseases by patients who came in. I ended up with parvovirus, and MRSA, as well as pleurisy, and other infections, and of course the sinus infections. They just kept coming.
I also found out during this time I had a hemangioma on my liver, a polyp on my gallbladder and a tumor on my endometrium. And developed keratosis pilaris on my legs. I asked myself what else?
I couldn't deal with all of my compounding health conditions, and I kept getting sicker, and not better so I again took medical leave... with intent to go back to work but fate took a turn, and I ended up planning to move. So, I quit, filed for SSD for the 1st time, and waited on the anticipated move.
So, I moved and found new local doctors through a grant program and thus began my journey to multiple specialist and doctors, 20 to be exact. And well, after a few more years and a move to a different city, I found out what else.
Stay tuned for part 2.