*** WARNING: This promises to be a long post!!! ***
So, just about a year ago, I had just completed an undergraduate thesis, graduated from college, and was starting graduate school in the fall. Then I started having an intense pain below my right rib. The pain became fairly constant and was pretty annoying, to say the least. Over the course of the summer, I went to Doctor A four times. I was repeatedly told that I was just constipated. Needless to say, the pain did not go away.
In August, I began having shooting pains in my legs and arms, which seemed to happen only after I worked out. I didn't really think all that much of it at the time. I figured I was just working myself too hard (talk about ironic foreshadowing!). Once I started graduate school, I began to see a new doctor, Doctor B. I also began feeling terrible all the time. I was exhausted, my entire body hurt, and I woke up every morning feeling either hung over or like I had been hit by a truck. I realized pretty quickly that this was NOT normal.
I told Doctor B about all of this and was told that I was just stressed out and should talk to a therapist. My response was that I've been stressed since I came out of the womb and never felt like this before. But I listened to Doctor B and went to talk to a psychologist. This did not make me feel better!!!
Doctor B began running tests. I was told that if I was tested for connective tissue diseases and the tests came back positive, it would cause a "fishing expedition". Obviously, I wanted to know what was wrong with me, but I never quite expected the tests to come back positive. I, like most people, thought arthritis was only a disease that "old" people get.
Anyway, so the results indicating some kind of connective tissue disease come back positive. This is NOT what I wanted to hear. It turns out that my organ function tests are all over the charts. Every time blood work is done, something new comes back positive. At this point, I'm feeling completely awful. I'm trying to survive my first semester of graduate school, literally dragging myself everywhere, and trying to put on a brave face. My original plan was not to tell anybody except my immediate family about what was going on until I had a definitive diagnosis. Well, as of writing this, I still don't have a definitive diagnosis...
* I do not intend to name names. For one thing, this is only my view of the situation. It is very possible that my doctor's would not agree with my portrayal and since they have no way to defend themselves, I have decided to keep them nameless. Also, who these doctor's are is really unimportant to the story itself. I am trying to highlight my journey *