Saturday, 5 September 2009

Starting Out

So here I am.

I should start you off with my story, it's a good enough start as any other.

My name is Adam, I live Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. I moved here a few years ago to live with my girlfriend (who is now my fiancée) to start a new life together. You see, I'm English but my fiancée is from Belfast and because she is very close to her family we decided it's best to live near them.

Not long after everything is moved in, I became very ill with glandular fever. Not a lot suffer too bad from it but some people get really bad reactions from it. I was very very ill for roughly two weeks and then, I got better!! =)

Roughly a month later, I wake up 1 day and I have sudden chest pains and my throat to swell as if I had glandular fever again. Stabbing, burning and tightening chest pains. It felt like someone was grabbing the muscles from inside me and trying to pull them out. Not only that, but I had swellings around my chest. I went to the hospital straight away and waited 4 hours to be poked a little and told to rest and take painkillers. I felt like telling them: "I know I could do that!! But why am I in so much pain!!" but I don't and I go home and do as ordered.

The pain continues for several months and I see countless doctors, who tell me it's glandular fever relapse, viruses and I was told it was all in my mind. 1 doctor even told me he had no clue what it was and told there was nothing he could do. I was forced into leaving my job because of the constant pain and now I work part time in a video rental store.

Now don't get me wrong, I love where I work but I'm 23 and I don't want to be there when I'm 43.

After seeing many specialists, having just as many x-rays, cameras pushed up my nose and down my throat, I'm told that I have a disease called Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (Aka: G.E.R.D). Here is the Wiki page for those  who want to probe further. So I was immediately put onto a special extreme diet, given medication and told to make drastic changes to my life, all in the efforts to help the pains in my chest and to stop me loosing my voice when I talk for any longer than 30 seconds a day. I was relieved! Finally, I had an answer!

Now to the present - I'm still in unimaginable pain, my chest not only feels like it's crushing itself, but it feels like its going to fall apart. My voice has come back so I know the diet is fixing my GERD.

So I return to the doctors who are again running tests, checking my heart, taking blood and urine tests to only come back with very little which isn't enough to give any predictions. It seems like they know as much as I do about this. My mind is going to the worse case scenarios and I'm thinking that I'm not going to make it to my wedding. For those who are in constant pain all the time,  do you wonder how long you really can last like this? Honestly, I was worried about making it to the next week.

So some tests come back and the doctor tells me to lay down on the table in his office, he places his hand on the centre of my chest and asks how much pain I'm in. I don't reply, instead I'm gripping the bedding and putting every fibre of energy into not screaming in his tiny and very public office. After testing for whatever he is looking for he tells me to sit up and explains about Costochodritis and Tietze disease. Here is the Teitze Syndrome Wiki page if your looking for what I mean.

I'm both happy to hear a result, and devastated that I have two diseases that cause a lot of pain around the chest area. The doctor says the most likely cause is when I had glandular fever.

So we're back to the start. That's the reason I'm here, I'm looking for a way to live my life. It's a very simple journal on how my treatment is going. I hope those who are reading this are like me and looking desperately for their cure and find some help on their journey, or just it provides some hope and support and maybe just some more information/another idea.

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