Wow! Can you believe it's August already?! I can't! I'm all moved into my apartment and about to start my 3rd year at the University of Pittsburgh. Since it's been a while since I last updated, let's review the last couple months of 2016.
Well, the last time I updated I was at the Mayo Clinic seeing the U.S. expert on Stiff Person Syndrome. After a bunch of tests, it was determined that I don't have the condition. Unfortunately, the day I was supposed to go see the doctor for a follow up, my mom was unable to rouse me and had to call 911. The paramedics took me to the Mayo Clinic, St. Mary's Campus where doctors stabilized me. The ordeal was far from over though. I spent the next 10 days in a coma after suffering from a severe and prolonged seizure. When I woke up, my recovery was far from over. My depth perception was off, I had terrible double vision from my left eye turning in, trouble swallowing, and more. It was a nightmare to say the least and an experience I never want to live through again.
After that whole 2.5 week ordeal, I didn't want to have anything to do with anything medical. I rarely spoke with my friends with chronic illnesses or looked at any social media. I spent a fair amount of time by myself processing what had happened. I needed time to be mad. To feel all the emotions that I had suppressed for so long. When I was ready, all of these strong emotions were channeled into my recovery. I learned how to walk again. I regained my fine motor skills, depth perception, and strength.
Just days after relearning how to walk, I did my joint lock manipulation midterm at taekwondo. I don't think anyone expected me to recover the way I did, but what can I say? I'm just stubborn!
In June, I went on vacation to the Outer Banks with my family and some friends. We had a wonderful time as usual, but we also participated in a Sunrise 5k at Nags Head on the beach. It was so much fun and so surreal to think that I completed this 5k less than a month after being in a coma. This was probably one of my better examples of resilience, but I can't wait to do the same event next year and beat my time!
This summer, I worked as a lifeguard at an exercise facility for children and adults with special needs and/or chronic illnesses. It was a good job with some pretty awesome people, but I can't stay their because the heat and humidity from the indoor pool is so overwhelming, it makes me sick. I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to work this summer though!
I have been extremely lucky this summer that I haven't had to be admitted to the hospital for any infusions for pain flares. Medication and physical activity seem to be keeping everything at bay, and I'm really trying to keep it going that way. After all, you have to survive the worse days of your life to enjoy some of the best!
Thanks for reading! I hope everyone enjoys the last days of the warm, sunny summer!
I am a 20 year old junior at the college of my dreams. I am studying Emergency Medicine and Communication Rhetoric and minoring in the Administration of Justice and National Preparedness and Emergency Management certificate. At some point, I want to go and get my paramedic certification when my health allows. I have several chronic illnesses and this blog and website serves as a place for me to share my journey fighting CRPS and my other conditions. I hope that this blog can also serve as an outlet for raising awareness for rare diseases. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy! Feel free to comment; I'd love to know what you think!