Michelle studied criminal justice, psychology, and addiction counseling but art was always her first love. Through art one can find freedom.
I don’t even know where to begin. I guess it goes all the way back to childhood. You see, I was a sickly child. The family doctor would always put it off on the flu, a cold, or whatever illness was going around. My family thought I was a hypochondriac, and it was insanely frustrating. At fifteen, I stopped having periods (I only had one), and the “doctor” put me on birth control. I’ve only had one period in my entire life, I’m 41 as I write this. Around fifteen, I had spells of fainting, and the “doctor” said that I was diabetic. I’m not diabetic.
Fast forward to January-March of 2010: this is when I found out that I have Addison’s Disease, Hashimato’s Disease, osteoporosis, and a pituitary tumor. Come to find out, the tumor developed when I was fifteen, but the family doctor never thought to test for it. Perhaps things could have been treated and/or caught if he would have done a simple MRI. Either way, I was meant to have these disorders, and they are mine to carry.
Now (as of October 20, 2019), I have been diagnosed with Addison’s Disease, Hashimato’s Disease, osteoporosis, pituitary tumor (which was treated with surgery and radiation), asthma, PAC’s, gallbladder and kidney issues, and more recently; Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease. From what I understand, UCTD is a mix of RA and Lupus. However, since my RA Factor is 7 (barely high), and my ANA is high and all over the place; they can’t say I have one or both. So for now, I’m being treated in order to keep them at bay for as long as possible. My body shows RA and Lupus, but my blood doesn’t want to play along. Eventually RA and Lupus will be present, it’s just a waiting game.
As far as mental health goes, I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, OCD, ADD, PTSD, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and severe clinical disorder. That’s a story for another time.
Okay, back to the tumor. I found out on March 1, 2010 that I had a tumor. By March 31, 2010, I was on the operating table having it removed. They were able to remove 75%, and then I had radiation for five weeks, five days per week. As of today, I am still tumor free. However, I do have a fluid filled cyst on my pituitary, but my Neurologist says it is nothing to worry about.
Why did I share my health issues? In hopes that others will speak up, and we can create safe conversations, and learn more through our personal experiences. I have days that are good, and I have days where I no longer want to exist. It gets rough, but I am strong; I will make it and so will you. I know there are days where you just want to lay in bed and cry all day, but we can't do that. We are warriors! We fight daily just to survive, and that is ours to carry. Keep your head up, and fight! You can do this, I believe in you.