Erin

‘My friends joked, ‘What if you’re actually pregnant?’ We laughed. At 19, my body was creating a life without my knowledge.’: Young woman details unexpected pregnancy, loss

“I’d been walking around with a big fat smile on my face, telling the world I was going to be the greatest mother for this little girl. ‘You made the right decision, it was meant to be.’ ‘You’re strong for going through this pregnancy.’ Then I felt a pop, and there I was, shaking my stomach trying to wake up my daughter.”

‘I crumpled to the ground. ‘She’s a crybaby,’ the doctor said. ‘There’s nothing wrong. She’s wasting our time, take her home.’ I was misdiagnosed as a hysterical teen girl.’: Chronic illness warrior runs for first time in 29 years

“Flesh peeled away from my exposed wound and floated like confetti all around me as I sat in excruciating pain. I will never forget the smell. ‘You outta play the lottery, kid! You hit the proverbial jackpot, not once, but twice. What are the odds!’ It was spreading to my ‘good’ leg. There was no more Lara left, only pain. I was told it was all in my head.”

‘My best friend said, ‘You’re too depressing to be around. All you talk about is your pain and sickness. You need to hold it all in, or I won’t be your friend anymore.’: Woman written off by society finds ‘unconditional love’ in chronic illness community 

“For 8 years, I couldn’t get the medicine I needed because doctors suggested I was complaining about nothing. They dismissed me with, ‘It’s all in your head.’ I became an expert at denying my own pain. I resigned from my job. Being sick was not something people wanted to hear about.”

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