autoimmune disease

‘I was vomiting. My doctor said it was because I was ‘promiscuous’. Others said it was from grief, after my mom hung herself.’: Woman with chronic illness says pain ‘robbed her of so much,’ but won’t rob her ‘passion for living’

“The pain got so bad. I pulled over on the side of the freeway and called my dad, begging him to come get me. I became confused, disoriented. I remember thinking I could understand why my mother took her own life. It made me realize I either had to fight for my own health, or continue to fade away. I had to be stronger than my mom was. I couldn’t stop fighting.”

‘Help!’ I banged on the wall. My parents were downstairs. I reached for my nebulizer, but quickly realized something was wrong. This is when I remember feeling very calm and a sense of peace.’: Young woman learns ‘lesson’ after near-death experience from whooping cough

“Before bed, my dad asked if I needed to go the the hospital. As a stubborn 19 year old, I somehow talked my way out of it. I told him I was ‘fine’. The next thing I remember, my parents were rushing downstairs. They immediately tried to put my nebulizer mask on, but for some reason I was pushing it away. I woke up in an ambulance. I still feel guilty about that night.”

‘Her hair loss isn’t from stress.’ The pleasant chit-chat stopped. ‘There’s no cure for this.’: Little girl diagnosed with Alopecia starts head scarf company to ‘help all of the bald kids’

“We noticed a handful of brown curls on Rosie’s pillow. ‘Maybe she’s stressed about the new baby?’ The next morning, even more curls. ‘Maybe she’s allergic to her shampoo?’ Monday came and the last of her hair fell out. Our pediatrician assured us it was stress. It wasn’t. Our hope that this would be a temporary condition, even a funny story someday, slowly faded. Instead, we had to get used to the unkind stares and finger-pointing.”

‘I was out at a restaurant. ‘I’m not feeling well,’ I said. I knew something was wrong. Shaking, I excused myself and drove straight home. When I got back, my world crumbled around me.’

“I crawled to the bathroom. I couldn’t stand up without blacking out. I was paralyzed. I was supposed to be getting ready to go off to college with friends and I suddenly found myself unable to get out of bed. The wheelchair made others roll their eyes. ‘You don’t need that,’ they said. ‘Faker.’

‘At 17, two pink lines changed everything. While my friends were out partying and going to football games, I sat in a rocking chair and cried while my baby cried.’ Disabled teen mom doesn’t want others to ‘feel sorry for her’, reminds us to ‘show compassion’

“It wasn’t about me, it wasn’t just my life anymore. It was about this little baby growing. I didn’t care about myself or my future and it showed in my daily decisions. I was a mess, a completely reckless teenager. Sometime after getting put on probation, totaling my car, and losing credit from skipping school, I decided I needed a change. I was focused on giving her the life I never had.”

‘What now?,’ is all that ran through my mind. ‘How did this happen to me?’ All the voices in the room disappeared. I was washed on a metal table with hoses that hung from the ceiling.’

“He instilled in my mind there was better out there. Someone who he didn’t have to help when I wasn’t feeling well, someone who he didn’t have to go to the ER with, someone who was ‘normal,’ who’s body was not scarred up. I said to my dad, ‘I can’t do it anymore. I can’t take this anymore.'”

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