WEGO Health Blog/Writer's Challenge Day 1 #HAWMC
I've been a "driven" writer since I was abut 13 years old. I began writing poetry back then, and a few short stories. I was even the "editorial" writer for our High School Newspaper. I took on a few tough subjects, from "Holes in our student parking area", to giving our students more of a challenge when it came to subject matter and getting us ready for what we would face in the real world; after high school and college.
I continued to write in "handwritten" form, before computers. I have notebook after notebook filled with my writing. I have most of them still with me, and have been able to put much of the material on the computer.
At the age of 14, I had a neighbor who was a RN at our local hospital. I seemed to "soak up" everything that was "medical" in nature. I volunteered as a "Candy Volunteer, I guess then called a "striper" and I stood beside her every chance I had spending all of my free hours learning about the medical world. From watching them deliver babies, to taking care of those babies and Moms, and learning at that time how to "pack instrument" packs, because back then most instruments were not "disposable". We had certain instruments for certain surgeries that had to be cleaned, disinfected, wrapped together, then put in an "autoclave" that sterilized them further to be used in surgeries.
From there, my mind was made up, I would be in the medical field. Of course things change, and I got out of high school early, wanted to go to work, and married young. We had my son 2 years later, but by the time I was about 22, I knew that is not what I wanted for my life. I went on to divorce my 1st husband, and then was a single Mom, with bills to pay, and went to work at a bank in Dallas. Still I was restless because I was not doing what I felt was my calling, my heart's work, and what I was supposed to be doing in my time here. I left the bank, remarried a couple of years later, got some college under my belt, and went to work in a hospital, but in the business office.
Those 6 years there made me know even more that I wanted to find a way to be in the medical field, more hands on, and not behind a desk collecting money from sick people.
Yet, again, even after having an offer from the hospital for them to fully pay for me to go to college and get my LVN degree, at that time, I had two younger kids in school, and was unable to go to school full time, and support my family also. Oddly, enough, I went ahead and took the "entrance exam" to get into the nursing program and passed it as #1! That made it even more difficult for me to pass up the opportunity. I not only had the drive, I had the offer to pay for my classes, then work for that hospital for a year to "pay back" a portion of my college. Then I could have went any direction I pleased. Yet, family came first, and with a heavy heart I declined that opportunity.
I was friends with a woman that was the head of nursing there, and there were days she was almost unable to walk. Her feet would hurt so badly, she could barely stand on them. I found out she had Rheumatoid Arthritis. That and another young woman that worked in the hospital pharmacy, had a type of "stomach issue" autoimmune in nature, that there was little known about, much less on how to treat it, and give her the life back she wanted.
All those years I continued to fill notebook after notebook of my writing and poetry. That was the one "steady" in my life, my writing. I did go to college, and took accounting classes and business classes, and almost had my degree in business. I was struck with Migraines, that were horrific. Over the years they would make me so ill, I would miss work for days at a time. I never "hid" that I had the headaches, but I could not predict when and how long they would come on and last. In fact, I lost several jobs either having to resign jobs, due to missing so much work because of the headaches, and other health issues, including needing surgery on several joints. I had painful problems with my knees, shoulders, hands, and elbows. Again, missing work for surgeries on painful joints, in my 30's that the doctors could not really explain.
I had went to a "pain specialist" long before they were really heard about, mainly to see if he could help the migraines. I had injections into the occiptal nerves in my neck, was hospitalized, had every test available, yet no doctor could put the pieces together as to what was "wrong" with me.
At 40 years old I was an avid exerciser, daily, I ate only healthy foods, watched every pound of my weight, and did everything "right" for my health. Yet on January 8th 2001, I suffered a heart attack.
After that, doctors began "speculating" what was medically wrong, and a huge amount of "stress" was a portion of it. My 2nd marriage although lasted 15 years, put me in a horrific "trauma" day after day, and that stress my doctors seemed to feel was what partially caused my MI at such an early age.
I began to have tests, be able to see better and more advanced physicians, and around the age of 45 I had a young PCP, who finally put the pieces together, along with the proper blood work and finally was open minded enough, to "listen" to me. He found out that I had some "type of autoimmune issue"(s). He sent me directly to a Rheumatologist, who ran more tests, and determined I had MCTD, or possibly Lupus, RA, Sjogrens' & Raynauds.
I had already discovered a whole new era in "writing". Online communities, of people such as I, and that my "writing" could really be helpful through these communities, through my own "blogging" (at the time I really did not even understand what a blog was) and that even though I never was able to go into the medical field to help people on a plane such as a nurse, doctor, or in research. I COULD bring my story as well as a great deal of information to so many others such as myself, that were severely in need of answers, of the questions to ask their doctors, of information on new medications, and through other telling them their own stories.
Thus, my writing and medical "knowledge" finally came together about 10 years ago, and I began to "help" others through my own frustrations and information about the diseases they had been told they had, but were frightened to even ask their physicians for more information.
So, out of my own Chronic Pain, many surgeries, dealing with several autoimmune illnesses, tests and knowledge, was born my own blog, and my own way of helping those who are in such need for someone "listening" and truly understanding their problems.