I'll start with vital stats. I grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania, in the Pennsylvania Dutch area and surrounded by many small Amish communities. I have two daughters who are 15 and 17, but unfortunately my relationship with their father didn't work out. They live in Arkansas now which is great for them. They're each looking at graduating valedictorian of their class and crack a lot of hillbilly jokes. I now live in Utah and am happily married to an amazing man. Not able to have children of our own we got a bunny to parent together. For now we live in Orem, Utah which is a city but I have found the more city I get, the more I want. I am eager to buy a condo and move up to Salt Lake City eventually. (I don't do the whole yard thing, you wouldn't get me behind a lawnmower with a gun to my head)
I'm got my diagnosis just before my birthday in January 2012. I've been sick enough to be debilitated for about 3 years and am hoping I'll start feeling at least a little better soon. I realize as I look over my medical history that I've been constantly sick since I was a toddler, maybe even before that. Three years ago, a week before my first anniversary, I noticed mysterious swelling in one of my ankles. Thus began my quick progression from happy, active, ambitious woman to the cellar dweller who can barely get out of bed at least half the days in a week. A workplace injury in the fall of 2009 that lead to knee surgery didn't really help matters.
It was completely by mistake I was diagnosed with celiac. In September of 2011 I woke in the middle of the night feeling like I took a baseball bat to my ribs. I took some ibuprofen and went back to bed only to have the pain continually worsen. An hour later I had pain lancing through my back and shoulder blades and with every breath I felt like I was being stabbed in the bottom of my right lung. Anyone who's been through it will recognize the tell tale signs of a defective gallbladder, but I was questioning at that point if I'd be alive to see the sun rise. After a 4 AM trip to the ER, an ultrasound and being drugged entirely senseless I went home hoping I could get surgery scheduled. I was still jumping through hoops when I spent 3 nights in the ER the week before Christmas and was finally admitted for emergency surgery on December 23.
Now I'm not the kind of person who ever does anything halfway, so I wasn't surprised when the doctor told me I had a complete blockage of my duct and would need and ERCP the following day to have the offending stone removed. The doctor who did the ERCP did a biopsy and called a week later to tell me that it "suggests" I have celiac.
I thought I was happy in the spring of 2011 when the doctor said it was fibromyalgia. At that point I was clinging to any hope, any name, any treatment I could get. The medication didn't do more than get me out of bed 1 or 2 more days a week but I was grasping anything I could get at that point. After the initial shock and first few weeks of anger and frustration at how unfair this is I am seeing the upside to celiac. There is effective
treatment and I am completely in control of that aspect of my health. With fibromyalgia I was hopeless and condemned to a life of agony and fatigue.
The upside to all of this is that I was finally pushed to get a little education under my belt at a local tech college (at which I now sub for the course I completed) and start my own business. Providing secretarial services from home I can work when I want and never have to worry about not feeling well enough to stand for 5 minutes so I can shower in the morning. I can work in my pajamas until I feel a little better. If I'm up at 3 in the morning I can work. If anyone is interested n checking out what I do, my website is http://clarksecretar...ons.weebly.com/
. For now I mostly do work for some local business owners and am hoping to get some flyers out at the local universities as soon as I have a day I'm feeling up to spending a few hours walking around a campus.