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My past life
Up until the beginning of 2017, I lived a fairly normal life. I spent the weeks getting up and going to school, being bored in most classes, then going home at the end of the day. I would spend the summer holidays at home or sailing, then I would go on holiday before school started again. Then suddenly it all changed…
February 6, 2017. This day changed my life significantly. It sounds stupid, but all that happened was I got the bug going around school. Except I never got better. Why would this happen to me? That’s something I ask myself every day.
A few weeks after this started, I visited my GP. She was really kind and sympathetic about everything that was going on. She prescribed me some medication for a stomach ulcer, which was what she suspected at the time. But nevertheless, I was back in a month, no better and with a trip to A&E in my file after the medication caused me to faint.
I ended up being referred to the hospital for a meeting with a junior paediatric consultant, who suspected it was just anxiety about my GCSEs which were coming up, but she referred me to her supervisor who was more experienced in the field. He too suspected anxiety about the exams, so said just do things I enjoy. Which I did. This didn’t help either.
When I caught the flu at the beginning of 2018, I went back to see my GP. I was still no better and it had been going on for nearly a year! A whole year feeling nauseated, fatigued and having extremely sensitive skin to touch wasn’t how I expected being 16 to go. When I saw my GP, she suspected ME. I was referred to a gastroenterologist in the hospital, but it was such a long wait to see them. Thankfully, I can see a private gastroenterologist. This saved me so much time and extra pain, but it’s not the end of it yet.
I started seeing the gastroenterologist in March. She gave me some medication to try and help my skin and help me sleep, but this ended up making everything worse and added a few more symptoms to my list.
My life in the middle of summer
By now I had dropped out of college and just spent all day in bed watching TV. This wasn’t so bad in the beginning, but it got boring very quickly. The gastroenterologist suggested getting an abdominal ultrasound to check for any abnormalities on my organs. I had already had one of these the year before, but something may have changed. I’m not sure if it was fortunate or unfortunate that they didn’t find anything. Obviously, I didn’t want anything to be wrong, but I really wanted a diagnosis, so I knew what was happening. She then suggested a gastroscopy. I was very apprehensive at first – I didn’t want a tube stuck down my throat! I’m glad I agreed to this, though, because it ruled out more nasty diagnoses.
After all of this, I still don’t know what was wrong, but my gastroenterologist suggested seeing a hypnotherapist. This has helped a lot. I now see my hypnotherapist every week and she hopes that she can help relieve my symptoms and help with my anxiety. She has also referred me to a nutritionist, who has done some tests and I am currently awaiting the results. Hopefully I can finally be given a diagnosis!
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