I am a 27 year old nurse who has been fighting chronic illness such as bronchitis and pneumonia since I was a kid. Somewhere in my teen years I started dealing with severe pain in my arms, hands and feet. No testing was done. My doctor just brushed me off and said, “Oh you probably just have fibromyalgia,” and started me on medication. They didn’t work well because they made me feel like I had a drug hangover in the morning!
My life moved on, and I continued to go through college. I continued to have the general aches and pains, as well as abdominal pain. After many years of being in pain I was diagnosed with endometriosis (11/11 was the diagnosis). I thought maybe I was on the up and out with the pain. Well Feb of 2012 hit like a lead balloon. I got sick with a horrendous respiratory infection. I was seen in urgent care three times and the ER twice because I could not breath. The first ER said I was anxious and probably had bronchitis. They sent me home even though some of my test’s were showing things. On the second trip back to the ER (in three days) I got the same damn doctor. He drew labs and redid some tests, and ran scans.
My lab’s were not normal. He had the nurse come in and tell me that it was still anxiety and bronchitis, and they wanted to send me home. But, this girl fought those people tooth and nail, and finally I was admitted. To shorten the story they called in a heart and lung doctor. I spent a week in the hospital on high doses of steroids and antibiotics. I was sent home with what they said was a bad virus.
Finally this summer I was sent to a rheumatologist, who after more tests diagnosed me with “a lupus like autoimmune disorder,” but proceeded to treat me with lupus medications: Prednisone, Plaquenil and Imuran. They seem to be doing their job. The muscle relaxers and NSAIDs help to keep the pain down. They don’t work to totally control the pain but I guess I’ll deal. I get frustrated that I keep getting respitory infections that end up as bronchitis. All they can assume is it happens because I have a low immune system. I don’t usually publicly admit it, but I’m a nurse. And dealing with the daily pain and infection it is really wearing on me. There are days when I can barely get out of bed. But after reading the stories posted here. I have hope that things will get better. I am pray that they get better! Thanks for reading my long story. And thanks for this website in general for providing hope and support to all of us!! NEGU!!
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.