Hi my name is Tiffany I am 25 years old from San Diego, California.
At the age of 19 I went on a camping trip with friends. I was 110 lbs, full of life, and an athletic girl. I was camping at the beach and all day long I was playing in the water, playing sports, and doing whatever else you would do at the beach. At night I sat around a campfire and then it was time for bed. Around 7 am my friend heard me making a really weird noise in my sleep, I have a history of exercised induced asthma so when she woke me up she had my inhalers ready. I woke up I took a deep breath in but struggled to breathe out, it was so hard, my extremities were turning blue. My friend’s called 911 and when they arrived they put oxygen on me right away and took me to the hospital with lights and sirens.
I arrived to the back doors of the hospital where doctors and other medical staff were waiting for me. The doctors ordered breathing treatments, steroids, blood work, and chest x-rays. About two hours later they decided they wanted to admit me to the hospital because my breathing was not improving much. I have had asthma attacks before but have never been admitted for them, but I didn’t think much of it, I just thought it was a bad one this time and that I just needed a couple more days of steroids and breathing treatments. Well unfortunately I was wrong. That day changed my life for forever. I was admitted to the hospital for 10 days and they still didn’t know what was wrong and my oxygen was still low so I required oxygen at all times. Being 19 and on oxygen is hard. I figured I would just be on it until the asthma attack or whatever it was passed.
A week went by and I had another attack like the first one at the beach, same symptoms, same everything. I got admitted, got steroids, breathing treatments, and then in a couple days I went home. I started having attack like those out of no where, with no warning! Each time 911 would have to be called and then I would be admitted. Well I went to UCSD (one of the best hospitals out here in San Diego), and I went to a pulmonologist there and they did a bunch of test and all the test showed was I needed oxygen 24/7 and my diffusing lung capacity was 56 out of 100. Well hundreds of attacks went by and then I started having other issues due to the steroids. I started gaining weight, getting frustrated, having joint pain, and tooth decay. I had gone to over 200 doctors and no one could tell me what was wrong with me.
Well here we are six years later. I am now 25 and I still am on oxygen 24/7. I have developed fibromyalgia (from the steroids), I have cataracts on my eyes also from the steroids, I just got a full set of dentures because the medication rotted my teeth so bad. In 2009, I had a heart attack and in 2010 I had a mini stroke. I still spend a lot of time in the hospital and still no diagnosis. I have had hundreds and hundreds of test run and the only thing that comes back is that my lung capacity is now 26.6, my potassium is always critically low, and my lung sounds are diminished throughout. I have had doctors tell me that I am dying since the day I got sick.
I will share one of my stories about a doctor telling me that, because that is where my life motto came in and what I live by and remind myself daily why I fight so hard everyday. I was about 20 years old and I was admitted into the hospital for a couple days, my family was there to visit me and while they were there my admitting doctor came in and told me, “It’s okay to let go, you will go be with God and in heaven.” My response was, “You can give up on me but I will never give up on myself. I was only given this life because I am strong enough to live it.” That right there is my life motto. I have so many friends and supporters that have it tattooed on them with my signature. But seriously how can a doctor come in an tell their patient that? Still today I deal with docs who say that or I am a drug seeker and whatever else they say. But why do I have to be on oxygen, why is my lung capacity only 26.6 now? It’s just very frustrating. I have decided to write a book. My sister Started a foundation on Facebook to help find a miracle doctor. If you would like to check it out it’s Breathe For Tiffany Pratt. I am still standing tall and fighting, I will never give up this fight. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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.