As stated on the home page, my name is Anna.
I live in London and I’m currently studying my A levels.
I am passionate about food and enjoy both cooking and eating. I also love drawing/painting/doing anything arty. Currently, I am trying to teach myself to play the guitar, to try and expand my artistic accolades, but I don’t think I’m going to be gigging anytime soon let’s put it that way.
My Journey to a Diagnosis
Since I was 11, or so, my health has been deteriorating each year rather dramatically. It started with a persistent cough which lasted about 9 months, followed by recurrent bouts of tonsillitis, then I suffered from misdiagnosed sickness. They thought it was perhaps abdominal migraines or cyclical vomiting syndrome – but despite countless tests, they still don’t know what causes it. It is categorised by blocks of vomiting up to 40 times a day and usually lasts from 2-4 weeks at a time, with the largest period lasting 9 weeks. I had my helix pierced which got severely infected and resulted in admission to hospital and 7 weeks of oral antibiotics. It was problem after problem, doctors appointment after doctors appointment, missing weeks of school and to no avail! I was always generally feeling extremely unwell and very sorry for myself for it, but with no explanation why!
This causes a great deal of worrying and fear, as you worry about what it could possibly be that’s causing so many doctors to be stumped! You discover people like surmising about what was wrong with you and I’ve been told to try this vitamin pill and this medicine and this homoeopathic remedy and counselling and this and that… “Oh perhaps it’s *insert first thing that comes into your head*”, “It’s probably exam stress”, “blah blah blah BLAH” .. Everybody gave their suggestions, but no matter how good their intentions were, it was infuriating.
In between episodes of vomiting (my main symptom), I never felt 100%. I got bad dizzy spells and often had diarrhoea as well as the occasional day of being sick. I had headaches, and forgot things and struggled to concentrate at school. I got stomach pains and ulcers in my mouth and sore throats and earaches. It seemed relentless. I just never felt okay in myself. You get to the point where everybody just thinks you’re a hypochondriac, and lacking a diagnosis just made it harder to deal with.
At times I felt very isolated as nobody else really understood quite how bad my symptoms were and that actually I didn’t always say when I wasn’t feeling well, and only mentioned it when I was having a really bad day and struggling (as it happened quite frequently).
It was only by chance that my condition was identified. A gastroenterologist I was seeing decided to check my Immunoglobulin levels and they were low!
Finally, we got somewhere! It was so relieving to finally have something tangible that could be looked into further.
I’m still under progressive diagnosis and it’s not certain what else is wrong. I know my B cells don’t work and I have low IgGs and IgAs. In addition, there are some raised levels of ALT in my liver and there are still more tests I am awaiting results for.
Surprisingly, my diagnosis came pretty fast compared to some people who can be diagnosed as late as 30! It’s so rare, and there are many ways it presents itself, so often it’s the last thing to be checked. If you are always seriously unwell and you’ve had lots of investigations that have led nowhere it’s worth asking your doctor if they will check your Immunoglobulin levels.
I hope you like what my blog has to offer whatever your circumstances health wise,