Thursday, November 22, 2012

They took away my true love!

I have crossed out everything I can't eat. 
Remember how, a few posts ago, I wrote about how delicious Beaver Nuggets were? Well, now I can't eat them. I had to drive back to Houston to visit Dr. Mathias, a neuro-gastroenterologist who specializes in Endometriosis. Dr. Mangal referred me to him because he believed there were serious spasms occurring in my gut. This sounded weird to me, and I'm sure it sounds weird to you, too... but I'll explain it in a minute.

Dr. Mathias is the fourth best specialist in the entire country and he is also the only doctor in the world who conducts electrograstrograms. In case you're not up-to-date with your unusual medical practices, an electrogastrogram measures the electrical activity going on inside your abdomen. First, he listened to my tummy with a stethoscope. His eyes opened wide, as if in shock, then handed me the ear-piece for the stethoscope. I listened to my own belly. He said, "Do you hear that sound? It almost sounds like Rice Krispies". I nodded and asked him what that was. He replied, "That's the cause of your pain."

He then led me to a small room. In the middle of the room was a comfy-looking recliner. Towards the back of the room was a series of scary, sci-fi-inspired machines- each making their own beeping noise with corresponding LED lights, blinking in special patterns to show that they were all on and working correctly. The nurse sat me down in the chair, stuck four sticky pads to my abdomen, then covered me in a blanket so I wouldn't be cold. She told me not to move at all for fifteen minutes, as any slight flinch would effect the test and we'd have to start all over again. I took this as a cue to take a nap.

Oh hell no.
After the fifteen minutes were up, the nurse came in, let me stretch a bit, then gave me a glass of water to drink. She then covered me up again, and ran the test again, but this time it was for fifty minutes. No moving. No nothing. (So of course, I took another nap!)

Soon after the test was over, they led me back to the exam room. Dr. Mathias returned with a small stack of papers. The first two papers were my test results. The compared my electrogastrogram with that of a healthy person. Mine were more sporadic and random than the control. He told me that this meant I was having seizures in my bowel. Yes. Seizures. In my tummy.

Only me, I swear.

He told me the tremors were causing my intestines to bump into each other, bruise each other, and thus cause a great portion of my pain. He said it was treatable with certain medications and a well-controlled diet. Of course, he said this wasn't the only problem my test results showed.

He said I'm also diabetic. Not type 1 (the kind you're born with)... type 2 (the kind that fat people get for eating too many powdered donuts). I am 5'1", and 98 pounds, eat very healthy, and I am a type 2 diabetic. What. The. Hell.

So now, I have to be on the most obnoxious diet ever.
No red meat. No soda. No aged cheese. No chocolate. No bacon. No candy. No corn. No soy (which we knew already). No pizza. No ham. No potatoes (except for the red variety). No white bread. No muffins. No bagels. No carrots. No NOTHING.

The list goes on. I also have very special rules for the things I can eat. I can't eat fruit without a protein. I have to have 1 tablespoon of olive oil with EACH MEAL (even breakfast). Each meal must follow a pattern the nurse gave me (30% carbs, 30% Omega 3 fatty acids, 40% protein).

This sucks. As I was examining the list, I realized that everything I love to eat is on my restricted list. Only boring things are on my "okay to eat" list. :(

I  am not looking forward to this. FML.

So let's explain what's going on inside of me. First, there is a primitive "brain" lining your intestines. It works independently of the brain in your head. This "brain" helps control the sphincters in your bowel, helps absorb nutrients, and dispose of waste. The say this "brain" made way for the evolution of the brain we have in our heads now. In fact, if you dissect a worm, you will see this exact same "tummy brain" lining their entire body. This is because worms don't have a "real" brain. They just have this primitive brain that allows them to absorb nutrients and keep the body alive. My tummy brain is a little silly. It has seizures. It's called Intestinal Epilepsy. This is incredibly rare. In 2005, only 36 cases were confirmed. Yay?

This is not the only cause of my pain, but it's definitely a factor. I'm glad they could find what was wrong with me so now we can treat it. Once they treat the seizures, I can go into surgery and Dr. Mangal can remove all the Endometriosis. If he were to open me up now, the tremors would get in the way and he couldn't be as through.

Still, though, I'm going to miss eating food that actually tastes good.

<3 Mouse

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I did this weekend: The six-hour doctor appointment

Remember when I mentioned how it must be hard to be my friend because I'm constantly flaking on people? Yeah. I flaked on you guys, too. :'(
My mom didn't know I was taking this picture.

It's not because I hate you, or I'm lazy... it's because I'm sleepy. Yesterday, I promised to finish telling the story of what happened last weekend at my appointment with the Endometriosis specialist. I didn't because I fell asleep- and stayed asleep all day long. I eventually woke up at 10 pm and found 3 missed calls and 13 text messages. Oops.

I'd like to apologize for forgetting to write yesterday. I suck. We can blame that on the Vicodin. ;)

Back to my doctor appointment:

After the four hour drive to Houston, my mom and I spent the night with some wonderful family members who live there. We woke up at 5:30 in the morning for an 8:00 appointment. Why? Because my uncle told us the doctor was on the other side of the city and Houston traffic is notorious for making people late for important things like this. My mom and I didn't even eat much of a breakfast; she had a cup of coffee and I had a small cup of yogurt. We felt the need to rush over to the medical center so we wouldn't be late. We eventually made it to the hospital with half an hour to spare.

Now let's note here that I've have very little to eat. If I were to take my pain medicine at this point, I would barf. So, I decided to wait to take my pills so I could accurately describe the pain to the doctor. It can't be that bad since the appointment is at 8am... so it can't last that long... right?


We sat in the waiting room for about an hour. It was about 9:15 when we were called back. Now, this doctor does things very different than many other doctors. He called me and about 8 other patients and their families back. They crammed about 20 people into this one office. Dr. Mangal sat at his desk. Behind him was a large aquarium and to his left was a white board with some diagrams sitting against it. The room feels cramped. Some people are sitting on the few chairs that were available, and others were standing in the remaining space. Others were listening from just outside the door. Dr. Mangal began to speak about Endometriosis- what it is, what it does, what it looks like, and how it's treated. His speech was about an hour and a half long. While it was long, it was also very informative. Everything he said described me and my symptoms and what I was going through. He understood that I and everyone else in that room were in pain due to Endometriosis. Every few seconds, my mother would look at me, as if saying "Oh my gosh! He's describing YOU!"

After his lecture, the nurse took our group outside into a smaller waiting area. She gave me a piece of paper and told me to go downstairs to get my blood drawn. I noticed a few other women following me to the lab, while others were ushered into the rooms to be examined by the doctor or to have an ultrasound.

Once I had come back form the labs (which were very quick and painless, might I add!) I thought things would speed up. Instead, they slowed down. Way down.

My mother and I read Tucker Max books for almost three hours. Don't get me wrong, Tucker Max is a very "entertaining" person, but after three hours of reading about his shenanigans, I began to feel disgusted with myself. I couldn't read any more of "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell". (If you haven't read anything by him, I suggest you don't, unless you wanna feel disgusted with yourself later on. Not sure why I waste so much time laughing at how much of a douche he is.)

At this point, I was hurting pretty bad. I couldn't eat anything since I was stuck in a doctor's office, and if I were to take anything to ease the pain, I would puke everywhere in front of everyone. Needless to say, I thought I was dying. Not literally, of course, but it was pretty awful. I didn't wanna do or say anything about it because I didn't wanna cause a scene, but eventually, I didn't care about what anyone thought. I was in pain and I wanted to hit the road so I could take the magic pills that were calling me from my purse.

At about 1 pm, the nurse called me to get my ultrasound. This was the first thing anybody has said to me since they asked me to get my blood drawn. I thought they forgot about me. When we reached the door, she quickly turned me around and told me to wait- AGAIN - until the room was ready for me. GRRR!

After another HALF HOUR, they called me back, told me to get naked from the waist down, and left. I looked around for a hospital gown, but only found these thin, blue sheets. I looked at my mom and she just shrugged her shoulders. I pulled the curtain around me so my mom couldn't get a look at my funny business, and did as I was instructed. I wrapped the thin sheet around me like a flimsy skirt and waddled to the bench. How awkward.

After the ultrasound, the nurse asked me to go straight to the next room for my examination from the doctor (why he couldn't just do it there, I don't know. The room she took me to was exactly the same and even had another ultrasound machine in there. WTF). She said that no one was outside the room I was currently in, so I could just wrap the thin sheet around me and go straight to the new room, instead of the laborious task of putting my pants back on, only to take them right off again.

Unfortunately, one of the other patient's husbands was sitting out there waiting for his wife. When he saw me, he immediately shifted his eyes to the ceiling as if that ceiling was the most interesting thing that as ever graced this planet. I giggled a bit as I awkwardly waddled through the waiting room. 

Most awkward moment ever. 

Anyway, we waited for a little while and eventually the doctor rushed into the room. He quickly explained that he had been called into emergency surgery. He had no time to examine me as thoroughly as he did his other patients, but he did examine me quickly and leave me a number I could call later to ask questions when he was out of surgery. He was literally there less than 2 minutes. I traveled 4 hours to get there and waited for about 6 hours just to talk to this man, and he left before the 2 minute mark was up. I was pretty pissed.

But after my mom and I returned to San Antonio and called his office at 9 pm, he did answer a lot of my questions and made everybody much more optimistic about my treatment. He told me to see another doctor on his team (a gastroenterologist) to stop the seizures in my intestines (yes, I have intestinal epilepsy, too. Isn't that fun?!) before he operates on me.

My appointment with this other doctor (also in Houston) is next Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. Our Thanksgiving plans had to be derailed because of this, but at least I'm getting the treatment I need. 

I'm mostly looking forward to the Buc-ee's trips to come. :)

<3 Mouse

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What I did this weekend: Beaver-tastic!

Welcome to Buc-ee's!
Did you know that Houston is a four hour drive from San Antonio? After making that trip twice in two days, my mother and I know very well how much of an annoyance that trip is. Sadly, this will not be the last time we visit Houston. This is only the first of many trips to Houston I'll have to make for a very long time. Let's hope gas prices don't jump to $15 per gallon this week. The only thing that made those four-hour car rides worthwhile were the daily stops to Buc-ee's. 
Buc-ee the Beaver says: "Exit Now!"
For those of you who don't live in Texas, Buc-ee's is a gas station/rest stop... ON CRACK. 

It is my favorite place on earth! The mascot is Buc-ee the Beaver, and almost everything in the store is beaver-themed. There are beaver apparel, toys, food, and jewelry. It's almost a billion square feet of pure beaver-themed AWESOMENESS.

Buc-ee's has a plethora of delicious food. They have a place where you can order freshly made sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, cheese fries, and just about anything else you could think of. The have fresh fudge, Dippin' Dots, home made jerky, and candy. One thing Buc-ee's makes, which I am in love with, is something called "Beaver Nuggets". When I first discovered these wondrous golden delights, I was taken aback by how delicious they were (I obviously only bought them because they had a funny name). They are small little nuggets that have the consistency of Cheetos and have a caramel coating. They are the BEST!

One of the best things about Buc-ee's is their road signs. As soon as you get on the interstate, you'll start to see these silly little billboards. They all say something different (like "Bathrooms your mother would be proud of" or "OMG! It's a beaver! LOL!"), and they tell you how many more miles until Buc-ee's. I took the liberty of taking pictures of as many Buc-ee's billboards I could see on the way to Buc-ees (I swear, I'm not crazy). 

Almost made it to Buc-ee's!
I don't think there's any way to perfectly describe the wonderfulness that is Buc-ee's. Some people just don't get my undying love for this place. I think you just have to go there yourself to really experience the Beaver-ness for yourself. ;)

If you don't pan on visiting Buc-ee's soon, you can always Google "Buc-ee's" and look at the resulting images. 

You can thank me later.

<3 Mouse

(Stay tuned for part two of this blog coming later today!)

Friday, November 9, 2012


Yesterday, we received a phone call that will change our lives. 

No relevant picture for today, so here's my two dogs: Tater Tot and Hashbrown 
There is an Endometriosis specialist- one of the best in the country- in Houston. My OB/GYN referred me to him, but a referral isn't enough to see this doctor. Apparently  this guy is the top dog, the top banana, the mother f*cking badass of the medical world. We had to submit 15-20 pages of paperwork to them and they had to review it. If my case wasn't serious enough, they wouldn't give me an appointment. Even my pain doc was impressed that I was even considering seeing this guy.

When they called me to tell me that I was to come in on Monday at 8 am, you know my mother and I were in complete disbelief. I always knew my case was... special... but I honestly wasn't expecting one of the best doctors in the country to accept my case and see me this soon (we were expecting the appointment to be made for next February, or something ridiculous like that). My father is sure that this visit will be the one that takes the pain away.

Dad: "This doctor is gonna look at you, go 'OOOOOH! I see it!' and give you a magic pill and in 20-30 minutes, everything will be all fine and dandy!"

Mom: "Oh! Like in Star Trek!"

This lead to a long, boring conversation about Star Trek and how absolutely effing wonderful it is, or something like that. I wasn't really paying attention. If there's one thing you need to know about my family, it's that they are obsessed- to the point of near madness- with Star Trek. Almost every conversation we have leads to at least one Star Trek reference. I've learned to deal with it, but when my friends first meet my parents, they give me awkward stares and make numerous excuses so they never have to step foot in my house again. It's pretty funny.

Sadly, I've never actually watched a single episode of Star Trek (and I've never seen Star Wars either, but that's a whole other monkey that my best friends Jacob and Lee say they will soon fix).

Today, I am going to Austin with my mother to see Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. I'm pretty excited for that! I will post again on Monday after my appointment to tell you guys everything!

Wish me luck!
<3 Mouse

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I have the best friends in the whole, wide world

I understand that this blog is kind of a Debbie Downer. Unfortunately, it's kinda hard to write an unrealistically happy blog when the subject is a pain management disorder, but that doesn't mean my entire life is depressing! I have fun too!

Last weekend, I took the bus to Austin to visit two of my friends (Chelsea and Amber) at the University of Texas. Another friend (Jessica) was also visiting from Texas State. On the first night, we went to three haunted houses. The first haunted house was zombie themed, and plenty of zombies would jump out and try to scare us. One of my friends was a little freaked out, so I started doing the Gangnam Style dance through the rest of the house to lighten the mood. I eventually got three zombies to do the dance with me! I did the Gangnam Style dance through all three houses and probably annoyed the people behind us to no end, but who cares about that.

The highlight of the haunted houses (and probably the entire trip), however, had to be this guy:

On the second night, we saw the new Silent Hill movie (it was okay) and then met up with another friend (Becca, also known as UBFFSG) and got Chinese food.

Last weekend was a nice vacation from all the doctors. I was having so much fun that I completely forgot I was in pain! That's always nice!

Words cannot express how much my friends mean to me. I'm not sure if they know how great they are, but I'm sure they have some idea. I have no idea where I'd be without them. Sometimes, I feel like it must be hard to be my friend because I'm constantly flaking on plans because I got sick, or something. I am so lucky to have these people in my life to love and support me through this time. I love all my friends here in Texas and waiting for me in Massachusetts. Each and every one of them have impacted my life in the greatest way possible.  

I love you guys more than words can describe and I hope I get to go to visit you again super soon!

Chelsea and I are totally normal.
Me, a totally badass zombie, and Jessica

<3 Mouse

(I also want to apologize for not posting at all this week. I've had killer writer's block. Blah. )

Friday, October 26, 2012

I didn't qualify! :(

Science Fair 2011, about to eat my research. Photo credit goes to Shelby M.
Due to the severity of my Endometriosis, I have undergone 3 surgeries and many awful hormone therapies. My doctor says that it is possible that the scar tissue traveled from my uterus to the rest of my abdominal cavity, which would explain all the pain I'm in. Sadly, if this is true, I'm going to need more surgery very soon.

For those who want to know what my pain feels like, here's a little description:    

My pain is composed of four layers.
Layer 1: You know how when you cut yourself, you get a scab? (duh) And you know that if you try to stretch the skin with the scab on it, it won't stretch properly and will cause pain, as the scab won't stretch with the skin it is attached to. Now imagine you have lots and lots of scars and scabs on your intestines, bladder, and anywhere else inside your abdomen, and make that the first layer of pain that I feel every day.
Layer 2: Ladies, you know what menstrual cramps feel like, so you can add a layer of that underneath the stretching, stinging pain from the scar tissue. Guys, in case you were curious, menstrual cramps burn; it almost feels like you have to poop really, really bad, but can't.
Layer 3: This layer can only be described as an angry little dude in there taking his frustrations out on me with a dull butter knife. I really have no other way to describe this one because I don't know what causes it. If your imagination is as active as mine, you'll be able to imagine what this layer feels like. If not, at least the description will make you giggle.
Layer 4: Lastly, there is an overall achy, flu-ey feeling in all my muscles, due to the Fibromyalgia. It almost feels like I've been working out (that awful feeling of lactic acid building up in your muscle fibers) while sick with the flu.

That being said, I have been searching for different ways to treat my pain, and last week, I signed up to be a test subject for a clinical trial studying the effectiveness of a new drug that claims to treat Endometriosis. I was very excited to try it because the medication was supposed to stop the scar tissue from forming at the source.

But when a representative from the study called to interview me about my medical history, she said I didn't quality to be a test subject because I had been on the Lupron Depot shot within the past year. For those of you in the dark about obscure hormonal therapies, the Lupron Depot shot basically turns off all female hormones and is commonly used for FTM transgender patients. I was on a six-month cycle to suppress the hormones that were causing the endometrial lining of my uterus to grow and develop elsewhere in my body. Sadly, the "flush-out" period for the Lupron Depot shot is 1 year, and the study requires that you not have any kind of hormonal birth control/therapies in your system.

Now, since I have done plenty of research of my own, I know that when a researcher picks human subjects, they have to make sure to eliminate as many third-party variables as possible. However, hormonal birth control is the VERY FIRST THING most gynecologists put you on after an Endometriosis diagnosis. You'd think that a doctor who specializes in Endometriosis would know that. What an idiot. He's gonna have a real tough time finding subjects who haven't been on birth control for at least a year. For the sake of the study, I hope he can find enough women who meet his ridiculous criteria., but for the sake of me, I hope he doesn't find anyone. That'll show him. Dumbass.

Not that I'm bitter, or anything.

<3 Mouse

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blame it on the Vicodin

Today, I had an appointment with my pain management specialist, and for the first time in almost 4 years, I was given something other than Vicodin to treat my pain.

Don't get me wrong, I like me some good old fashioned opiates as much as the next person, but the longevity of my usage of the hydrocodone/acetaminophen cocktail was becoming a major point of concern to myself, my parents, and my closest friends. I don't always feel like I can express my concern for my drug dependence to even my closest of close friends because they don't really seem to understand the gravity of the situation. Many of my friends are guilty of making me out to be some kind of stoner because of the drugs I have to take to keep myself from dying. People blame the drugs on my social blunders, but the truth is, I'm actually just a socially awkward person. I know it is easy to misunderstand, since drug use in our society is usually looked at with blinders on. According to our society, if you are on Vicodin either 1) you're a junkie or 2) you are Dr. House. So far, I've found that I am neither of those.

This is why I don't talk to my friends about things like this anymore. They never listen and they treat me as if I am some kind of meth addict instead of procuring the true story. If they would just ask, they'd know that because I've been on Vicodin for so long it doesn't get me "high" anymore. In fact, it barely helps with the pain it was meant to treat in the first place. No, I don't become more awkward or "silly", or what-have-you after taking my medications. Stop blaming it on the drugs and instead accept who I am more fully.

Just before I left school, I was eating dinner with my roommates. My roommates and I were pretty good friends, and we always had pretty bizarre conversations. I'm not exactly sure what we were talking about, but mushrooms ended up being our very intellectual point of conversation. I ended up saying something like, "I had a friend who was a mushroom once. He was a fun guy!" (pah dum PSH). And although my joke was pure gold, my roommates just went silent. They coughed awkwardly and stared at their plates. No one made a peep. I just assumed they didn't find my joke funny, since I was usually the one who did anyway, and went right on eating. Eventually, a minute or two later, one of my roommates made a little giggle and shouted "OH! I get it! A fun guy... like a fungi!". The rest of my roommates began to laugh at the now apparent hilarity I had unleashed upon the world and when all they laughter died down, I asked "you really never heard that one? It's really old." and my roommate just replied, "We all just assumed you were on some kinda Vicodin-trip and tried to ignore it". The sad part of this story is not that my roommates assumed that I was making a stoner-comment before guessing that I made a silly pun, it's that it happened all the time and they treated me as if I was a small child who didn't know any better just because I was talking a silly pill. It was very hurtful and I wasn't exactly sure if I should waste my time confronting my roommates about it because it wasn't really their fault that they thought I was eternally stoned- I never really explained it to them in much detail. It's not like I haven't tried to explain myself to my friends. Now, I am not mad at my roommates at all. Yes, what they said was very hurtful, but our friendship is bigger than that and I'm not about to let a handful of ignorant comments get in the way of it.

Another time, I was placed under the spell of an uncontrollable giggle-fit during class. You know, the ones where nothing is actually funny, but you just laugh and laugh as if your life depended on it. A good friend of mine just announces to the class "She's on Vicodin! Don't mind her!". Not only is it completely inappropriate to shout out your friend's personal information, such as the kinds of prescription medications she's on, it's not right to assume that I'm not sober-and to tell others to never mind me because what I have to say obviously isn't worth anything- just because I can't stop laughing. Laughing is an uncontrollable reflex, and everyone has had at least one of those moments where they just can't stop laughing no matter how hard they try. My problem is that people associate my uncontrollable fits of laughter as a side effect, not as the something they experience too. The only difference between my fits of laughter and anyone else's is that people can blame mine on something.

Now, some of you might say "But Mouse, you make silly jokes about being high all the time! If this bothers you so much, then why do you do it too?". In all honestly, I hate making jokes about being high because I know it only feeds the rest of them. I only started doing it to relieve some of the awkwardness from it all. When I moved into my freshman dorm, I had to explain my illnesses to my roommate, hallmates, and RA so they would know what to do in case of an emergency. I told them a few of the drugs I was on (just in case I was unconscious, they could tell the paramedics what I was taking) and almost everyone I told said "Vicodin! Are you high?". At the time, I didn't really want to explain it, so I just said something like "No, but there's a Peacock on your floor".

For those of you who don't know me very well, I have a very sarcastic sense of humor. Most people grow accustomed to it. Now, maybe I shouldn't have assumed those people knew my sense of humor, or maybe I should have made it clear that those kinds of jokes were only okay when I said them. Whatever the case, I felt it was kinda awkward when other people would start joking about my apparent drug abuse, so it relieved the awkwardness when I added a bit to it. That being said, from now on, I will no longer cover your ass if you made another stupid comment. Instead, if you call me a stoner to a stranger again, I'll call your pathetic ass out. :) Yes, I've tried to explain this to all my friends at one time or another, but they never take me seriously because I'm obviously too stoned all the time to make a coherent argument. Obviously.

So this is my explanation, Ladies and Gentlemen. I could easily talk about this subject for days because of how purely hurtful it is to me. If I do something that appears a little bit weird, that's because I am a little weird. It's not the drugs. It never was the drugs.  It will never  be the drugs. I am more than just the sum of the pills I take every 4-6 hours as needed. I am a human being who likes to be treated as such with the same respect and dignity that I treat you with. I don't ask you if you took your meds today just because you say something a little silly or make a bad pun, so you shouldn't do the same to me. To me, blaming it on the Vicodin is more hurtful than simply telling me that you're embarrassed to be seen with me, because I can't help that I'm on the stuff. If I had the choice, I wouldn't be taking any medications to treat my pain. Sadly, I can't function without the pills. For me, each and every pill is a reminder of how little control I have over my own life- it's not a vacation. Also, I don't care how much money you have, I'm not selling you any of my pills.

Thanks to those who took the time to read this and even more thanks to those who take what I have to say to heart.

<3 Mouse

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mouse the Broken Girl

I'm not gonna lie. I've been kinda unsure about the idea of keeping a blog about all my medical conundrums. I never really felt like it was anybody's business as to what kind of random nonsense was going on inside my body. Plus I was always too lazy to start said blog. I suppose I am still too lazy to write a blog, but since I really have nothing better to do, I might as well start a blog. (And yes, Jacob. I did steal the idea of writing a blog from you. There. I admit it.)

My name is Mouse and I'm a Psychology/Biology/Pre-Med major at Clark University. (And in case Jarrad, my boss at Clark University Admissions  reads this: Clark University is a very good school and you should go there.) I hope to become a neurologist and I will become the recipient of at least 12 Nobel Prize awards. According to Google, I have the same IQ as Stephen Hawking, but I find that highly improbable since Stephen Hawking never actually took an IQ test (also according to Google). This past Fall was supposed to be the beginning of my second year of college. Instead, it was the beginning of a semester that would never be completed. I was placed on a Medical Leave of Absence last month and was forced to put my dream of becoming a Neurologist on hold for another year. Don't worry, though. I do plan to go back for the Fall 2013 semester and while I am on leave, I plan to take a couple of classes at a local community college so I don't get too far behind.

You might be wondering why I was placed on medical leave. To tell you the truth, we don't really know why either. Besides the two diagnoses of Endometriosis and Fibromyalgia, we don't really know what's going on. I am in constant pain- more pain than most patients afflicted with Endometriosis or Fibromyalgia are ever treated for and I am constantly showing new symptoms, like tachycardia and a random skin rash that kinda just shows up whenever it feels like it. In short, I'm a clusterfuck. For nearly 4 years, my doctors raised their hands in defeat after test after test came back negative, and no signs of improvement came about. I have never been so frustrated in my life. You'd think that knowing you didn't have cancer, Acute Intermittent Porphyria, or Lupus would be enough, but the very fact that I am still in chronic pain all the time with no answer is getting a bit annoying. At least, if we knew that I had Porphyria, for instance, I'd be able to prepare myself for the madness and paralysis that would soon follow. Instead, I play guessing games. When I was arriving back on campus this past August, I thought the pain would be somewhat manageable. I thought I'd be able to handle my tougher-than-average course load. I thought I'd be active in musical theatre, as I had been since I was 4 years old.

But, things don't always work out the way we planned.

I hope this blog becomes more than just a 19-year-old girl complaining about her life on the internet (although, be warned. I do complain a lot!). I hope that by following my journey to a better diagnosis, other frustrated patients can know that they are not the only ones suffering or wondering why their tests never show the answers they were hoping for. All-in-all, this blog is for me as a way to vent about some of the idiots in the medical industry, so shut up and have a terrific day.

<3 Mouse