Facebook reminded that four years ago today the chronic lymphadenopathy caused by my autoimmune disease led to my six surgical lymph node biopsies. This was my final one so far. It left me with a permanently crooked smile but I’m alive.
Three years ago (on the top left) I had my stomach rebuilt and my esophagus repaired for the second time. Chronic inflammation and the drugs I take to manage my chronic pain and illness destroyed them but saved my liver, my ovaries and prevent another stroke. I eat differently but I can swallow; that’s a gift.
Two years ago, my pain in my spine made it hard to walk and caused persistent headaches. Osteoarthritis in my knee from chronic inflammation hurt me too. So, I got radio frequency ablation to scar the nerves and kill the pain. I got a cane for stability and injections in my knees.
The bottom right is me now. Functioning is still sometimes a struggle but I’m not where I was and that’s a blessing. I don’t know what’s next but I know that with faith, friends, family and fortitude I will continue to move forward. And I will share what I’ve learned along the way to help others to keep fighting.I do it through my posts, blogs and memoir and now speaking in public too!
I raised $4,000 last Saturday for the Autoimmune Association for Related Diseases and delivered their keynote address at their NYC walk. I did it because no matter what name is given to your suffering everyone with one of these more than 10 conditions needs to lean on others like them so they don’t feel so alone and misunderstood.
#igg4 #disability #chronicpain #invisibleillness #chronicillness #biopsy #lymphoma #autoimmunedisease @autoimmunediseasesassociation @selenagomez @lenadunham @ladygaga @kimkardashian @halleberry @missymisdemeanorelliott