My Story Part Five: The one where I finally got a diagnosis

Are you guys ready for a diagnosis?  So was I!  I think you might get what you’re wishing for in today’s post!  Let’s get to it!

By the way, I unfortunately don’t have a ton of photos from this time in my life. I know that’s been really fun for some of you to see! My family was all about our camcorder, which I would totally love to put clips of home movies in, but I don’t know how! So for the next two posts, there will be significantly less photos, and mostly just me talking about what was going on.

The night that ended with me falling asleep in the recliner turned out to not be quite over.  I woke my mom and dad up around four o’clock in the morning with the beginnings of going alkaloid and I fainted while waking them up.  As you have likely caught on, fainting was something I had done a few times, but everyone always blamed it on overexertion or heat.  My parents called for an ambulance and I was taken Plano Medical Center’s emergency room.  We lived in a quiet neighborhood and the flashing lights from the ambulance and fire truck probably made for quite a sight!

Once there, the doctor decided to do an arterial blood draw.  This is where the blood sample is drawn from an artery rather than from a vein.  After some further research, all I can determine is that they were doing an arterial blood gas sampling.  I don’t really know why the doctor thought this might be helpful.  I do know that it hurt like heck and a half and that it took numerous tries to get it done.  I don’t know for sure if it took so many sticks because they were going through my wrist and my hands were in their crab claw formation, or if it is always this difficult to get this type of blood draw.  I just hope to never ever have to go through it again.

The test results of the terrible arterial blood draw came back normal, just like every other blood test.  Then, I was transferred to Children’s Hospital in Dallas, where I stayed for two days until my alkaloid symptoms subsided. The general pediatrician at Children’s sent me home with a prescription of amitriptyline because she was following through on that “this is all in her head” diagnosis.  I was on this medication for several months before someone switched me over to Zoloft for the same reason.  These medications made absolutely no difference in my symptoms.

This merry-go-round kept going and going.  There were more hospital visits, just like the four I’ve already described.  Every two or three months, I would end up at Children’s Hospital for a few days where I got fluids and was sent on my way.  My weight remained low during this entire time.  Doctors would simply say I wasn’t “prospering.”

My Story Part Four 9

Now for a seemingly random side note – I had always thought I had a silly outie belly button.  It was really weird, I could push it in and it was this whole funny thing among my friends.  As it turns out, it was a hernia.  Whoops!  In the summer of 2005 I had it fixed and the doctor recommended that we have my gall bladder tested to see if it was causing me all of this grief.  Good thought, but nope, the results showed no signs of problems with my gall bladder.

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