Once upon a time…

Over the past 20 or so years I have had several visits to the hospital for unusual and what was thought to be unrelated incidents. Each incident seemingly was an anomaly. Each time I asked the health care professionals who cared for me, ‘so what was that about?.. why did that happen?’ I often received frank and honest answers along the lines of ‘these things happen’ or ‘we don’t know why ’. I appreciated their honesty but felt frustrated. I resigned myself to the fact that I was just one of the unlucky ones, destined to ricochet off of or fall in to every unlucky hole that was within a 100 mile radius of me…
Looking back on most of the medical care that meant a hospital stay or visit to a specialist, I can now clearly see that there was a thread throughout these events that held things together and pointed to what was ultimately manifesting in my body. A process that I feel began a long time ago.
As a child I remember having horrible pains in my stomach, the kind that you double over with. No gas or diarrhea, just a horrible, stabbing pain that would bounce around my gut like lightning. I remember having to lie down, falling asleep at strange times, exhausted by the pain.
As a teen, when I was about 16 or 17 our family, originally from the east coast, moved from Ontario to back east again, to be closer to family and aging grandparents. It was hard to leave Ontario and my friends that I had known since elementary school. I remember lying in bed one night shortly after the move back east and as I flipped from my back on to my belly, I felt a hard lump in the right side of my gut. No pain. Just a lump. Lying in the dark, my bodily sensations were magnified it felt like my intestines were twisting up! Alarmed, I called mom, a nurse, in to my room so that I could describe to her what I was feeling. Seeing that I was not in any pain, she soothed me by saying that it was probably nothing. In all honestly I was a flighty, nervous teen, missing my friends and anxious about my last year of high school in a new school– it probably was nothing. As I feel asleep that night I tried not to and focus on the next day at school instead. The lump faded from the focus of my teenage mind.
Looking back now at these two memories, and because of what happened to me less than 10 years later, I wonder if some of what I was feeling was related to LAM…
On the other hand, if these vague twinges of ‘something’ that I blog about here had led to testing and a very early diagnosis, I would not have wanted to know back then. I am grateful for and will forever cherish the fact that I had a healthy, carefree childhood.
As I aged out of childhood, other odd and strange symptoms began to manifest. In my next blog I’ll write about the first time I experienced an incident that happened while swimming, something, up until that point was a sport that I had loved.

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