Hi! My name is Bayley Pair, I am 21 years old, and I have Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, or CIRS. CIRS is a multi-symptom, multi-system reaction to a biotoxin that creates a chronic inflammatory response and causes a range of symptoms based on the individual. If you would like to learn more about CIRS, you can visit survivingmold.com.
Before developing CIRS, I played college softball and was a super outgoing individual. Playing softball in college was my dream, and I had worked so hard to achieve it. Unfortunately, in the fall of 2019, I started feeling super fatigued and found it more and more difficult to complete everyday activities like attending class and participating in team practices. By the end of the semester, I made the decision to quit softball due to my health decline, and continued to attend college online.
The next year of my life was difficult, because I went to many doctors but none were able to diagnose me. My symptoms during this time included worsened anxiety and depression, severe fatigue, daily allergic reactions, weight gain, and severe brain fog. These issues made it difficult to accept who I was as a person, because I had always been so active and outgoing. To make matters worse, every doctor I went to told me that nothing was wrong, and that at my age I shouldn’t be sick. This worsened my mental health issues because I began to tell myself that maybe I wasn’t actually sick, maybe I was just faking it. Although this was not true, I found it difficult to stand up for myself against a health system that, for the most part, doesn’t acknowledge CIRS. I want to tell this part of my story to let others know that just because you haven’t found a diagnosis yet, doesn’t mean that your symptoms aren’t valid. You have the right to find the correct care for your illness, no matter how what path you have to take to get there.
In the fall of 2021, I finally found the right doctor for me, and was soon diagnosed. I am currently working with my doctor to be able to deal with my illness in the best way possible, and to hope to overcome it one day. Although I have had a few steps backwards, such as 2 hospitalizations from my allergic reactions, I am hopeful about the future and truly thankful for those that have been there for me in this process, such as my parents and boyfriend. (Boyfriend pictured)
In the present day, I am currently attending college online and will be graduating this fall with a B.S. in Psychology. Additionally, I hope to one day write a book about my experience with CIRS, so as to spread awareness and help others not have to spend so much time trying to figure out their illness.
I am very grateful to be an ambassador for LiveOn.org, as finding this community has helped me feel less alone with my illness.