As a kid, I always had a weakened immune system and stomach problems. I used to get every cold that went around and got strep throat every single year. My real consistent symptoms that I deal with on a day-to-day basis started when I caught a virus while I was participating in a service project in Belize when I was only 17 years old. The last couple days of the trip I got extremely ill. I never seemed to recover after that.
I spent about 6 years in and out of specialists’ offices, Insta cares, and Emergency Rooms with no answers and worsening symptoms. I had to change my lifestyle completely. I used to run in state track meets and play college level soccer, now I could barely get out of bed. No one in the medical community believed what was happening to me. I even had a GI doctor put in my chart that I was “just a stressed-out college student burning the candle at both ends and I should seek psychiatric help”. It wasn’t until I needed to do an internship for my program at the University of Utah where I found my start to recovery – The Bateman Horne Center.
Dr. Brayden Yellman was finally able to give me my answer and in 2019 diagnosed me with ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia, POTS, MCAS, and Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. Later, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis and Adenomyosis by Dr. Adam Duke, who has his own practice in Idaho. I slowly started to improve with their treatments and extraordinary care and was able to graduate from the University of Utah with my B.S. in Health Promotion and Education with an emphasis in Community Health. I then went on and became a Certified Health Education Specialist.
I still have my struggles, but because of my diagnosis and continued outreach that the Bateman Horne Center provides, I can work full time and live on my own. I am so grateful I found my answer and my heart hurts knowing there are people out there suffering like I did who still don’t have an answer. I hope sharing my story helps others get their diagnosis and not feel so alone. Chronic illness at a young age can be real and I’m the living proof.