Published: 03/03/2023 Tags: Stories

I want to help others like me

Growing up I didn’t realize that being in pain all the time wasn’t normal. It wasn’t until I passed out, got blood work, and a doctor asked me questions I thought were obvious that I realized most people live different lives. It took four years to finally get diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. For four years, I had to experience doctors telling me I was too young and healthy to have any problems. Many doctors saw me and sent me on my way without even doing any sort of testing I asked them to do.

My health has seemed to decline for the past six years to the point where I can no longer do what I used to love. In 6th grade, I ran track. Now, I can barely walk for ten minutes without getting extremely tired. I recently had to move my bedroom to the main floor of the house so that I can easily access everything I need.

Last year, I went to the Shriner’s Hospital in Kentucky and saw an occupational and physical therapist every month. There, I learned new ways on how to do things I could never do before. I remember the first time I was able to open a water bottle by myself, my mom cried. I was 17. Now, I’m currently a senior in high school, just turned 18, and plan to go to college in the fall to become an occupational therapist. I may have a chronic illness that restricts many things in my life, but I’m not going to let it stop me from helping others do things they could never do before, just like me.

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