Hi my name is Christina i'm 20 years old and I am morbidly obese. I have always been a big person, even as a young child, but it never kept me from living a normal life, I went to school, had friends and worked 3 jobs from the time I was 16 until I was 18. I ended up getting a staph infection on my left leg that turned into cellulitis, I was unable to work because the infection was hard to heal, then my health just went down hill from there. I ended up having severe swelling in my feet, and the dr just wrote it off as it being caused from me being over weight. Well next thing I know the swelling has moved up to around my waste and both my sides were swelled and had being hard along with my feet. It was very painful, red and swollen. I went to the er cause I could hardly walk and once again I was told it was from my weight, they gave me lasix told me to go home and take them and it should be fine, well I did just that and I ended up worse, I was tired, my body felt weak, I couldn't breathe and my chest hurt and I knew something was not right. We went to a different hospital and this time the drs actually cared and wanted to help me. They ran some test and ended up putting me in ICU, the fluid pills (lasix) had made me worse, they had drained everything from me even the natural stuff that was suppose to be in me. I was taking 120 milligrams a day trying to get relief from the swelling and pain, the dr also told me I was too young to be put on them. Over the next few days, I had several test done and was told I had, hypothyroidism, edema, cellulitis, anxiety, I was put on xanax and synthyoid and released after a week. Well that was in July of 09, months went by and my legs were getting worse and I was in a wheelchair now, by the time January came along I was once again worse than before, this time my right thigh was swelled and pushing outwards, I went back to the er, mainly for my legs but also because 2 days before they had released me back in July of 09, I had started bleeding, which at first I thought was just my period, but I was still bleeding in January and heavily at that. Well I went in and they did ultrasounds of my legs to see if it was a bloodclot and they had no luck the first time so they admitted me again, the next few days they ruled out blood clots as being the cause and passed it off as edema again, but they were having a hard time finding out why I was bleeding so much and for the past six months without stopping. They did a transvaginal ultrasound and later told me I had polycystic ovarian syndrome. I was once again released after almost two weeks of antibotics and test and sent home with Metformin. I tried it but couldn't stay on it cause I would stay sick.  I was told to follow up with obgyn but all the help I was promised to get was denied since I live in Mississippi and they can only help residents of the state Tennessee. (the hospital was in Memphis and I live right across the state line in Mississippi) So there went that hope and since I have no health insurance and no way of paying for it, I roughed it and hoped for the best. Well Feb. came and I married my boyfriend of 3 years, he was planning on joining the military and we were going to wait but with me getting worse we thought we might as well do it now instead of waiting, well due to family reasons him joining had to be put on hold. April was here and I was still bleeding much worse passing huge clots and was weak once again, went to the er and they overlooked it gave me provera and told me to take it for 10 days and I should stop bleeding, well 10 days past by and it made it worse, so I figured there was no hope, money was getting tight and there was no way I could afford to see an obgyn let alone be able to with the way my leg was. June of the year, I had become so weak and pale, i was really cold even though it was hot outside, I had the heat running, i was getting cramps so bad in my legs i would scream and cry with the pain and just felt awful all over, my thight had what we thought at first was a large tumor, it was very large and painful and hard as a rock, my mom finally convinced me to go back to the er after having a very bad episode of charlie horses, a painful fall, that took me 2 hours to get up since I can't bend my right leg or get on my knees from the fluid and bleeding through everything. When we got there they did a blood count and sent me to ultrasound for me legs again while we waited for the results. They came back and told me my count was at a 4 and if I had waited I would have died in the next 12 hours, they admitted me into ICU and started blood transfusions I had 3 units at first then they tested my blood the next day and it was at a 7, they released me from ICU and put me in step down, filled me full of anitbotics to get rid of the infection in my legs and then tested my blood again, it had dropped back down and they couldnt figure out why, so they seached to see if I was bleeding on the inside, and after they confirmed that I wasnt they gave me another unit of blood. They told me I had severe anemia and put me on an iron drip while I was in there. Thankfully my bleeding had stopped while in there. Well after telling them how bad my legs were, they found out I had Gout in my knee and ankle and the swelling and the way my legs were 4x the normal size was from lymphedema, i asked about how to cure it and was told there is no cure, the dr I had was rude and could have cared less about what I was going through, she told me it was just something I would have to deal with. I was also told I had sleep apnea but had to go to a sleep studies place for that, there wasn't anything she could do. I was released to go home and was in worse shape than I was when I went in. After a few weeks of the iron, I was feeling a little better, my color had came came back a little but I still had bad black marks under my eyes from the lack of sleep, I haven't been able to sleep in a normal bed in over a year and the couch I used was on its last leg, I was running out of my thyroid meds and the iron so I had to find a PCP and quick, i'm in a wheelchair and to be honest, I don't like being seen in it. I have shut out everyone but my mom,mamaw,younger sister, sisters boyfriend and husband. I have avoided friends and going out, simply because for one the pain, it hurts to sit for too long in one position and because the looks and comments from people that don't understand what I am going through, most people take one look and assume I ate myself into a wheelchair, and that is the farthest thing away from how I really ended up in it. I have to have a wide wheelchair so unless the place has double doors, I won't fit and its embarassing to have to stand up just to fit through the doors, so I have stayed inside, but I knew if I didn't swallow my pride and just find a PCP I would be back in the hospital in no time, I looked online for a place to go and found a Dr, that looked like she would be good and something about her seemed like it would be a good idea so in September of this year, I made the appointment and went, It was hard for me since the doors were small and walking just a few steps takes its toll on me quickly, plus the stares made it worse but once I met with the Dr she was the sweetest, most caring Dr I had ever met. She took over an hr and a half just talking with me making sure she got down everything that was wrong and she took the time to really get to know me and whats going on, she then recommened a baratric hospital bed that I could rent and have at home. She also took blood and put me on a different med for Gout since the other one was harsh to my system, she gave me Lexapro for bi polar manic depression and wanted to see me back in there soon, I went home feeling a little bit better knowing that there is some one out there that isn't going to just judge me on how I look and sum up all my problems to just being fat. It's now November and my lymphedema is getting worse, money once again is getting tight due to a hand of bad luck with our truck, my husband getting sick and bills, but thats life, I go back to the Dr on the 22nd of November and I am going to ask about a Clinc that I recently found that helps with lymphedema, I am hoping that it helps and I get to go. Living with this has been hard, I went from being a happy 18 year old that could do whatever I wanted like a normal person to being stuck here having to depend on my husband and younger sister to take care of me. I get fustrated, cause I will try to push myself to do something like help with cleaning or help with something only to fail, from not being able to stand long enough or getting worn out or the pain. I see now how much I took for granted the little things in life, like being able to go for a walk or driving, taking a shower standing up, that I miss like crazy. I am in the middle of trying for SSI. I have been denied 3 times and have a lawyer but its taking awhile, I hope and pray everyday that I will get the approval letter or some kind of good news. I know things could always be worse but, I feel like i'm just a waste of space, days go by and nothing changes, if it wasn't for my wonderful husband,mamaw,mom and sister I wouldn't be here today, they give me the strength to keep going when I just want to give up. I would love to make some new friends that know and understand and can relate to what I am going through.

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Nov 10, 2010
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