Hi, my name is Mary Rodgers. I would like to share an overview of my life story and give you a glimpse into my life and the struggles that I’ve faced. I also want you to have the opportunity to get to know me. Solomon and I plan to go into much more detail on many of the topics that I am going to mention here in future posts. I am 35 years old, a nurse (RN), a wife, & a mother. Let’s get started…
My story starts when I was a kid. Of course we all start out as kids, unless you are an alien (I have often joked that I am an alien, but we’ll get back to that.) I grew up in a small town where, I think, I was related to just about everyone, in some way or another. I would like to say I had a normal childhood like anyone else, but I guess I didn’t.
Things seemed pretty normal until I was about 10 years old. My parents began to noticeably fight more and have lots of problems. By the time I was 12 years old, the downward spiral of their relationship ended in divorce. It was brutal.
They fought really dirty and often my sister and I became a means for them to get at each other by saying hurtful things they knew would get back to the other parent. My mom remarried when I was 14 and things just got worse. Life with my step father was so much worse. Verbal, physical, and borderline sexual abuse caused deep wounds that have taken years to heal. I was so depressed, self-doubt and many times suicidal thoughts characterized my life.
On a different note, I mentioned that I have often joked I am an alien. That is because from a young age I had many health issues, most of which could not be explained. Many issues where not diagnosed until I was an adult. Many of these unexplained problems I have been able to research and diagnose.
I realized many of my unexplained rashes growing up were actually sun sensitivity from my then undiagnosed Lupus. I even had shingles when I was in 1st grade (which doctors at the time said was impossible because I was too young). Many of my skin issues and stomach issues where actually undiagnosed food allergies. I was severely cross eyed when I was born and due to lack of identification and treatment I ended up blind in one eye.
In high school, I was diagnosed with mono and thyroid issues. At one point, my senior year, the doctors thought I had thyroid cancer, I was terrified. In the end, the doctors determined that it was Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. During the time we were trying to figure out my thyroid issues, I also began to run low grade fever all the time and no one could figure out why. I was tired all the time and generally had an unwell feeling. I also had many issues with my menstrual cycles and was put on birth control (which I later would realize was a big mistake).
Despite all the odds, I graduated high school and went on to college to get my LVN and later my RN license. I began my career as a nurse at 19 and set out to heal the world, lol. In all my training as a nurse, I began to think some of my health issues might have been misdiagnosed. I didn’t give it a whole lot of thought because, over all, I felt that I was pretty healthy and most of my issues were minor.
I found the love of my life over a dominoes game at a nursing home and married him shortly after graduating RN school. Young and naive, I thought that I was finally living my fairytale life. I had my career, my husband, and had moved away from the family issues. What could go wrong now? I was finally on the right track.
When I was 23, my fairytale got better, we were going to be parents. That joy came to a screeching halt when I miscarried at one month. We were crushed. I was told it was nothing to worry about and it just happens sometimes.
I got pregnant again about a month later. We were so excited, but also terrified that we would lose this one too. I was extremely sick for 5 months. There is much more to this story, but for now I’ll just say that at five months we lost our son Enoch James Rodgers. This was the start of discovering that I had many more health issues than I realized. It was also the beginning of my battle to figure out what was wrong with me.
After six months of tests and doctors’ consultations we were given the green light to try again. We meant to wait, but got pregnant shortly after that. I was a high risk pregnancy and had to have twice a day injections, but everything rocked along great for about 5 months, then came more trouble. There is a whole lot more to this story as well, but suffice it to say we lost Joshua Logan Rodgers at 21 weeks. I almost died and was told we could never try again or I was certain to die. That ended our attempts and crushed our hopes. I began a long journey to truly find answers to my health problems.
We looked into adoption, but found it to be too expensive so gave up on that. Several years later, by surprise, we were given the chance to adopt a little boy. That again was a long struggle and a long story for another time. We now have an amazing 3 year old boy who is currently running around like crazy. I can’t imagine my life without him.
I spent about 4 years having test after test, visiting doctor after doctor and still no one could come up with any solid answers. I was frustrated and sick. Finally, I was diagnosed with Lupus, and put on a bunch of medications. My health continued to be a problem with more and more issues coming up, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Fibromyalgia, etc. That lead to more medications for symptoms and then medications to combat side effects of medications. This has been my struggle for years, but over time my husband and I have sought out our own answers to health issues. I have sought to find the problems instead of just treating the symptoms. This has included finding food allergies, starting hormone therapy, and many other things along the way.
I am not doing great, but I have improved and continue to seek out answers and solutions. I am sharing these things that we have learned in the hope that others would find answers to their health issues quickly. Many of the problems that we’ve found are issues that a regular medical doctor won’t address. You don’t have to take what the doctors offer and assume that they know best..
Do your own research and listen to your body, you have to learn to be your own health advocate. Remember, many doctors are only really interested in managing the symptoms and not fixing the underlying disorders. From a cynical point of view it’s not in their best interest to cure people, after all, what do healthy people need with a doctor…
I hope that as we share our journey you find answers for yourself and others along the way. What health problems have you faced? Have you found any solutions? Join the discussion in the comments below.