A young woman's brave and amazing fight against Lyme Disease will inspire and give hope.
My name is Kim, I am 25 years old and this is my story. My hopes on writing this and telling a hardship that lasted over 16 years is to provide hope and validation for every patient, family member, or doctor who is fighting this beast of a disease!
At age 10, I became sick with blood in my stools, joint pain, fatigue and headaches.
Months later I was diagnosis with Chrons disease. My symptoms continued over the years and became more severe.
Over the past 16 years I have taken various medicines: Uceris, Lialda, Humeria, Remicaid, Asocal, Colossal, 6mp, Flagial, Prednisone, Hydrocodon , Oyxcodon, Tramodol, Firocet, Butural, Naproxen, Zomig, Cymbalta, Topamax, Muscle relaxers, Anti depressants , Steroid injections, Botox ....and more! (I know it's too much to read! You should try taking them all-ha!) I have also seen various specialists: Gastroenterologist, Rheumatologist, Neurologist, Psychiatrist, Cardiologist, Hematologist, Orthopedist, Acupuncturist, Psychiatrist, Chiropractor, and Nutritionist. However, none of the specialist I saw seemed to think anything else was wrong.
My symptoms never seemed to clinical match JUST Crohn's disease. My symptoms persisted and became worse over the years. At age 15 Boston's children's hospital advised me I should have my colon removed and "everything else would get better."At age 16 Rochester children's hospital advised me the headaches were related to havingan immune disease and so was the joint pain. "There was nothing else they could do."At age 17 John Hopkins Hospital advised me to have my colon removed and see a psychiatrist. "It maybe caused by stress or depression."At age 23 my neurologist told me "there were no other treatments at this time" and that I should look into having my occipital nerve cut. At age 23 they also found pre cancerous cells in my rectum, my headaches were daily, and the pain in my body was constant. I had multiple hospital stays per year, saw various doctors, took numerous medications, and had an array of diagnostic tests done, yet still no answers!
I began to believe this was life so I fought everyday. To finish school, to work, to have a social life, to smile through the pain, to do daily activities. It all seemed hard, every little thing. And pain became a daily occurrence.
At 24 my body gave up. It didn't matter how much I fought. I could no longer go on.
I started to become nauseous, fainted at work, couldn't remember things, had trouble finding my words, my joints were very stiff, I was in unbelievable pain and, I was beyond weak.
I lost everything that year. My job, my apartment, my social life, and my independence. Soon I could no longer get out of bed. And my family feed me, bathed me, and took care of me around the clock like a child again.
But then something changed. At 24 years old, April of 2014
my mom found the Stram Center. Dr. Jennifer Mager and Dr. Ronald Stram. Also known as,
my superheroes! TOGETHER began to fight the hardest battle thus far, treating me for LYME DISEASE!
Getting my diagnosis was half the battle. We had a long road ahead that consisted of bilaterally pic lines, a port placement and aggressive antibiotic treatment both orally and intravenously. We took steps forward and also had many setbacks. My hope dwindled at times and I began to doubt ever becoming well. However, after 1 year and 9 months of treatments and the unwavering support and determination of the Stram Center, I am finally off all crohns medicines for the first time in 14 years and off all migraine medicines for the first time in 10 years.
I still have my colon after 5 different gastroenterologists said there was no hope and it should be surgically removed. I had a colonoscopy 3 months ago that was normal for the first time in 14 years. NO ulceration! My daily debilitating headaches and neck pain are improving for the first time in over 6 years and lastly my fatigue has decreased significantly! I see myself enjoy everyday life instead of struggling just to get by.
What did the Stram center do? They listened, they believed me, and they treated me for LYME DISEASE! They saved my life and even more so changed my life!
Jennifer, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I prayed for a miracle and we found it!
IT WAS YOU! I still wonder why after 16 years of suffering and 9 specialist later, why I was fortunate enough to find you? I thank god everyday and promise to use this hardship for the better. To educated and help others. To work hard and never waste this second chance I was given at a healthy future! You gave me my life back and made me healthy for the first time since I was 10 years old. Keep fighting the good fight! Keep being that ONE doctor who listens who believes, who thinks outside of the box! Thank you will never be enough!
The healing grace Jennifer Mager, Ronald Stram, and the Stram center have given me
is MY MIRACLE!!