Emily was a perfectly healthy and fit child till she was 10. At 10, Emily started being sick a lot and had stomach pains and headaches. Over the years we have been told she had IBS, migraines, anorexia and it "just a teen girl thing"!!
She has been admitted to hospital 5 times in the last year with severe vomiting and each time they have just treated symptoms - changed meds and sent back home. On her last admission she was lucky in that one of the doctors on rounds thought he knew what was wrong and ordered a special blood test.
On the 31st of July we where told that she has Addison's disease and Emily was started on life long treatment with steroids. Emily owes her life to that doctor as if she had not been diagnosed she could have had a Addison's crisis and died.
Emily has lost a huge amount of weight in the last 3 months and is now on a elemental diet from the hospital and is waiting for a NG tube to be fitted if there is no improvement in the next few weeks.
Addison's disease is rare and even rarer in someone of Emily's age. We have since been told that the Addisons' is probably caused by a tumor on Emily's pituitary gland. Emily is under going further investigations at present and because the Addison's is complicated by the gastroparesis she has frequent hospital admissions as the smallest thing can throw her into a Addison's crisis, which has to be treated very quickly to prevent the risk of coma or worse. Emily is missing nearly all of her normal hormones and faces a life of treatment for this at present she is taking over 10 different meds and will have more added as results from test come in.
At present Emily is stuck at home as her college are refusing to allow her back due to her illness. She has spent the the last year studying to be a police officer and due to her diagnosis has had her dreams shattered. Through out the last 3 months, Emily has had her life turned upside down and her dreams shattered, yet she is still smiling and doing her best to led a normal as life as possible. She spends a lot of time in bed as her illness leaves her very tired and feeling sick all the time. She knows how serious it could turn out to be and knows at the minimum it will mean a op and at its worst chemo/radiotherapy as well, or it may not be treatable at all.
Emily says that no matter what she has to go through at least she now knows why she is ill and that for her is enough, the not knowing for years was worse.