I was born a medical mystery. My early childhood revolved around an endless line of questions and no answers. I faced death numerous times, but kept fighting with hope of a better future.
Back in May of 1992, a small child was born to first time parents. I was on the small side, but not considered premature. Four days after my birth I was in, what seemed to be, perfect health for a new born infant, but two years later I had my first encounter with death. I was rushed back to the hospital because I was experiencing large amounts of pain in my lower back. BOTH my kidneys were failing. With further tests the doctors discovered my bladder was working backwards. I left the hospital a few weeks later, again in seemingly perfect health. A few months later I returned.
My true problems were evident because my blood had problems clotting. My blood could clot fine if I had some scrapes or scratches, but nose bleeds were totally a different story. This trip was because my nose had bled over forty-five minutes with no control in sight. After an hour of bleeding the doctors had control. The next step was to be tested for hemophilia. That test was negative along with numerous other tests. My parents were even pulled into tests that would reveal genetic defects carried in genes, but those test were also negative. I was then released with no answers, but was back a few months later. I entered the hospital on different occasions during the months that followed. I would be puking blood, would have blood dripping from my mouth, and would have blood tearing from my eyes or just gushing from my nose. Each time I would leave with the same answer that my blood had troubles clotting. But what caused the nose bleeds to be so massive? Or what was wrong that the blood wouldn’t clot? To this day I still don’t know, and I have to deal with the problems at least one a month.
By the time I turned twelve, I had been diagnosed with ADD and strange allergies were forming out of nowhere. My belt buckles, jewelry, coins, and even the button on my jeans would cause my skin to become severely inflamed. Somehow I became allergic to metal which pushed me into playing an unwanted game of “musical prescriptions”. The doctors finally won the game with the seventh ointment I was prescribed for severe reactions, but it still didn’t completely allow me to live an itch and rash free life.
Recently my body broke out in massive amounts hives that itched like crazy! I ended up in the ER and diagnosed with a rare condition that less than 5% of the world population has: Dermatographism. This is literally the ability to write on skin with just a touch or scratch. My friends now have contests to see whose art work will stay longer on my skin.
My life is a roller coaster with no end, but many surprises along the way. My parents always dreamed that I would live to enjoy life and be successful, but my conditions destroyed their dreams. Even though I have rare conditions and strange reactions to metal objects I have still became a successful musician with the ability to play four different clarinets. I made the top band in my school along with becoming the second best in the school district. I was just accepted into NHS (National Honors Society) and have achieved honor roll three years in a row in high school and next year will be the fourth. I am in all advanced placement courses while maintaining above a 6.0 GPA. I am a decent soccer player, swimmer, and lifeguard, but who would of ever imagined the amount of success I have achieved with the medical mysteries my past contains?
The success I have achieved leads me to believe in the ability to surpass the limitations that challenge one’s life on a daily basis, and allow for success to flourish.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.