53 Years to a Diagnosis of Primary Immune Deficiency Disease

June 1, 2014

Born a helathy child, I suddenly became ill with double pneumonia at age four. Two weeks in the hospital, a scared little child in an oxygen tent, Penicillin saved me. This pattern of sudden temperatures and illness would continue all my life. Was it genetic? Was it caused by an environmental factor, a leaking sewer pipe in my closet? We will never know.

I was given a reprieve– usually just one bad cold in the winter– in my teen years, but as soon as I had my daughter at age 23, I became ill again every winter than at anytime during the year. I chose teaching as my profession, and unknown to me I was surrounded by sometimes sick children, especially in winter months. And with germs and viruses my body could not fight on its own! Most of my life (social especially) stopped. Misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis followed.

Mistakenly, doctors said I was allergic to penicillin at age 23 and other antibiotics did not help me as much.

By age 43 I was constantly on antibiotics. I would be well for three weeks and then ill again. I retired at age 49 after six bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia in one school year. My last teaching year, I was absent 60 of 180 school days.

Nine years later an ENT finally and corectly diagnosed me with Primary Immune Deficiency Disease after sinus surgery failed. Plasma treatments have given me my life back. AT 67 I have seen mygrandchildren born and hope to be with them many more years.

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