“Have Hope,” says Bahcet’s Patient, “I Walked in Your Shoes.”

August 26, 2014

Story by Hannah Heinzig

October of 1998, in an East Coast Gas station, begins my long journey on the road to healing. I felt the first of hundreds of painful ulcers.

At the time I had flu-like symptoms on and off for weeks, pain in my joints, pain all over my entire body, fevers, stiff necks and much more. It wasn’t until 2001, after many misdiagnosis’ from doctors including Infectious Disease, Family Practices, Gynecologists, and Rheumatologists to name only a few, and multiple hospital visits, that I was finally diagnosed with Behcet’s disease by a doctor at The National Institutes of Health. My first symptoms occurred about three weeks after getting the ‎Varicella vaccine.

For two and a half years I suffered pain unlike I had ever experienced before, was lost in wrong diagnosis’, felt defeated by doctor’s, and was helpless to be an advocate for myself because just living from day to day in pain was difficult. Not giving up and with the help of my husband, I was diagnosed with Behcet’s disease and began my journey to recovery.

It started with Prednisone, Imuran, Methotrexate, Lyrica and Colchicine. However, the medicine that worked for me and even sent me into remission for 2 years (2009-2011) was Enbrel. Since my diagnosis we started a family through adoption, I began teaching again and I now live a life that I love. I have had the same Rheumatologist for years who listens to me and treats me like I am part of her family, even giving me her home phone number in case I have an emergency. There are still bad days but they are outweighed by the good.

If you are reading my story and feel defeated by a disease that no one seems to understand, doctor’s that make you feel small, and pain that is unstoppable please know that you are not alone and there is help. It may take longer than you would like, you may encounter doctors that are sometimes hurtful and ignorant, and you may experience the worst pain of your life, but don’t lose hope.

You will find the right doctor, you will have a day when your symptoms are muted if not taken away completely, and there is another side to your story. How do I know? Because I walked in your shoes. There is a special plan for your life. One that will prosper you. Consider yourself prayed for because I asked God to give favor to anyone who reads my story. Don’t give up! There is hope.

Need encouragement? Write me: [email protected]

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