Thursday, December 31, 2009
I shared this article with Tyora Moody, I wanted to share it here with you! Enjoy.
Author and poet Vanessa Richardson shares her testimony about being diagnosed with a rare disease, Catamenial Pneumothorax. Resources are included after the article.
The year: 1999 – Age: 24 – Am I forsaken?
My name being hailed pulled me from my quiet appraisal of the handsome soap opera star I was watching on the small television in the waiting room.
Standing I approached the X-ray technician and my heart plummeted. In his eyes was that of concern. I recognized the “look” as I often time gave them, when offering comfort to someone in pain.
“Hi. Ms. Richardson?” The technician queried.
I offered a weak nod. I was tired and just wanted to sleep for years. The technician concerned eyes hastily scanning my face should have been an indicator that something was amiss.
“Have you been in a car accident recently?” he softly questioned.
I was shocked by the question. “No. I have not.” I breathlessly replied. Not impart to fear, however. It was a strange occurrence; as of late, I had been experiencing chest pains and could hardly breathe. Talking had become a chore for me and I was exhausted all the time. All these symptoms prompted my emergency room interview with the hospital technician.
“Ms. Richardson you have a collapsed lung.”
Reeling from the announcement, I slumped against the wall in disbelief. I was certain I had misheard him.
“Your right lung is down 100% and it is covering your heart. You must be admitted.”
A bevy of nurses ushered me to a bed. I was given a hospital gown. I was given an IV and was placed on oxygen. All the while, I was in a state of shock and disbelief. I had never been hospitalized in my life. I had a collapsed lung! I was overwhelmed with myriad of questions. How did this happen? Am I going to die? What was the procedure to curing a collapse lung?
I was not in an accident. I do not spoke and I was not heavy into sports. These were all the entities associated with a collapse lung. I was diagnosed with a Spontaneous Pnuemothorax. This is when the lung collapses with no apparent reason. The treatment was a chest tube insertion. My hospital stay was seven days. I would like to say this is where my story ends. However, it was only the beginning. From 1999 to 2005, I’ve had a total of ten chest tubes and a major lung surgery.
My diagnoses changed spontaneous pnuemothorax to that of catamenial pneumothorax. This condition is difficult to diagnose as it is so rare here in America.
What is Catamenial Pneumothorax?
This is when a woman has her menstrual cycle and her lung collapses with in 42-72 hours. About 2%-5% of women suffer from this health issue. Here is when I had to step out on faith. My last recourse was that of a hysterectomy. I was single and had never had children. I felt alone and forsaken. Is it true that good guys finish last? I have no choice in the matter. Should I give up in the face of this great travesty?
The Year 2009 – Age: 35
The Certain Ones: You’re not forsaken. You’re Chosen for Purpose.
At an early age I had made a vow to God to refrain from premarital sex until marriage. I journaled from age 16 until present day. I wrote of how I wanted to one day get married and have kids. So this setback threw me for a loop. Yes, I wanted to have children but I also wanted to be healthy. I was tired of the pain. It seemed I slept and awoke with pain. What was I to do?
Here is my testimony. I did have the hysterectomy. I suffered a loss and dealt with it. The road was not easy for me as I dealt with the issue of infertility. I realized I had a purpose. God’s purpose for me: To encourage women who are experiencing sicknesses and/or infertility. I was tried and emerged dignified. My lesson learned: Happiness is a choice that we make. I decided that I wanted to be happy; so I pursued it. My journey has not been an easy one but I made it. I have written a non-fiction book titled The Certain Ones. The certain ones will find the hidden doors leading to happiness and success. Although I may not be able to physically conceive a child it does not mean I can never be a mother. There are other options. God plans for me were different, yet wonderfully perfect. God knows my name and He knows yours, too!
Resources about Catamenial Pneumothorax
Catamenial Support Group – www.experienceproject.com/groups/Have-Catamenial-Pneumothorax/89797