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sadness is a blessing
by heather king
- Artist Notes
- self portrait
This image is © Heather King. You may not use this or any of my images (in whole or in part). All Rights Reserved.
Copying, altering, displaying or redistribution of any of these images without written permission from the artist is strictly prohibited.
edited and layered in corel X3
no stock photography used
Desperate (true story)
For the most part I tend to keep to myself as I always have been a little reclusive in nature.
I am a good person, with a pure and limitless heart, who desperately needs a ‘chance’.
I have decided to write about this in hopes that some form of a doctor, student, person will read it who can help me. I reach and touch people through my art, and it is my hope that perhaps someone with the proper skills or knowledge will read this and be able to touch and reach me!
Not so long ago I spent more time at the doctors and emergency department in the hospitals than I did going out or being with my friends. For over a year I was in agony, telling them were the pain was, begging for their knowledge and skills. No one would help me or listen because of two reasons. 1. I am a woman. 2. I have anxiety. Once medical professionals learn you suffer from anxiety, none of your health conditions or symptoms are believed. One night I became desperate and I actually got down on my knees weeping to one of the many ER doctors I had seen to PLEASE perform some sort of a test to prove my pain is real, please help me. He ordered an MRI and sure enough it was stated that I had 4 herniated discs in my neck, one of which is ‘flattening my spinal cord’.
This isn’t where the story is going. This is a reference to show you how everything repeats.
The neurosurgeon I was referred to told me ‘wait until you lose control of your bowel and bladder then I will operate’. I had brought a ‘man friend’ to that appointment, my man friend raised his voice at the doctor, and the doctors hands were shaking as he filled out a request for me. Can you imagine a neurosurgeons hands that shake when he gets the least bit upset? I wonder how many people he has killed or crippled because of his ‘anxiety’ or ‘stress’?
Luckily I found a wonderfully talented neurosurgeon in Montreal, who is the best of the best. Currently she can’t help me but if I were to trust anyone with operating on me, it would be her!
now fast forward until last June, 2011.
Out of nowhere I had awoken with my left hand swollen. My fingers looked like sausages. I couldn’t bend my index finger, the pain was so bad I couldn’t even function. Seeing as I never got anywhere with the hospital in Ottawa, I went to a walk in clinic. That Dr was alarmed and wrote a request and told me to go to emergency ASAP. I did.
Then the games began. In 24 hrs I was told 1. I was bit by a bug. 2. That I was scratched by a cat. 3. That I could have a STD or an infections disease. None of the above were true. A brilliant Dr from ‘plastics’ was the only intelligent soul to help me, he sliced open my knuckle to look for infection, ordered an x-ray, and found nothing.
Thanks to him I had been referred to specialists in which I am still waiting to see. In one month, 8 visits, and having a permanent IV in my arm having heavy antibiotics pumped into me every 8 hrs with a nurse visiting me every day…still NOTHING, NO diagnosis.
The swelling of my knuckles and fingers went away, but the permanent and intense pain remain with me daily, so badly that I have had to talk to type my letters because my fingers can no longer handle my pain.
October 2011 I had noticed my throat began getting very sore, so sore that I taught myself sign language and my friends, as that was the only way I could communicate because it felt as if I was swallowing glass. One dr in the ER said my ‘lymph nodes’ were swollen. The family doctor at the time told me to ‘go home and suck on some cough drops’. It is 4 months later, my throat is still sore and swollen.
November 2011 I had intense difficulty breathing. It wasn’t an asthma attack or anxiety. (keep in mind i had quit smoking for an entire year). I was put on Ventolin, a steroid inhaler, and nothing worked. I was starved for air, it would last for hours, each time I would inhale, my chest would hurt pretty bad. AGAIN, every time I ended up in the ER or my family doctor, I was not listened to or believed. I was told it was my ‘anxiety’ and to go home. I even had people call 911 on me because of how distressing this ‘appeared’ to them. To sit, starved for breath, endless hours of every day, knowing I can NOT go to the hospital or my family doctor for help, was tearing me apart.
A few weeks after this began, so did my pulse. The normal heart rate is 72 beats per minute. Every day and night mine was averaging 100-121 beats per minute. I would be sitting watching a movie or sleeping and my pulse would be 121. I went to my family doctor at the time and the ER to be ridiculed, yelled at, and not believed. AGAIN this was blamed on anxiety. My 3rd visit in the hospital for my high pulse/chest pain I was given 4 times the amount of the anxiety medication I take daily to ‘slow’ my pulse. You know what? It didn’t slow it down. My pulse stayed at 121 for hours, thus proving it was not ‘anxiety’ and I showed no signs of being ‘anxious’.
In November I found a good doctor at the local University in Ottawa. I told him my symptoms and he ordered a 30 minute lung test. 2 weeks ago I went for the results. The were not good. He said I need to see my family doctor and get a referral to a respirologist. He said I can inhale normally, but once the oxygen is in my lungs, it is having difficulty ‘dispersing/distributing’ in my lungs. He said something could be wrong with me metabolically or I could have the start of lung disease. My extremely high pulse alarmed him as well.
I got a new family doctor. My electrocardiogram showed my pulse at being over 100 and stated I have sinus tachycardia, I was told that is ‘normal’. I am now taking a beta blocker to regulate my heart. I was told the reason my heart does this, and the reason why I can’t breathe is because I have ‘anxiety’.
I like my new family doctor, I picked him. How do I make him believe me? How do I help him to help me?
What no one is acknowledging here is Before June 2011 (with the exception of my herniated discs in my neck) I had no ‘health problems’ other than disc herniation. My blood pressure was always 120/80, my pulse was normal, and I actually felt better when I did smoke.
Now, after over a year of not smoking, eating healthy, walking when I can…
-my left hand swells up and I can’t move my fingers
-my knuckles in both hands are so painful, I cringe and recoil and scream even if a feather is grazed upon my knuckle
-my heart rate is 100-121 when I am sitting down watching a movie or sleeping
-my breathing/lung problems have drastically reduced my quality of living and functioning
-permanent sore throat for 4 months and counting
With all these symptoms what on earth could this possibly mean. By reading my story does a light bulb go off in anyone’s head? Did you ever have a family member or friend with these symptoms? Did they ever get tests and a proper diagnosis? If so can you please email me to tell me of what the tests were or the diagnosis?
Please do not write me saying ‘i think you have this disease’ as I do have anxiety and I don’t need any more
I am at a loss as to how to get proper medical care. Is there anybody out there that can help me?
I want my life back.
More about heather king
full bio >
- ontario, canada
- Artist Biography
I am a self taught artist/photographer who uses my inspirational vision of the world to transform the awkwardness, pain and insanity of life into something uniquely original and peculiarly beautiful.
I fled my birth city (Winds ...
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