I am Morgan, a 27 years old, living with mental and chronic illnesses.
My Health: Growing Up
Unbeknown to me, my journey to illness began in the womb. Growing up I felt fatigued constantly , sick from eating lactose and gluten, bruised and scarred easily, had trouble sleeping, dizzy standing up and dislocated my joints with exercise. However, as my routine blood tests came back normal, I thought all these things were well – normal.
As I shifted into my teens, I was becoming allergic to more food and drink, diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and chronic bladder and joint pain entered my life. As I suffered with Anxiety and Depression as a child my GP was not keen to send me to see a rheumatologist. Like many, they thought the pain I felt was in my head.
Once an active person, and someone who worked as a waitress- I saw my life change in front of me. I was struggling to hold plates and glasses, and my neck felt to heavy to hold up. I did eat, but I was often sick and very thin, which made people questioned if I was anorexic.
Enough was Enough. My dad paid for me to see a rheumatologist privately and I was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Type 3 – A connective tissue disorder at 23. To my surprise the journey didn’t end there – It was just beginning. Many ask me when EDS will end.The response is morbid. The truth is EDS will end when I die because it is incurable.
Since then I have been diagnosed with Mast Cell Activation Disorder, Chronic Bilateral Ankle Instability, Postural Hypertension, Photo-sensitivity, Interstitial Cystitis, Pelvic Pain Syndrome, Multiple Food Allergies, Oral Food Allergy Syndrome, Borderline Personality Disorder, Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Chronic Pain and Fatigue.
My Health: Now
My mental and physical health is still a huge challenge. Some days I find I cannot get out of bed – or do anything in bed. A couple of years ago I broke both my ankles and in recovery I have physiotherapy, my shoes adjusted, wore ankle braces and attended the RNOH 3 week pain management programme. Unfortunately, my ankles are still very hyper mobile, and I am possibly having ankle surgery so I can become more active. By active I mean walking properly again – but we all have to start somewhere right?
It is also suspected I have endometriosis – Interstitial Cystitis evil twin or adenomyosis, which needs to be investigated. This year I have been suffering from skin problems and scarring easily, which makes me feel sad. I also I have never fully got to the bottom of my gut issues because I could not be tested for Coeliac disease, as it requires you to eat gluten for 6 weeks – which my body could not cope with. I was meant to see a neuro gastroenterologist but this refferal seems to have got lost, so is to be continued.
What I do in life
I am trying to slowly finish my final year of Business and Management degree at Oxford Brookes University. I was frequently in hospital during my placement, so I knew that working full-time was not realistic.
I now plan to focus on getting back into blogging, learning new craft skills and reopening my current Etsy shop – ChronicCreationsGB,which sells mental health and chronic illness awareness and personalised gifts. I donate up to 50% profit from my sales in this store, to Ehlers Danlos Support UK. I also hope to potentially opening a new shop in the future selling different goods.
I want to share personal information and other stories, on chronic and mental illnesses to raise awareness. In addition, to providing tips to improve life with for someone suffering with a long-standing illness, to let them know they are not alone.
Thanks for meeting me.
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