what’s going on with my health…

I’m not sure why but I find it incredibly hard to write about my personal experiences with avascular necrosis. The hardest part is writing about it without coming off as a negative Nancy or sounding afraid, and the second hardest part is that not many people know what the heck avascular necrosis is. It’s bone death caused by poor blood supply to the area, and in my case it’s in both of my hips. The pain can be debilitating and sometimes even disabling. My doctor believes that my necrosis has been linked to my short-term intake of steroids. (I had severe ulcerative colitis a couple years ago, and needed the ulcerations to heal quickly so I could get nutrients my body.) And to be completely honest these past few months have been very scary, and it’s sometimes challenging for me to be remain positive when I’m experiencing pain almost every day; I’ve experienced both physical and mental frustrations. The physical frustrations are my limited range of motion, limping and leaving school every day with achy bones; which often triggers my anxiety which makes me feel emotionally drained.

But I’ve come to conclusion that getting upset over my discomfort only worsens the pain, and that talking about really does help. As I learn more about my illness I become a little more comfortable bringing people’s awareness to it, and proving that underneath all this pain I’m a joyful young woman. Right now, I’m doing what I love in school, have passions, goals and dreams just like other people my age. I’m decided to become my own health advocate and have been researching different treatment options that aren’t surgical. One procedure that caught my eye was one that would use my own stem cells from my bone marrow to promote growth in the diseased area of my hips. It’s recommended for someone who was recently diagnosed with necrosis, and today my mom is sending in my x-rays & MRI’s to a doctor who specializes in the stem cell treatment to see if I’m a candidate… I am praying that I’ll have good news by next week!

-Jessica

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