Monday, October 20, 2014

I Will Fight You Mitochondrial Disease!

When I was in high school I was that student that was teased because she did everything. I got tons of certificates and awards. I was training for the Olympics on the side. I am NOT the cheerleader rah rah type but I was known.

After high school I kept my training up. I traveled the US shooting at competions from Canada,  the US west coast to the east coast and I was good. I didn't know anything about mito back then. It was just me starting a new life as an adult.

A few life issues happened and I joined the Navy. The Navy was a dream of mine. My family for generations has been in the military protecting the country. Now I was part of this legacy!

In bootcamp I struggled with the running portion of the training. I also found that unlike my fellow shipmates I was not getting better I was starting to slide and not be able to do as many push ups as I could do the day before. I got an infection in my feet from my Boon Dockers (Navy issue boots ugh!). Little things kept cropping up but again it wasn't enough to cause concern.

I passed the physicals and the physical condition testing. I graduated along with the rest of my class. My station was Puerto Rico! Island life baby! woo woo

But that island life had a high price for me. I was hot and humid constantly. I couldn't get away from it. The hard manual work I had to do was usually out in that heat and humidity. It hurt. I began aching constantly. Then training for our annual physical review happened.

Soon after starting that training on top of my normal hard schedule I passed out. I kept passing out. The hospital tried to help me with IV fluids but that didn't stop my body from crashing.

I now believe that was a mito crash. I crashed so hard that after months in the military hospital I had to get a medical discharge from the military and sent home still ill. I walked into the Navy and wheeled out.

Mito has taken a lot from me over the years. Mobility. Jobs. Friends. Some family. Now it is taking my hair, nails, and teeth because of extreme malnutrition. My body is not absorbing nutrients even through TPN. It's like by body doesn't know what to do with them.

Mito is a thief. Whether things are slipping away silently or in a huge way like a mito crash that lands you in the ICU. It takes and takes and takes.

Mito has changed me. And I hereby draw the line in the sand. Mito you will have to work hard to take another thing from me, my lovely kiddos, or my mito friends. I will fight you every step of the way. Helping research. Raising awareness. Talking to drs and other medical professionals across the country to bring awareness to mitochondrial disease and the need for a TREATMENT and CURE!