#MyHealthJourney| Autoimmune Hepatitis

By reading the title, I’m sure you may have a clue of what this post will be about. Monday, my doctor gave my mom and I the results of the latest batch of lab work. With these results, he diagnosed me with Autoimmune Hepatitis. Today, I’ll be discussing what led up to the diagnosis and what that means for the future.

#MyHealthJourney| Autoimmune Hepatitis

 


 

These Past Few Months

In some ways, it seems like the diagnosis happened suddenly but that’s not true. Off and on since October, my doctor’s have been taking a serious look at my health. Prior to my ankle injury, my Hip Surgeon had me in physical therapy to get me prepped for surgery. The ligament tear in my ankle put a pause on everything. Some of my doctor’s started to wonder if some of my health issues were linked to an autoimmune disorder.

Following the ankle injury, I was diagnosed with Syncope and a racing heartbeat. All of a sudden, all of these diseases and disorders were getting thrown at me. At one time, they thought I had Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Sickle cell anemia was mentioned. Every week, there was a new test or a new theory. I was looking back through some of my old posts, and I realized that my last health-related post was a while ago. But during this time, I didn’t want to provide anyone with false information.

To be honest, I’m not one for speculation. I figured it would be better to wait and give everyone the right information instead of correcting myself afterward. So we powered through with everything until we hit our first clue in December.

Point In The Right Direction

In December, we got the next batch of lab results. Nothing really stood out to me until I got my CRP results, my level was high. C-reactive protein (CRP) is basically a marker for inflammation. Some doctors use the results of this test help to help them diagnose autoimmune disorders. In my case, my doctor knew he was looking in the right direction. He started to test me for different autoimmune disorders.

I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hepatitis using the Anti-Smooth Muscle Antibody Test (ASMA). As with most autoimmune disorders, your body begins to attack itself. The ASMA test measures the amount of antibody against actin (a protein produced by the liver.)

Letting Everything Sink In

I have honestly been all over the place. I’m sure other Spoonies and people suffering from Invisible Illnesses will understand this, but sometimes during the health journey, I felt like I would never find answers. For so long, I was told I was simply depressed and I just needed to exercise. So I am really grateful that I found doctors who were willing to dig and look for answers.

I admit that at first, I was really hesitant in discussing this. But then I realized that I was being selfish. Within reason, there are things that I won’t share on here but this community has become an integral part of my life. Sharing my health journey is a part of my blog and I hope that this can open up the discussion for others.


 

The Future

I hope this will kind of explain where I have been and what’s been going on recently. We were given the news on Monday, so I honestly don’t know much about Autoimmune Hepatitis. I have more testing to do in the near future, but I am okay. Now that I have talked about this, I’ll be getting back to my regular schedule.

I appreciate everyone’s patience and kind words. It truly means a lot to me.

 

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24 Comments

  • Reply nudepinkorblack

    You’re so brave to talk about this! I’m so glad you finally got answers. There’s nothing more frustrating than doctors trying to tell you there’s nothing wrong – makes you think you’re crazy! Atleast now you know, you can focus on feeling better and staying positive but I’m just a message away! All the love in the world xxxx

    March 2, 2018 at 1:58 AM
    • Reply PAE

      Thank you, Becca. It truly means a lot that you are there for me.

      March 2, 2018 at 10:21 AM
  • Reply Katie

    It’s incredibly difficult to be vulnerable! Thank you for stepping out. All of our journeys are unique and we all have something to learn from each other. I know any type of diagnosis is hard to take, but you have a small bright side. You have some answers. I hope you can find a bit of comfort in that. <3 You aren't alone. I would love to encourage you to continue to write about your journey! It will be helpful to a lot of people!

    March 2, 2018 at 5:04 PM
    • Reply PAE

      Thank you, Katie. I sincerely appreciate your kind words. There definitely is a huge relief to have some answers now.

      March 2, 2018 at 5:20 PM
  • Reply Brittney Hjelseth

    I hope for all the best for you! not easy having unknowns i’m sure. get well and stay encouraged!

    March 2, 2018 at 6:30 PM
    • Reply PAE

      I really appreciate your kind words. Everyone has been very supportive and it means so much to me.

      March 2, 2018 at 8:00 PM
  • Reply Courtney Stewart

    THank you for opening up about this & taking us along your journey! Please keep us updated! Sending prayers out for you! xx

    -Courtney
    http://www.thecurlyanomaly.com

    March 3, 2018 at 12:48 AM
    • Reply PAE

      Thank you, Courtney. 🧡🧡🧡

      March 3, 2018 at 8:46 AM
  • Reply sgmart187

    I”m glad you have answers! Its really hard for people with invisible illnesses, either physical or mental. After all, people can’t tell the problem. Having answers, once you’ve processed them is so stressful. I’ve had to live with PTSD for the last decade, and understanding how it works helps me cope and adjust along the way. But it is hard for people to understand and sometimes be sympathetic. Knowing what is causing the problem means you can make a plan to move forward! Best Wishes!

    March 3, 2018 at 9:32 AM
    • Reply PAE

      I definitely feel like I’m in the processing stage still. The symptoms were always there but it took so long to give it a name. So to go from having this unknown thing to actually knowing what it’s called is quite odd. But I think each day, it sinks in a little deeper. Does that make sense?

      March 3, 2018 at 9:50 AM
      • Reply sgmart187

        Yes it does. It takes time.

        March 3, 2018 at 10:37 AM
        • Reply PAE

          Thanks. I feel a bit more normal now

          March 3, 2018 at 12:05 PM
  • Reply sunshineandmunchkins

    I’m so glad you were able to get some answers!

    March 5, 2018 at 7:14 PM
    • Reply PAE

      Thank you. It feels like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders now that we know some things

      March 7, 2018 at 1:23 AM
  • Reply Ashley Newell

    Sending you lots of love and light! I’ve gone through that thing where the doctors tell you it’s depression and you just need to get outside, it sucks. I’m glad you have some answers and I hope that they find you a good treatment option.

    March 5, 2018 at 11:22 PM
    • Reply PAE

      It’s so frustrating, isn’t it? Especially when you know something is going on with your body. Thank you for your kind words

      March 7, 2018 at 1:28 AM
  • Reply Disaster Davis (@Disaster_Davis)

    I’m so glad that you have doctors who were willing to work to find out what were wrong! I hope they continue to give you the best care and support available. Invisible illnesses are so hard to live with and also to open up about, wishing you all the best honey!

    March 12, 2018 at 6:18 PM
    • Reply PAE

      Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

      March 14, 2018 at 3:43 PM
  • Reply simplyshaiz

    Erika that sounds like so much to go through. I look at that smile in your about me photo and I am amazed by your bravery. Thank you for sharing.

    March 18, 2018 at 10:47 PM
    • Reply PAE

      Oh, thank you so much. In fact, I wish I was brave. I’m just stumbling through life like everyone else lol

      March 19, 2018 at 1:12 PM
  • Reply #MyHealthJourney| False Acceptance & Denial| PAE Reviews

    […] by doing so, others will know that it’s okay. A couple weeks ago, I was diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disease. It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized that what I thought was acceptance was actually […]

    April 5, 2018 at 8:31 AM
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