I walked out of the doctor’s office, disoriented, disbelieving, and distraught. What was wrong with me? I had discomfort with swallowing any types of foods and liquids. My condition progressed and it got worse. I became underweight, losing almost seventy pounds in a span of 5 months and was severely dehydrated. It impacted my education and school life as I was only able to sleep an hour a day. My grades slipped, and I was isolated from everyone around me. I was in writhing, unimaginable pain while being hooked up to a feeder which was my only food source.
My parents and I searched for answers. We traveled to many hospitals; several doctors attempted to diagnose my condition but to no avail, I listened to their misdiagnoses, took their medicines, and listened to their advice. I returned to their offices with more weight loss and no improvement. I was given the title “zebra case” (an exotic medical diagnosis when a more commonplace explanation is more likely). I thought I was going to face death; my life had flipped upside down. As a teen, my worries were the four AP and college classes I was enrolled in, the two clubs I was involved in, tennis, and my part-time job but, here I was worrying about my fate. The thought of death affected me. Like everyone else, I was scared; my biggest fear as a young teen had occurred to me. I thought of things such as: if I would be able to experience the college life or if I would be able to raise kids of my own.
The thought of death overwhelmed me but, I knew that there was still hope and that I had to be optimistic. I refused to accept the reality of my fate. Instead of giving up and accepting defeat, I decided to cope with it. I took advantage of every second of the day keeping up with my heavy workload and going from doctor to doctor trying to search for answers. After another