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Kasey Brock - Familial Multiples

"I started to believe my symptoms were just in my head." 

  

I'm a 25 year old mother of two, a daughter, a sister, and an aunt of four. My family is everything to me. I had my daughter in 2007 and about a month later I started experiencing dizziness, blurred vision, and times where I couldn't use my hands or legs. I could barely get off the couch without feeling like I was going to pass out. I was suffering. 

I went to the ER many times, and all I was told was that I had anxiety. No CT. Nothing. I knew something was wrong, but no one believed me. I started keeping a journal of all my symptoms, every single day. I'd have to lay down on a bench at work because I felt so weird and like I was going to pass out. I walked out of one job and just about fell over while trying to walk over to a fire fighter that was eating lunch.

All i could say was “Help me.” An ambulance came and took me to a hospital. Once again, no CT was given and I was sent home. "Anxiety". I heard that word so much that I started to believe my symptoms were just in my head. I had seen therapist after therapist and was prescribed anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds. But nothing worked. 

After many years had passed, I started to feel better so I thought I was ok. However, in 2010 I gave birth to my son; the night we brought him home as I watched him breathe, my vision started to blur and my heart pounded, so I went to lay down to ease my "anxiety". I started texting my sister because she's a nurse and I was telling her how weird I was feeling. She said “lay down, relax, and your "anxiety" will pass.”

I felt like a pest because I had been trying to tell my family for three years that something was seriously wrong, yet no one believed me. After all, the doctors were only telling me I had anxiety. As I was texting my sister, my hand curled up, and went numb. Then around my mouth went numb, my ears started ringing and I couldn't see straight. I said to my newborn’s dad “Call 911 now!” He asked “Are you sure you're not just panicking?” I responded “CALL 911 NOW!” so he did. 

But once I got to the hospital I felt fine, so I said to myself “Oh here we go again, I look like an idiot once more. It's “anxiety"." The doctor came in, after they had finally performed a CT and said “I'm sorry miss but you've suffered a mild stroke.” No one was with me because they assumed it was just another "anxiety trip" to the ER. Which I even believed, too. 

As those words came out of his mouth, I laughed like “Um, are you in the right room?” This couldn't possibly be true. They began the process of transferring me to University of Cincinnati.  

As I laid there waiting, a stranger that worked on that floor, came in and prayed and cried with me. I will never forget that man. He knew how terrified I was. The next day, they gave me an MRI at Cincinnati and discovered what I really have, cavernous angioma. I was in in a daze, I wasn't in my own body. All I knew was I had a newborn baby to get home to and they were telling me something I thought was not really my story. It couldn't be real. And I felt fine. I wanted to dart out of there and hear nothing more. But he managed to calm me down. Surgery was out of the question due to the risks. They discovered 20 cavernous angiomas. Wow, 20…Just one had bled. The larger one. 

I'm trying to convince myself that I will not let this consume my life. Because my story is not over. My life is not over. I am still here. And if I would have known sooner, I may not have had my beautiful son. Now my daughter has one cavernous angioma, but it's so small they can barely see it. Which is the best news I have ever received. They told me to let her live her life as a normal child. I can only hope and pray she never has to experience these horrific symptoms and situations. I have to believe and have faith. If we don't have faith what else do we have? But shall she ever experience anything at all I am right here to help her through the struggles. 

I do suffer from severe anxiety, but after all, who doesn't who has this condition? I knew my symptoms were not just in my mind; I knew something was wrong. I knew all along. My journal proved my long suffering journey! And my family felt so bad for never believing me. But it's not their fault. Our information was coming from doctors. So i don't blame them. 

You see, you and me. We are fighters. We have the biggest hearts. We're strong. We're brave. We're courageous.  We're determined. A lot of us probably wouldn't be so amazingly special if it wasn't for this rare, although unfortunate, disease.  We "cluster" together in hopes of finding a cure. And most importantly, we do not give up! We are warriors, we are one! Always remember. "My story isn't over yet" . God bless you all! Stay strong my fellow cav family.