Thoughts and ideas from Dude With Sjogrens
Fighting a diagnosis of being old, fat, or crazy
September 4, 2019 at 4:00 AM
by Randy Klein

I want to make sure that I start this article on a serious note: this is not meant to be funny or insulting to anyone.

The best place for a doctor to start looking for anything is to look at the history of a person before making any diagnosis.

When I was a child, my mother sought out answers. She had a child with some very severe health concerns.

An answer had been given when I was two: Asthma. When I was aged 6-7 years old, there was a theory that I had Lupus.

I remember my life being very restricted and spending a lot of time in doors as a child. Medications were made available many years later to better control my condition. My mother would rush to events with medication when I was having major issues.

It made sense because I had asthma, but there was so much more that wasn't asthma. We dealt with things by treating the asthma. My mother continued to take me to doctors.

I was not a kid that was badly overweight, and I had not been diagnosed with a blood sugar disorder.

The effects of chronic unexplained and untreated illness often leads to a form of mental illness for many people. It was not the cause of my illness, but a result of it.

During my teenage years, I discovered that I was quite strong. I learned through athletics, specifically rowing and weight lifting, that I could push my limits.

With the addition of special inhaler medications, I was able to function more normally in some ways. I discovered that I was different from other people, but I didn't know why. We still didn't have the answers.

My experiences taught me to handle things differently, and I did my best to be like everyone else, even though I was living with several hidden health conditions.

This led to despair, depression, addiction, homelessness, and eventually mental illness requiring treatment.

I was given a diagnosis that really didn't answer the original questions: why did I as a child and a young man live with multiple severe health issues?

I had learned to hide the symptoms because they could not be explained, and I was told by family and friends that I did not want to be locked up by talking crazy talk.

Crazy as a diagnosis did not get me proper treatment or to deal with my original issues. I did learn ways to better cope with some of my newer issues.

After being struck and dragged by a car as a pedestrian, I had a long recovery. I put on a lot of weight because of a change in diet, and because of the medications that I had to take.

They talked about the possible amputation of my leg. I had broken my hands, elbow, an arm, a shoulder, and shattered my leg. I spent three years recovering.

I was in a wheelchair for a period of time, then I used a walker, and then I was on crutches. I eventually walked using canes, and I was told that I would have to use canes to walk for the rest of my life. I have walked without canes for 28 years now.

I was now on medication, putting on a lot of weight, and was no longer a kid, or teenager. I was an adult.

My problems were blamed on the car accident, my putting on weight, and because of mental illness. Then people started telling me that these issues were a result of my getting older.

I was fighting a diagnosis of getting older, being fat, and being crazy. None of these issues caused the original illnesses. I have an exceptional memory for details, and have had people who have helped me to find answers.

I learned to put things into perspective of time, and of the things that happened at different ages. I also learned to fight to be heard, and to seek out different doctors that would be willing to learn about me, and to run the tests that should of been run or may not have existed when I was younger.

It's been a battle, but at this point I have been diagnosed with several conditions that had not been tested for, and I have developed other issues over the years as a result of these disorders.

It helped me to understand the patterns, and to be able to put things into perspective for medical people who have been involved with my care.

I have had to move on several times when I have been labelled with something that did not cause the original issues.

I am determined to make sure that I help people where I can, so that they can get answers earlier. That has led to me writing about my many experiences with multiple health conditions. My hope is that this will help others too.

I am not a medical person. The information I present is offered on an "As is" basis. It is best to consult with medical people if you are having health issues, sometimes many medical professionals.

Feel Free to share with friends, or in groups.

Be well.