Who am I? I am a wife to my beloved Dan of 25 years. I am a full-time working mom to 5 of the best kids in the world. I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, an Essure survivor, and now a MALS warrior.
12 years ago after my 5th child, I received a medical device that was meant for permanent sterilization. Soon after implantation, my pain journey began. At first I just "didn't feel right." which lead to months of not being able to eat without pain, a sudden severe gluten allergy, gallbladder removal, and unrelenting pain. That was just in the first 2 years.
Over the course of the next 6 years, I had been to 6 different Drs, more testing and scans than I care to remember, and a whole host of new and worsening auto-immune issues. But after every Dr. appointment, every test, the common theme was, "You're fine. We don't see anything wrong. All tests are negative."
Finally, I thought I had the answer. And for a lot of my issues I had. For 7 years, I never put the medical device and my declining health together. My Dr. suggested a hysterectomy to take out the device. An answer to prayer. I was down to 100lbs., most of my hair had fallen out and I was in so much pain my loving husband often would have to carry me where I needed to go. My surgery was in May of 2016. So many issues cleared up, but the pain in my abdomen, back, and my inability to eat or drink without pain was still present. Maybe that was just life now. It was painful and annoying but manageable.
And then it wasn't. At the beginning of 2020, the pain and annoyance were no longer manageable and I again started to seek out help. 3 different Doctors and all of the same tests over again still showed the same. Nothing. But then.....
In Aug of 2021, I had a 3rd CT scan. But this time the Radiologist reading the scan found something. Something that had been there the whole time, but never caught. It is an extremely rare compression syndrome called, Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome or MALS for short.
In a nutshell, MALS is when the artery from your heart which supplies the blood to the stomach, liver, spleen, and kidneys is compressed by a ligament from your spine resulting in extreme pain upon eating or drinking, debilitating nausea, upper left back pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, heart issues, etc.
In Sept I found a specialist in Houston, as there are no cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons who treat MALS in Austin. Actually, there are only 2 in Texas and a handful worldwide. It is that rare.
In Oct, my new Dr. confirmed the diagnosis and I am set for open MALS surgery on Nov. 30. This is a difficult, invasive major surgery with high-risk complications. But it is the only treatment.
The reason for the Go Fund Me is first and foremost prayer. I have faith and confidence in my Mighty Healer and request prayer from as many people as I can get. It is a difficult surgery and a very difficult recovery and I am nervous, scared, hopeful, and blessed all at the same time. All the feels right now!
The other reason, the harder reason to type is financial. Although I have insurance, my deductible is not yet met, and to get me to this point has involved numerous, Dr visits, scans, ultrasounds, and prescriptions that have been billed but not yet paid. I am expected to be at Memorial Herman Hospital for over 5 days following surgery and Dan needs a hotel. I will be out of work for a month or more and all of this has put a strain on our finances, to say the least. Even to have the surgery, I need to pay a certain amount.
It is impossible for me to ask for help, most especially financially. If you feel lead to give, my gratitude and thanks are unceasing. If not and can only offer prayer, my gratitude and thanks are still unceasing. Thank you for reading. May God bless you!