Under 30 with 5 chronic illnesses

By Marry-Anne, Australia, January 18, 2015

I am 28 years old and I have five different chronic illnesses, of which one is still pending diagnosis. Two of my illnesses are rare. Tietze's syndrome and Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) have meant that I must be careful with any activities that I do and need to be aware of what the weather is doing. Too much physical activity (even a small walk) on a hot and humid day may result with the swelling of my ribs becoming so severe that people have thought I am having a heart attack or the pressures in my skull can get high enough that my vision gets distorted, I lose my balance, have trouble with my memory, have issues with verbal/non-verbal language and my head can be in massive pain. Often, when I am asked to give my medical history to doctors, most have no idea or have even heard of either these two conditions! Life can be challenging at times but I have been blessed with the supportive people in my life and the support groups with people who can say "me too" and "I know how you feel".
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