Farrar lives with Vascular EDS, please be respectful of her and her journey as she shares her story in essay format. Learn about Vascular EDS here https://www.ehlers-danlos.com/eds-types/#vEDS
Hello my name is Farrar Norwood, I’m 28 years old & I have Ehlers Danlos syndrome type IV (vascular type). My life changed dramatically when I was hospitalized in 2016 with severe pain in my abdomen. For my family and myself this was not our first rodeo, so knowing what we knew from previous encounters we rushed to the E.R.
I was diagnosed with vascular eds after the beach trip in 2016. It was a typical day there, playing in the ocean with my husband jumping up and down with the waves getting knocked down. I didn’t think nothing of it we continued our day, we had lunch and hit the road back home. Within 30 minutes of arriving to the house I started getting sick feeling nauseous having stomach pain everything!!! Long story short I was taken to the ER where they began to run tests. They asked me even asked if I was in a car wreck because my pancreas and another organ were damaged pretty bad causing the pain. It was that day a team of doctors came in and gave me the news that I had vascular EDS.
When I was 10 years old I got really sick, & as any mother would my mother took me to my paediatrician. He would exam me only to find I was in a lot more pain than I led on. So after a short visit my mother was told to take me straight to the hospital. I was 10 years old but very observant, so I knew something was wrong but didn’t know the extent.
Needless to say, 3 months later I was leaving the hospital with a colostomy bag and a diagnosis of diverticulitis. I was sent home with a nurse so I could get the proper treatment for healing also to teach my mother and oldest sister how to care for me. I was devastated. I was a kid who had never even heard of such thing. To be exact the Drs said I was the youngest child in history to have ever had to go through so much.
All through out middle school I was learning to live the lifestyle I would always live. I was using the nurses restroom instead of the other one, for my own privacy which was really nice of them now that I think of it.
But being treated different was weird to me and I didn’t like it. People didn’t understand and never really asked either. Flashing forward a few years later I had gotten things under control so I thought. Now at this point I was 21 and I am back in the hospital with the same excruciating pain. After a few months and a lot of pressure on the family I was able to go home once again.
Being properly diagnosed I was back in the hospital once again at the age of 26 with the reoccurring pain. .. It was right after a beach trip on the way home when I started feeling really bad. .. So knowing what I know I stay home hoping it would go away knowing I couldn’t rush every time something alarmed me.
After awhile I knew things were getting worse so my husband took me to the er. That day on April 26 after a lot of testing, crying, poking and vomiting, I was properly diagnosed with ehlers danlos syndrome. I was upset to say the least. .. Now dealing with something I never heard of i also had to face that they were wrong the whole time about me having diverticulitis.
Is my whole life a lie? How can this happen to me? Why me? Why now? Why my family? Confused and in shock my husband and I took the news the best way we could. I’m a firm believer in God so 8 I took it a lot better than he did. He never showed any weakness but I knew He didn’t understand. But thankfully now we know, & this just explained all the un explainable things I was going through. So for me it was a sigh of relief but not a great one.
At least now I was aware of what was going on and why. So I was thankful that God blessed me with drs who knew what was going on. So how was my life different before??? Well before I was young wild and free. . now I’m tired, sore and crabby. Lol. But for the most part I have come to terms with my illness and I live everyday as I did before diagnosis. Happy blessed and thankful. Just a little more aware of things that is all.
My typical day goes like this I wake up, I automatically thank the lord for blessing me with another day. I take my dog out to use the restroom, I brush my teeth, Shower, take my meds, and start my day. Everyday is a challenge and everyday I never know how I will feel. Some days are great some days are horrible. But everyday is a BLESSING. So hurting or not I’m thankful.
The hardest part for me in this whole shebang, is not being able to do as much as my mind and soul thinks I can. For instance, I love to bake. Baking and decorating cakes is my passion so being I have huge family I get the opportunity to live out my dream quite a bit. But after doing a cake for hours and hours at a time & on my feet constantly I pay tremendously the next day.
I wake up exhausted as if I never rested and it takes about 3 days to really feel like myself again. Which makes me sad and has led to a slight depression. So things are a lot different now but that doesn’t mean I’m useless, I’m just not as untouchable as I thought I was.
God has brung me this far, I don’t see him leaving me now!!! So no, I can not keep up with others, & I don’t try either because it would kill me and I’m here to live not to be like anyone other than myself!!!
So if there is one thing I would like to tell others it would be to embrace what God gave you and live life the best way you know how, because regardless of what we are made of. We are all FIGHTERS and here to make one hell of mark on this disease. We can show the world that just because our body is weak doesn’t mean our mind and passion to live is!! We are all beautiful individually designed zebras ready to take on the fight!!!!!
“Thank you for sharing your amazing journey with me and the world. It is for sure best to do what is best for you, resting and self care are for sure important. It is a wonderful out look that you have to be thankful for life. Sending you hope always.” -Anna Werrun