Veronica Kenny


    In 1989 I lost a great deal of wight which I attributed to the fact that I was raising 3 year old twin sons and going through a divorce.  I was 42 years old at the time and working full time teaching kindergarten.  I  began
to experience body aches, fatigue, and severe chest pains that radiated into my back and shoulder.  I experienced frequent sore throats, during which I would get the chills so badly I shook from head to toe for hours.  Later, I
would be throwing off the blankets I had piled on top of me, because I would be drenched in perspiration, and felt as though I was in a furnace.  During this time I ran fevers of 102 to 103.  These fevers would last a few hours,
then go away as quickly as they came.

After months of ignoring and living with these symptoms ( I was to busy with job and babies) without seeing a doctor, I collapsed. The pain in my chest was so bad I was sure that I was either having a heart attack or a gallbladder attack.  My daughter, then 21, drove me to the emergency room, where my gastroenterologist ran every test in the book, but found nothing that could be causing   my pain. I spent 11 hours in the ER that day.  A young cardiologist was passing by us in the ER and my doctor asked him to check me out and to take a look at all the test results.  Within 20 minutes I was being admitted to the cardiac unit.  The diagnosis was severe pericarditis.  The amount of fluid in the lining around my heart was so great. it was nearly crushing my heart.  The condition did not respond to intravenous antiinflamatory medications and I grew weaker and weaker while being wracked with chills, fever, and pain.  the cardiologist called in another doctor, a rheumatologist,  he examined me and questioned me for quite a while.  He went over all my tests and determined that I had Still's Disease.  I was taken into surgery early the next morning and a pericardal window was put in to my pericardum.  I awoke in recovery with tubes coming out of my lower chest, draining the fluid away from my heart.  I was in the
hospital for many days.  aproximately 2 and a half weeks.  During my   recovery I was put on prednisone.  After leaving the hospital, the rheumatologist put me on Lodine and Plaquenil to control the symptoms of the Still's Disease.  They worked quite well for me. 

   About 4 years ago I developed acid refllux disease and my stomach became ultra-sensitive to medications.  Foolishly, I discontinued my medications. My symptoms were mild at first.  Uncomfortable aches and pains, but I felt I could deal with it.  I am now suffering gretly with joint pain and general bofddy aches.   The chills have begun again, and the fatigue is unbearable. 

Sometimes, after my long commute to school, I can not get out of the car.  The pain is excrutiating because my joints have stiffened up so badly.  When I finally get out, I have great difficulty walking.  It gets domewhat better
as I move aaround, but it takes quite a while.  I am going to go back to my doctor, and start back on medication over the Holiday vacation from school. 

I will let you know the results and keep you updated

                Veronica Kenny

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