At the age of 8, my life, as it was, was taken in a week of sickness because of the flu.
I woke up with hallucinations, severe OCD, and ADHD-like symptoms. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I was a scared child who had thoughts of not wanting to be alive.
I couldn’t recognise the child I had become.
The following 11 years, I’d develop more symptoms and lose myself more. Countless treatments were tried with no real effect. I had multiple hospitalizations. Hope was lost, and doctors had given up.
Until one doctor would think differently, at 18, I was again admitted to the hospital with what we now recognise as a flare. A neurologist sat with me and explained the possibility of PANS after reviewing my case. I was shocked. I had no idea that a condition like this existed. From then I began the process of being diagnosed. It wasn’t an easy process; a lot of emotions were involved. A lot of relief but a lot of anger that so much time passed without anyone releasing I had PANS and my condition deteriorating.
However, now 5 months since I have been diagnosed, I have a newfound hope.
I understand my condition and myself better than ever.
To anyone with PANS/ PANDAS, hold onto hope. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, and you’ll become yourself again. It’s important to create support systems, as there will be highs and lows.
But you can beat PANS/ PANDAS.
Be proud of yourself no matter where you are in your journey.