Alex’s Journey For A Disgnosis

Alex sits in a boat holding his dog.

Alex Strang's Story

Pennsylvania, USA

Age: 16-24

A little bit about my journey:

My Diagnosis

Currently Undiagnosed

Time to Get Diagnosed

Currently Undiagnosed

Year I was Diagnosed

Currently Undiagnosed

Sending Love to

N/A

Hospital I'd Recommend

N/A

This is my story:

Hi! My name is Alex (or Al), I’m 19, and I use he/him pronouns.

I have been fighting against progressive, chronic, undiagnosed symptoms most of my life, but only within the past two years did things really take a turn for the worse.

For starters, growing up I really struggled keeping up with other kids. I dreaded gym class because it would leave me in severe pain, but I desperately wanted to try to fit in, so I often pushed myself too hard. This led to not only worsening of my chronic pain, but growth plate fractures, dislocated ribs, and a weak immune system.

Up until the 8th grade (when I got sinus surgery), I had chronic sinus infections every other week. I’ve been on more antibiotics than I can simply name. I also had a bad case of the flu every flu season, and eventually had a horrendous case of mono.

I’ve spent most of my life dealing with chronic pain. A lot of my childhood was spent with Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Ear Nose and Throat doctors, followed by frequent family doctor visits.

Around two years ago, my chronic pain started worsening. I started getting this tingling behind my eyes, that often lead to dizziness. I remember the first moment this happened vividly. I was driving home on the highway one day, and I got hit with this intense eye tingling. It was so bad, I had to pull over to the side of the highway and I actually got sick.

Two years later, my health has rapidly declined. The tingling behind my eyes has now spread to my whole face and scalp, and will spread into my hands and feet as well. I have frequent falls and unsteady balance followed by a slew of GI issues, tremors, fatigue, burning skin, heat intolerance, and difficulty swallowing.

I’ve seen many medical professionals within the last year, all specializing in different medical fields. There have been a couple that have suggested certain conditions, but no definitive diagnosis have been made. There have been many medical professions that have been invalidating, belittling, and accusatory, which is unfortunately something I know many chronic illness patients face. I’ve had test after test done and everything has come back negative.

Despite all of this, I am hopeful I will get a diagnosis one day. It is less of the diagnosis that matters to me, than the treatment. Without a diagnosis, many doctors won’t treat the symptoms which is something I am continuously struggling. I do face the constant fear that by the time the doctors find what’s wrong, will there be some type of permanent damage? I unfortunately can’t predict the future, but I am hopeful that one day I will receive the medical treatment I rightfully deserve.

But until then, I will keep fighting!

Let’s play 20 questions:

The song that keeps me going is:
Fine Line by Harry Styles
I never leave home without my:
Jewelry
My go-to feel better movie is: 
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt 2
If I was in the hospital, the celebrity I would most love to visit me would be:
Harry Styles
When I need to relax, I:
Play video games
My favorite food is:
Pizza!
The quote that keeps me going is:
Treat People With Kindness
When I need a laugh, I:
Watch my favorite youtuber (John Wolfe) play some funny video games.
Meet my pets (or favorite stuffed animal):
I have a 13 year old Shih Tzu named Tony!
My hero is:
My Mom and Dad
When I’m having a down day I binge watch:
My favorite youtuber’s (John Wolfe) play-through of Resident Evil 7.
My favorite book to get lost in is:
Any poetry book by Courtney Peppernell.
I want to be best friends with:
John Wolfe (my favorite YouTuber)
The thing I’m most proud of:
My resilience and kindness
The most wonderfully unexpected thing that has happened to me as a result of this journey is:
I’ve met some of the most incredible people and have become so much closer with my parents.
The most hilarious thing that has happened to me is:
I’ve taken quite a few funny falls in public!
It really means a lot when someone does this:
When someone takes the time to have a conversation with me.
My favorite social media account to follow is:
Special Books by Special Kids
The advice I would give to myself back at the beginning of this journey would be:
Be more patient and kind with yourself. You are worthy and will achieve the most incredible of things!
Words of encouragement that I’d give to my fellow warriors are
Everything you are going through is very real and valid.
Follow my journey: Instagram: Alstrangg

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