By Lisa Stanley
My daughter was a happy, healthy normal teenage girl who enjoyed school. She had lots of friends and was socially active, going out and enjoying herself and getting involved at school. Her only health problem was she was overweight.
In October 2011, Deanna brought home from school a consent form for the HPV injection. I had a quick look online and just read about cancer and how all school girls were having it done. I therefore agreed to give my consent.
Deanna had the 1st injection on the 5th of November 2011. She was fine that day, but for a few weeks after, she kept saying her arm still hurt. As time passed this went away. She had her second injection on either the 22nd or 23rd of January 2012. The next day she had flu-like symptoms and was generally not feeling well. The next day, Deanna had developed a cough, her skin color had changed and she was very pale; not feeling well at all. By evening we had to take her to our local A&E.
She was admitted to the hospital with a chest infection and asthma. Deanna remained in the hospital for 7 nights and was given a mixture of steroids and antibiotics. After two days of taking the steroids, Deanna started to develop pains in her ribs and chest. The doctors just said it was because she had a chest infection. While in the hospital, doctors referred her to asthma and weight clinics for further appointments.
After Deanna came home, we spent the next 5-6 weeks going back and forth to doctors, hospital and A&E because the pain she was having was not going away. It was spreading to other parts of her body: arms, hands, legs, feet, head, eyes, back and ribs. She was experiencing pain day and night. She was very unsettled and unable to rest or sleep. Most nights, she was still awake at 3-4 am. Doctors gave Deanna 6-7 different pain killers in several different doses. Nothing took the pain away. The inhalers did not work either.
We waited for months and months to see different consultants, all doing the same blood tests, examining her and saying there is nothing they can find wrong. Some of the doctors have said that it is all in her head. It is particularly depressing for her to think the doctors believe it is all in her head. She is beginning to believe she will have to spend the rest of her life in pain. At her age, that is not a pleasant thought. Doctors have referred her to a mental health unit, but we are still waiting for an appointment.
Due to Deanna’s health, she was off sick from school for most of February through October. We have now arranged with the school for her to attend classes at a later time with the provision that she is able to sit out of class and rest as needed. The school nurses team is working with us to help arrange a time-table with the school that suits Deanna’s needs. She is no longer able to take the bus to and from school due to her pain. Walking to and from the bus stop is just too much for her.
She no longer participates in any sport due to the additional pain it causes when she tries to take part. She no longer meets up with her friends and has slowly lost contact with some of them. Life for Deanna has changed very much.
Over the last year, Deanna has seen consultants for her pain, weight, asthma, and eyes. In January 2013, she was finally seen at the London University College Hospital where they diagnosed her with chronic pain syndrome. They also gave her medication to help with sleep. For the last 3 weeks Deanna has had some rest, but she is still in constant pain. Our next appointment is not until August 2013, so nothing is being done about her pain.
Our family has made many changes to accommodate Deanna’s needs. I have to take her to and from school. In the early months when she was off sick, we had family members come to our home to look after Deanna while we worked. We purchased a new bed, hoping this will help her be a little more comfortable and perhaps reduce some of the pain. We cut dairy product out of her diet, which alleviated the asthma symptoms completely. She is losing weight, even though this is not a symptom. We eat only organic foods so that no more chemicals go into her body. We are trying to detox her from the injection. We paid for her to see a homeopath and to have allergy testing done.
This has been Deanna’s journey so far.