How I Survived

I was 14 years old when I was diagnosed with auto immune hepatitis.. It was the day after 8th grade prom, my parents had taken me out of school, and that week I had flown home to Russia. I was hospitalized for 3 months. Everyday was new blood work, new tests, and everything had a positive result. June 28,2006 I had a liver biopsy (it's a small surgery where they take a piece of your liver and examine it under a microscope). By some miracle the doctor did not choose to make an incision above my belly button, because if he did, due do a hiccup in a previous surgery, I would have not been here now. I remember him telling me, I must have an angel watching over me. That was the day I told myself I was going to try everything the world had to offer. My sisters 16th birthday was June 30th, and I begged and begged until I was allowed to go home and spend the day with her, even if I could barely walk. Over the years, there were monthly doctor visits to adjust the medication. I think the only regret I have until this day is alienating friends, and my behavior towards them and family. Everyone who knows me, knows that there is nobody worse than me about opening up. It was a lot to take in, an emotional and psychological toll, after all I was only 14, and like every other teenager I let substance abuse be my getaway. October 2010 is when I had my first flare, and again I was sent to the hospital in Russia. Another 3 months of tests, blood work and new medication. However, this time, the medicine wasn't as proactive as they hoped, because only two weeks of being back in the states I was back in the hospital. Things really did take a toll this time. My numbers were so high that I did not only make the transplant list, I was on the top 5. Although with the best doctor, and the most amazing team, I was out in just four weeks. Then is when I was told that I should be open, and my friends will not only understand but be a great support system, in which they were. October 2014, is when everything flipped. My body had become so accustomed to the medicine that they stopped working. The doctor and I agreed that I would stop taking them and go day by day.