Cristine’s Story

My health definitely took a dive after my youngest was born in May 2012.  I thought the cause was all gynaecological, as I’ve suffered a lot with what are known as “women’s problems” most of my life.Mainly I’ve been feeling incredibly tired and having what I thought were asthma attacks.  I’ve since been told it was likely I was dealing  with a burst cyst and partial lung collapse.  For 22 years I’ve thought that I had asthma, but my specialist thinks otherwise. I suffer with chest pain, especially when lying on my side.  This started during my pregnancy, so I thought it had something to do with that.  I get pins and needles in my hands when I get shortness of breath.  This started after the birth of my third baby.  I figured that I had something wrong with my menstrual cycle as my symptoms are definitely more present during ovulation and menstruation.  I could definitely sense something wasn’t right.  Well-meaning people kept saying, ‘of course you feel that way – you have three little ones and work part time’, but it felt different.  I knew it was not just exhaustion.  I knew it was something else.

A recent CT scan of my abdomen revealed the bottom of my lungs.  The radiologist took one look at the scan and sent me to a LAM specialist at St John of God, Subiaco.  He confirmed that I have a mild case of lymphangioleiomyomatosis.  It’s good to have a diagnosis.  It’s good that my case is light.  Now all I can think of is raising money for research to find effective treatments and a cure for LAM!

Please don’t be sad for me. My life has been a tough one but a beautiful one so far. With every trial I have been given, I have received 1,000 blessings and for that I am eternally grateful.  We are all given opportunities to make this world a better place and this is mine now.  My mum was born in Portugal.  A very strong Catholic, she often says to us “Que Deus Queseri” – “God’s will be done” in Portuguese.  I strongly believe that having faith doesn’t make you immune to sickness, disease, accidents etc… but faith gives me the strength and the courage to turn the negative into a positive – to use my experience to help others.