Staying Optimistic and Aiming High

Coming back to school for the Spring semester of 2019, Ivey had huge plans for her Spring semester.  For Ivey Holder the start of a new year brought new, difficult health changes. On Jan. 7, Ivey noticed that she had some swelling in her legs and ankles. She knew something odd was going on, so she decided to go to the doctor. 

“The doctors initially told me that white blood cells had been growing in my kidneys,” said Ivey. “Through blood tests and lab work what was at first a UTI later was diagnosed as Nephrotic Syndrome.”   

Understanding that the swelling she was experiencing was not normal, Ivey never hesitated to visit the doctor. It was there that she was informed that something serious was going on. Ivey’s emotions were all over the place when she found out the devastating news.   

“With me being in training for the Air Force, I had to sit out three months of basic training. Watching everyone else workout in basic training was hard, because it made me feel weak, said Ivey. “I am usually the leader when it comes to basic training and now I had to sit out and watch everyone else. Everyone also kept staring at me, almost as if they were judging me.”   

In basic training, Ivey would have to run multiple laps and complete various strength tasks. So being that she had to sit out due to the swelling in her legs and ankles, this was very intimidating for her. Some of her friends in basic understood what was going on with her but for the ones that did not it seemed as though she was just being let off easy.   

“The doctors put me on a low sodium diet,” said Ivey. I have to eat more healthy foods such as leafy greens, and fruit. I am on three different medications. One of them being a water pill. There are different side effects for the different medications I am taking. Some cause me to gain weight, break out with acne, and get random cramps in my hands.”  

Taking the variety of medications that Ivey has to do is helpful but at the same time can be an annoyance. Having to filter what you can and cannot eat is a hard task, especially for a college student. College students are surrounded by various amounts of high sodium based foods. So the change that Ivey is going to have to make is not going to be easy. 

After returning back to the doctors, they ran some more tests and told me that it was a possible alternative diagnosis. The pills that they had been giving me were helping me but at the same time were taking the swelling away completely,” said Ivey. “The doctors said that it was possibility that it could be lupus. They won’t be able to confirm this until I go in for a kidney biopsy on March 8. The crazy part is that they did say my kidneys are working fine, so I am not sure about how this could be lupus.”  

“I do not even have a plan b career if I am not able to continuing my basic training. Overall this is a scary experience for me,” said Ivey. “I do remain optimistic about the results that I will find out on the 8th, but I am also trying to brace myself for difficult news.” 

With the doctors dropping the new diagnosis on Ivey, her whole perspective has changed on the situation. Ivey has aspirations of completing basic training and becoming invested in the Air Force. If the results do come back as Lupus, this could alter Ivey’s career plans. Although she is remaining hopeful for a different diagnosis, the thought of the results still weighs on her mind.  



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