Jen Curran of Los Angeles, California hasn’t had an easy health journey. She’s sharing her scary experience online in hopes of encouraging women to truly fight for the medical care they deserve and to seek out doctors who listen to their concerns instead of brushing them aside. When Jen was pregnant with her daughter, Rose, doctors noticed that she was experiencing a spike in her blood pressure and increased protein in her urine. These are often the signs of preeclampsia, a very dangerous condition that poses a serious threat to both a pregnant mother and her baby, according to Today.
Her doctors took note of the signs right away and ordered her to spend the duration of her pregnancy on bed rest. They would continue to monitor her vitals to ensure the symptoms didn’t increase. One of Jen’s doctors was a high-risk maternal and fetal medicine doctor who didn’t want Jen to neglect covering all her bases in terms of ensuring the symptoms she was experiencing weren’t early signs of something worse. Upon the doctor’s advice, Jen went to a kidney specialist. Thankfully, her blood pressure returned to normal and she safely delivered her daughter. However, the protein content in her urine didn’t decrease, even after she gave birth.
Jen was certain that there was something seriously wrong when her protein levels continued to elevate. Nevertheless, the kidney specialist insisted that she simply needed to lose weight, Jen explained.
“She was staring down these lab results. She said, ‘It can take a long time for your body to return to normal. Can you start dieting and exercising?’ She was almost just threatening about this: ‘If you can’t get rid of this protein by losing weight, then I am going to have to biopsy your kidney.'”
For Jen, this just seemed like too easy of an answer. There had to be something else going on. It wasn’t until she sought a follow-up opinion that she discovered that she was right. Jen was suffering from multiple myeloma, a rare cancer that affects the bone marrow. Had she not advocated for her own health, she might not have been able to catch it in time to receive the treatment necessary.
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Oh boy. Oh jeez. ???? well I’m glad I got to do this, it’s an important thing to talk about because apparently it happens ALL THE TIME. That’s one of the things I’ve learned this week. This happens all the time. So trust yourself and listen to your intuition. Please. Thank you @kayleehartung for a really great chat! #cancer #newmom #gma
“It is a matter of what works for you. You have to decide what is a deal-breaker. I had no problems asking the extra questions, having them run the tests again. I don’t care what you think of me,” Jen explained.