There are three types of hereditary angioedema (HAE)—Type I, Type II, Type III.
Type I and II are the most common types of HAE. Type III is the rarest, and the most fatal, in part because it’s not understood as well as the first two types.
Mareander, a woman from Bellingham, WA, drew the short straw when she was diagnosed with not only HAE, but type III HAE, as reported by the Bellingham Herald.
But not before suffering for years without answers. Swelling attacks would happen at any moment’s notice, and no matter how many times she sought medical help, doctors either didn’t know what to make of her or thought she was crazy.
Turns out, she wasn’t.
Sometimes, I think doctors will whip out the “crazy” card whenever they don’t have the answers. Doctors are used to being right, right? They’re used to being the smartest one in a room. God forbid they ever NOT have the answers, right? It would make sense that they’d blame it on the brain if ever they found themselves lost for words. Not all doctors, mind you, are this way.
But I can’t help but think… If doctors would just admit they don’t know everything, they might take the time to find out what their patients need. Wouldn’t that help save people from disheartening misdiagnoses? People like Mareander.
Mareander found answers not from a doctor, but from a friend who told her allll about HAE. Armed with information, she got herself diagnosed with type III HAE.
What’s unfortunate for people with type III is that treatments don’t work the same for everyone. What’s FORTUNATE is that Mareander has found a doctor, is on treatment, AND has a dog named Howard that looks after her. He’s actually been trained to alert emergency responders if ever Mereander has a swell.
Mereander struggles to manage her HAE at times, but she does her best to keep hope alive.
What misdiagnoses have YOU run into? How do you think doctors should handle not having the answers? Leave a comment below!