When the doorbell rang, Kathi let out a sigh. She knew she had to get up but couldn’t quite face it. Kathi breathed in, closed her eyes, and gained the strength to lift herself up.
She slowly walked to the door – cane tightly gripped – and opened the door. Slowly, carefully. The contractors had arrived for the morning’s job. The needed to finish the job they had started upstairs a few days prior. She welcomed them in and returned to the sofa, closing her eyes and resting again. Why was she so sick?
Kathi Wilson was just your average middle-America town girl. Born and raised in Shelbyville, Indiana, she enjoyed a nice upbringing and quite school life. She was relatively healthy and made sure to walk a few minutes each day.
She observed a healthy diet and never watched too much TV. One day, Kathi started feeling sick – suddenly, as if overnight – and no one could work out why. She considered her options: she ate healthily, exercised, and was young. It must have been a common cold. When the symptoms didn’t go away, her daughter started to worry. Little did they know at the time that they had every reason to panic…
Vitamins To Help?
A few days went by and Kathi wasn’t getting better. She felt tired. She got headaches that would last hours. Her eyes would blur. Panicking, her daughter picked up every ‘over-the-counter’ vitamin she could get her hands on.
Vitamin C, B, E, Zinc, Iron – everything you can think of. It took weeks of continued fatigue and sickness before Kathi was finally dragged to a doctor. She mustered all her energy to seek the help she so desperately needed. What would the doctor tell her?
Her prognosis was not good. The doctor couldn’t find anything explicitly wrong with Kathi and suggested she rest and let it naturally pass. Let what pass? What was causing this sudden pain and discomfort? Over time, she started turning pale. Her appetite disappeared and her symptoms were seemingly getting worse.
Kathi’s daughter, Ashley, rushed her ailing mother back to the hospital after one month of continuous sickness. The doctors looked carefully into her eyes. Her tired, pained eyes. They were only now showing signs of confusion – why was Kathi, a healthy and young woman, not recovering from what they thought was the flu?
Dr. Mary Hensley came into Kathi’s life and might just have saved it. Over time, the two of them ran tests to determine what was stirring such an ugly pot of discomfort in Kathi’s new life as a bedbound sick person. Blood tests tried to determine allergies and sickness.
Negative. Antibiotics tried to eliminate any hidden viruses that might have developed in even the most unconventional places. There was nothing. In fact, pumping Kathi with all these tests and medicines had the opposite effect on what anyone would want.
In The Mind?
Kathi was getting worse each day. Days turned into weeks and weeks invariably turned into months. Months of being restricted to sofas and beds. She was getting worse. Her body ached. Her eyes couldn’t stay open. She was deteriorating in front of all her friends and family – who all felt hopeless and helpless.
They wondered what else could be done. Every test was negative on a physical level, and so they started to question her mental health. Was this a situation that was stemming from her mind? Kathi was determined to prove to everyone that it was her body, not her mind, that was failing her.
Her Own Research
From her bed, Kathi took matters into her own hands. She opened her laptop and kept her eyes open as long as she could to research hr symptoms. Tap, tap, tap, her fingers delicately pressed the keys as she prayed to find her answer.
As we all know from the internet, our searches can garner peculiar results. She tried and tested every remedy she found: herbal teas and homeopathy; experts who mixed questionable concoctions of pleasures and poisons. She failed to find the help she needed. Never had she felt so alone.
10 Years Later…
10 years went by. A decade of long years of headaches, body pains, slurred speech, and heavy eyelids. Dr. Hensley made sure to make regular visits in order to keep Kathi’s spirits up. Together, they were determined to find a cure for this random and devastating sickness.
Dr. Hensley conducted MRIs of the brain and spine, X-Rays, and various cardiac testing. There wasn’t an examination left forgotten during their time together. Alas, there was no solution. Kathi was getting tired.
A Changed Life
10 years is a long time in absolute terms when thinking of a human life. 10 years on unknown sickness is downright devastating. Over this time, Kathi battled her relationships as much as her health.
She struggled to work, she couldn’t maintain relationships with acquaintances – even her own family was having trouble understanding her and her new life. Determined to make a change, she hired a contractor company to turn her bathroom into a brand new sanctuary where she could relax and find peace every so often. What they found would change her life.
That morning, she had let the contractors in to continue the job they had started. She slumped back on to the sofa and continued her days as a sick and lonely woman. Suddenly, she heard a scream from upstairs.
“Kathi,” one of the contractors yelled, “When was your water heater installed?” He rushed down to her – panic in his eyes – with a single bead of sweat running down his forehead. “Please answer me…” She rose her head of the sofa and whispered, oh so quietly: ‘10… years… ago.”
The Reason For The Sickness
The contractors had to sit down. They might have just stumbled upon some of the biggest news of Kathi’s life and had to make sure she had understood what was about to happen. They sat her down and calmly explained:
“The furnace and water heater were not properly installed when it was put in 10 years ago,” they told her. “It has been leaking Carbon Monoxide ever since. We are so sorry to tell you this – but now we can fix it.” Kathi’s eyes widened. Carbon Monoxide, as in the poison?
Carbon Monoxide is known as ‘The Silent Killer’. It is colorless and odorless – completely invisible to the naked eye and naked nose. The gas causes the displacement of oxygen in the blood, and symptoms can include fatigue, headaches, sickness, and chest pains.
If exposed to too much at once, it can even cause death. Suddenly, it all started to make sense. A small leak in her bathroom had caused Kathi to have all the symptoms associated with Carbon Monoxide poisoning. At long last, there was a discovery of how she had been feeling as bad as she was. Kathi started to cry.
Vindication At Last
It took 10 long years of confusion and tests before the answer was revealed. No healthcare professional could have guessed it. No herbal or organic supplier could have fixed it. Not a single scientist would have predicted it.
Kathi had been vindicated to the hundreds of people that failed to see her very real symptoms to very real consequences. Suddenly, a couple of contractors had come into her home and diagnosed her in a couple of minutes – irrevocably changing her life forever.
Her daughter Ashley was delighted. Today, her mother was about to start her brand new journey for the rest of her days. In just a few days, she saw her mother get better and better. Soon enough, Kathi started walking and talking, even smiling and laughing.
She started to glow again and experience the joys of living. The furnace was replaced and only after a few days she was back to her old self. There remained one last problem – how was she going to forgive all the doctors who disregarded her case?
An Advocate For Change
For 10 years, Kathi was called crazy, delusional, a hypochondriac, and unstable. She sunk deeper and deeper into her bed, crying at night from pain and confusion. 10 long years of desperate attempts to find her sanity and restore her health.
At long last, she was vindicated and validated; she was brought back from a life of misery and sickness. Now, Kathi dedicates her life to raising awareness for unknown Carbon Monoxide poisoning. After 10 years, she is dedicated to saving lives through what she learned.