My name is Amanda Boyce. I am a writer, crafter, musician, gamer, reader, mother, philosopher, researcher, and have a tendency to be very passionate about many aspects of my life. I was once a cheerleader, a clarinetist in a marching band, a first responder and volunteer fire fighter, a teacher, a college student, an avid hiker and camper, a phlebotomist, and was on the road to being a behavioral scientist and neurological psychologist for the FBI ViCAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program). My career dreams, though, were cut short when I became pregnant with my son and my health began to decline.
The story of my pregnancy and the traumatic labor of my son is a long and arduous one. The pregnancy was not planned, but it happened. Before I was out of the first trimester, I was already beginning to have some troubles. My resting blood pressure was very high, I was putting on water weight quickly, I stayed nauseous and exhausted, and then came the joint and muscle issues. As a child, I suffered from migraines, insomnia, impetigo, and a terrible appetite. But it wasn’t until my pregnancy that I started to have many more issues.
I was a military spouse and that meant my experiences with doctors and hospitals was not the best. During my pregnancy, I saw a total of 13 different doctors. Near the end of the pregnancy, when I began to suffer bouts of blackouts, dizziness, and excruciating pain, my spouse was deployed and the military had little interest in helping me. I went into labor a month early but was prescribed pain medications and sent home, despite heart and respiratory issues for my son and my problems with pre-eclampsia. The labor was 29 hours of pain and terror. The epidural was placed a minimum of 5 times, all failures, and they left it in the last place they stuck it, causing only my right foot to go numb. My breathing dropped off severe enough for me to be put on oxygen. I gagged and dry heaved most of the time. My son ended up stuck in the canal for almost half an hour and then I was tore open (causing two bad tears and a third severe tear) and he was pulled out, snapping his right clavicle. Sewed up with no numbing, my son whisked away in pain and with respiratory issues, and the problems continued to escalate.
At five days old my son ended up back in the hospital. He had a very rough beginning and it took almost three months (a month before his father returned from deployment) before he began to get better and healthy. I would never fully recover.
From difficulties healing, to extreme abdominal pain, my health got worse and worse. Two years after the birth of my son, I finally found a good civilian doctor to find out what was wrong with my abdomen. When my son was ripped out, my internal organs had been torn. My uterus and colon were beginning to fall out of my body and my bladder had collapsed. Thus began years of surgeries, procedures, diagnosis, medications, depression, pain, anguish, depression, and so on. Eventually, I would become labeled as disabled, divorced, and facing a very different future than I imagined.
Explaining everything I went through would take a whole book, and one day I will write it. For now, here is a list of my surgeries and conditions:
Surgeries and Injuries:
- surgery performed to rebuild my vaginal cavity, colon, and bladder with a section of meat from my left leg, removal of my uterus and part of my intestines.
- surgery above led to a rare infection in my spine that ate away a good portion of my lower vertebrae leaving me temporarily paralyzed, three months on a PICC line and administering IV medication to myself three times a day, and permanent damage to the spinal column, nerves, vertebrae, and discs
- surgery on my right hand to help with DeQuarvain’s disease (the myelin sheath around my tendons in my hand and wrist was becoming damaged by inflammation of my tendons causing my hands to “claw” at times)
- a right ventricular embolism (air ended up in my PICC line and pumped into my heart….I was not supposed to survive that) causing permanent weakening of my heart on the right side
- ended up on a catheter for several months due to bladder issues, and still have to occasionally self-catheterize if my bladder gets too inflamed (I have ICS, sort of like IBS but for the bladder)
- Snapped the long little toe bone in my left foot, it never fully healed
- kidney infections, one led to a near full shut down, full hospitalization and another PICC line
- an infection ate through the layer of meat in the crook of my right arm leading to more hospital time
- stomach issues led to the colon between my stomach and esophagus to stop working and my stomach ended up inside of my esophagus so I had surgery to pull the stomach down and have it wrapped around the base of the esophagus so my stomach contents wouldn’t spill out if I leaned over – this led to an inability to vomit, difficulty releasing gas, a bubble forming in a twist of my stomach that fills with gas (I ended up in the hospital due to pain and I was the size of a grapefruit but can’t be dealt with as it is between my heart and lung)
- gall bladder disease led to removal of that organ
Diagnosis (all have been confirmed by tests and at least one or more doctors):
- chronic migraines
- chronic insomnia
- peripheral neuropathy
- plantar fascitis
- Celiac Disease
- DeQuarvain’s disease
- Interstitial Cystitis (ICS)
- Chronic back pain
- degenerative disc disease
- Fibroadenoma of the Breasts
- Sjogren’s Syndrome
- anemia with an iron intolerance
- sleep apnea
- cavities and teeth sensitivity (years of antibiotics and health issues led to fragile teeth – 11 fillings have been done 3 times now and I need them fixed again)
- accessory nerves
- ovarian cysts
- chronic bronchitis
- and more that I can’t think of right now
Conditions being tested for or with unknown origins currently:
- autoimmune issues
- possible MS (multiple sclerosis) or Lupus – tests come back inconclusive
- lumps in breast that may not be related to fibroids
- exceedingly high WBC (white blood cell count)
- heart arrhythmia and palpitations
- weak and collapsing right knee and hip
I have no insurance, am still fighting disability after 9 denials (they state I am too young and educated despite three pages of listing my disabilities and not being allowed to work as I am an insurance risk and am not dependable with my flare ups and issues), and have to do odd writing and crafting jobs to make a minimum amount per month in order to maintain food stamps. I have to eat a specialized diet, can’t exercise, and face challenges daily. I could barely take care of myself and so when I divorced my ex, we made a joint decision with my son for him to live with his father. It killed me, broke my heart, and still causes me pain to this day, but he is well taken care of and I get to see him a few months a year.
My college education was cut short 20 credits shy of a master’s degree in neurological psychology with a minor in forensic psychology. The government paid off my loans if I admitted I was no longer capable of finishing the degree, much less able to work in my field of study. My grades had plummeted and although I could tell you every part of the brain and what it did on one day, the next day I would completely blank and couldn’t remember even the basics of my studies. I was a certified phlebotomist, but I am unable to sit or stand for prolonged periods, and some days I had trouble even going to the lab due to dizziness, headaches, exhaustion, and pain flare ups.
I learned to read when I was four. I was writing stories by the time I was eight. I research any topic I want to know about from every credible source I can find. Somedays, I can’t get out of bed. I don’t sleep for up to four days at a time. I can go days before realizing I haven’t eaten. But when I can do things, when my energy is high enough and the pain is low enough, I craft or write or sew. I try to stay busy. And I did finally write a book.
As of today, I have written 34 books as a ghostwriter because I needed the money. But now I focus on writing my own books. The Fine Print of Fibromyalgia was the first book released in my name. I am working on others covering anxiety, depression, insomnia, Celiac Disease, health choices, and other self-help areas. I also write horror, thrillers, true crime stories, dystopians, and science fiction.
When I am not writing, I like designing and sewing clothing, painting ceramics, making jewelry and candles and bath and body products, playing music, listening to music, reading, playing video games, cooking, and baking, and doing whatever else I can until I can’t.
When I wrote my Fibro book, I quickly realized how little people knew about the disease. I found myself studying the hell out of it and helping others understand it. The more I talked to people and helped them, the more I wanted to keep doing it. And the scammers! People with invisible diseases are often depressed, scared, angry, frustrated, and looking for any help. I began getting so mad at the diets, the exercise advice, the supplement and bullshit cure advice, the fake tests for “genetic issues” and so on that people would spout. I wanted to set the record straight, help others, and provide a base or hub of information, facts, stories, and whatever else to help any and all people that suffer with these horrible conditions.
This brings us to this website. I hope to be able to help anyone who comes this way. I want to talk about different conditions, how they are tested for, symptoms, treatments, prognosis, etc. I want to tell people that not all prescription medicines are bad for everyone and not all natural medicine helps everyone. I want to explain things in a way that help others understand and feel less alone and more knowledgeable.
So thank you for reading all that and thank you for visiting my site. Big gentle hugs and welcome!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a practicing or licensed medical professional. The advice given in this book is simply a rough guide from my own experiences, research, studies, and knowledge. If you have a serious medical problem or fear you may have one, please contact emergency services and/or your physician. I am not responsible for how the information on this site is used and cannot be held accountable for medical problems resulting from the advice on this site. Always seek advice from a medical professional regarding medical problems, medications, or lifestyle changes that affect your health.