The night after I wrote my last post, I must have slept for about twenty minutes. I didn’t get to bed until 1:45, and not even 100 mg of Seroquel was enough to stop the anxiety that kept me awake. All I could think about were all of the PTSD triggers I was about to encounter. I can’t do it, I thought to myself.
Today, I live my life free from PANS psychiatric shackles and its medical mayhem. At this point, I’ve mostly forgotten where I came from and how sick I used to be. PANS no longer affects me… or so I think.
Years ago, I was able to lock away the feelings of terror and despair that were once my constant companions. I now choose to live in the present and do my best to make the most of this second chance at life I’ve been given. Why think about the horrors of the past when I can make a new and better future for myself?
Serratia marcescens… What in the world is that? An Italian dish? An exotic island town? Neither. It’s the name of a bacteria that you’ve probably never heard of—a bacteria that had taken up residence in my tonsils.
Serratia can be found anywhere, but it thrives in hospitals and in damp spaces like bathrooms. If you see a pink or orangish ring around a drain (such as mine, pictured above), it might be Serratia. Most people never have trouble living near the organism, but in hospital settings, it can cause serious problems. For me, having it in my tonsils was likely an ongoing trigger making my immune system attack my brain.
When I first found out that I needed a tonsillectomy, I made three appointments with three different doctors at two hospitals. While this may sound excessive, based on past experiences, I knew the first doctor or two might refuse to do the surgery as soon as I mentioned PANDAS, especially since my tonsils looked healthy on the outside.
Indeed, when my records were sent to the first doctor, my appointment was cancelled within two hours and my case passed to a different doctor in the practice.