“Today, I can get outside and be active. My dreams are limitless. I don’t have to count myself out.”
Christa, living with CIDP
I have been living with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) for several years. Since 2013, I have been using intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), a plasma protein therapy. I like to call it being “juiced up,” because it gives you a boost of energy and eliminates your symptoms in a matter of days. Before my diagnosis, I had no idea what this disease was or that this form of treatment existed.
Plasma-derived therapies are lifesavers for myself and others who live with conditions whose only possible treatment is a plasma protein therapy. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to dress or bathe, cook for myself, work, or go to school for my Public Health degree, because I wouldn’t be able to type or have the energy to make it through the day. With this disease, your body destroys the protective layer around your nerves, disrupting the neuron communication with your brain, making it hard to pick up a pencil or even walk a short distance.
It takes strength to receive these infusions every couple of months, which, for someone who is fatigued every single day, becomes huge.
I think there is a lack of awareness for these types of chronic conditions. Life threw me a curveball but has also exposed me to my passion for Public Health. Being diagnosed at a young age with a disease that I will have my entire life, plasma protein therapies are going to allow me to have a family and future. When I think about what I want to do, other than fatigue, I no longer have to count myself out of everything, and I plan to live my life to the fullest.