I started my business while I was still studying, and gave it my full 100%. Wasn’t hugely succesful in classic terms at the very beginning, but success came pretty quickly. Not long after, lots and lots of people in Belgium were proud of me and got to know me via social media/interviews, etc.
But before the success, there was another side to my life. When I started my second bachelor’s year, I couldn’t move from the couch/bed as my back was full of inflammations. At that point, I had been looking for a diagnosis for 3 years but I got the wrong one (Spondylitis Ankylosans – I was sure it wasn’t what I had but the doctor was positive it was. My word against his). But everything got so much worse, and I looked for a new diagnosis (seeing 100’s of doctors and visiting different hospitals) for 11 months, until I finally found out I had Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
After my diagnosis, I made a full recovery (although it’s a chronic disease – so I will never lose it entirely. However, I lost almost all pain symptoms). And I did that by just keeping my head up, and I kept going and going and going to the hospital’s physical rehabilitation center until I got better. Took 6 months and then some personal training, but I never gave up. I got to go back to school, and after that combine my Master’s year with a full time business.
How I stayed positive
I truly believed, even at my worst point, that help/relief/a solution was just around the corner. Whenever one door closes, two other doors open. I held onto that very firmly. I’ve always been a positive thinker and that may have been a blessing during my worst times.At one point, my very kind neighbor told me this: “Always remember that the prince thinks he has seen and done it all when trying to get to his princess up in a tower. But when he thinks he’s done it all, moments before reaching his princess, he has to slay the dragon”. She told me this story to remind me that you always go through the hardest part, right before the end or the solution.She told me this story around June 20th, when I had given up all hope and one doctor had told me – after 11 months of intense searching for a diagnosis – that I had made it all up and that I had psychological issues.On June 27th, a professor at Medical Genetics in the University Hospital of Antwerp, just pieced the puzzle together and finally diagnosed me with the correct diagnosis. Only a few days after the story, when I had just started to give up all hope, I got what I “wanted” so badly.
AFTER THE DIAGNOSIS