Common variable immunodeficiency
Abigail Reynolds-Wooding describes her journey as a patient after 14 months of severe illness
I am 36 years old and before I became ill in 2006, I was a self employed researcher and event organiser. I am married to Jonathan and we have one son and one adopted daughter. In June 2007, I received a diagnosis of common variable immunodeficiency, or hypogammaglobulinaemia. The diagnosis came after more than a year of constant diarrhoea, incontinence, vomiting, nausea, dizzy spells, extreme lethargy, sores in my mouth, burning sensation in my throat, stomach cramps, severe night sweats (changing the bed linen up to five times a night), and amenorrhoea. During this year I saw three NHS general practitioners, two NHS gastroenterologists, and a private allergy and immunology specialist. I had numerous blood and stool sample tests, a colonoscopy, and an endoscopy. By the time of my diagnosis, 14 months after first becoming ill, I had lost 12.7 kg (2 stone) and weighed just 40 kg.