My life has not been easy. But through it all, I put on a happy face (working as a professional in the medical and legal fields), while feeling like I was dying inside.

My parents, siblings, and first husband all passed away from cancer. My sisters have suffered from multiple illnesses and I’ve worked very hard to take care of them.

I remarried a man who emotionally and physically abused me. During this horrible marriage, I was leaving work late at night and was sexually assaulted by a stranger. This horrific experience was made worse by an unsupportive husband.

After I worked up the courage to leave my husband, I encountered more heartbreak.  My therapy dog, Lexi, was diagnosed with cancer and I had to make the extraordinarily difficult decision to end my dog’s life to stop her suffering. I held her under the Christmas tree and kissed her face for the last time as she crossed the rainbow bridge and grief really took hold of me.

One of my daughters was diagnosed with breast cancer. It threw me into an emotional bankruptcy. My depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress syndrome were all-consuming. The only way to describe it is that I felt hungover – exhausted, dehydrated, and had the worst headache.

Most days, I couldn’t get out of bed.

Taking Charge of My Mental Health

I went to my primary care doctor and said I needed help. I’ve seen my doctor for 20 years and trusted her. She prescribed a medication.

This started an awful trial-and-error process. When one didn’t work, she would adjust dosage or prescribe another. Nothing helped. In addition to feeling awful, I was getting very frustrated.

Amid this struggle, I was reading the local paper and saw a story about the GeneSight test. I thought: “I’m impressed. This is the answer I’ve been looking for!”

I went back to my doctor and asked for the GeneSight test; she thwarted my hope with every excuse in the book. However, I didn’t want to take no for an answer. So, I called the company that makes the GeneSight test and reached a wonderful patient advocate named Brandi.  She helped me address my doctor’s ongoing objections. Finally, my primary care doctor admitted she hadn’t registered for the GeneSight test and wasn’t going to.

I was beyond frustrated. So many wasted months of not getting the help I needed.

I was in tears when I called Brandi back and asked her what to do. She gave me the name and number of a doctor who used the GeneSight test in my area.

Getting the GeneSight Test

I called the doctor and asked for an appointment to take the GeneSight test. I swabbed the inside of my cheeks right there in the doctor’s office and they sent the test to the GeneSight lab. Within days, my new doctor scheduled a follow-up appointment to review my test results.

He confirmed what I had suspected: some of the medications I had taken previously didn’t work with my genetic composition. And while some of the medications in the green category were not covered by my insurance, we found one that was, and my healthcare provider ordered a prescription.

I Was Helped So I Can Now Help Others

I cannot emphasize enough the difference that being on the right medication has made in my life. I am myself again – happy and thriving.  I have energy. I have hope.

I’m making a difference in other people’s lives again.  I’m helping my sisters with their illnesses. I’m there for my daughter.

And I rescued a new dog – a wonderful beagle/lab mix, who is black with white feet, called Oreo. I trained her to be a therapy dog and we go to hospitals, hospices and libraries helping others cope with illness.

I tell everyone I meet that I owe that all to God and the GeneSight test.

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