Malissa Jean Miller
Malissa Jean (“Missy”) Miller was born in March of 1970 at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida without a fully formed anus or rectum. Later to also be diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. Two hours after birth, she was airlifted down to University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center – Holtz Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida where she would spend the most of the next three years with many more stays to follow throughout her childhood.
Missy is now 44 years old and has had 38 abdominal surgeries dealing only with her intestinal and bowel problems. But there were two more surgeries. First, being a partial hysterectomy.
My name is Patricia Meyer. Missy and I have no legal relationship to one another, but call each other sister-in-laws. As you will come to find out, we spend a lot of time at doctors and hospitals and we get fewer questions when we say that versus friends. I’m not always comfortable with saying it, but necessity usually wins.
I first met Missy around 15 years ago. She was the girlfriend of my partner Darrell’s youngest brother Brian. To say it was NOT love at first sight for either of us would be an understatement. I am almost 15 years older and as I like to describe us: “she’s a whole lot of country” and “I’m a whole lot of classical.”
Named after Dr. Burrill B. Crohn, who first described the disease in 1932 along with colleagues Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer, Crohn’s disease belongs to a group of conditions known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract.
When reading about inflammatory bowel diseases, it is important to know that Crohn’s disease is not the same thing as ulcerative colitis, another type of IBD. The symptoms of these two illnesses are quite similar, but the areas affected in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) are different..
Missy finally had her surgery on June 1st. It took about six and a half hours and she did great. Dr. Sands called that evening after surgery to let me know how well she did. I breathed a sigh of relief. I truly didn’t know whether she would make it or not. She was...read more
On Wednesday Missy let me know her surgery was scheduled for Thursday morning. I told her I’d be down around 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm for our slumber party. The closer it got to the time for me to leave the more I didn’t want to go. What made me come up with this bright...read more
We’ve been here since 10:40 am and it’s now 1:37pm. She has a PICC and they are attempting to put in an EG tube. I couldn’t listen anymore and had to walk away. This admission went very smoothly. It seemed like there was something in her chart about her coming in....read more
For sometime now, I had felt that Missy had been living just to see her younger cousin Amanda get married. Amanda is about 13 years younger than she. They are very close and Amanda is Lisa’s younger sister. I also got the feeling that no one in Missy’s family had ever...read more
On the afternoon of April 6th Missy couldn’t stop vomiting so she called me to let me know she was having p Lisa take her to Holy Cross. I told her I would meet her later. I didn’t really like the idea of her going back to Holy Cross, but the idea of her vomiting in...read more
At the beginning of February, Missy was notified that her SNAP benefits would be cut from $189.00 a month to $16.00. I immediately called Florida’s Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) to find out their reasoning. I was told that DCF based their SNAP benefits...read more
While I fought the battle with Sunshine Health from October through December, Missy had two admissions to UM and two admissions to Holy Cross for a total of 29 days. During her second admission to UM, Dr. Abreu started her on Remicade. The drug is administered...read more
Missy’s colonoscopy was scheduled for 9:00 am Thursday morning. Ugh! I work from home but I’ve never been one who commuted to work via a freeway. Yes, I’m originally from California and still call them freeways. I told Missy, “I’m picking you up at 6:30. I don’t care...read more
The next day I set out to get all of her paper records and films. It’s almost comical how this went. At Holy Cross, they would not let me have her paper records without paying a $1.00 per page. I didn’t ask how many pages there were, but she had been there for 20 days...read more