Hi there! Thank you for taking an interest in my story.
My name is Kim Dewey; born in Ohio and raised in Lake Placid, Florida by my parents with my younger brother. Currently residing in Des Moines, Iowa with my life partner, Maru, and one roommate, Jodie.
Chronic Health Issues
As far back as I can remember, I have lived in chronic pain – muscle, joints, and migraines (with aura) and battled fatigue with sporadic periods of intense brain fog. At 13, my rheumatologist diagnosed me with fibromyalgia and Raynaud’s. In my 20’s, I was diagnosed with Grave’s disease. Years go by and the diagnoses list, along with the list of prescribed medications, just grows longer and longer. I grew weary of seeing specialist after specialist - with no good answers or solutions. Then, when my health started spiraling downwards in the fall of 2017, I requested referrals to the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.
Since being seen at the University of Iowa, I have met with internal medicine, rheumatology, allergy/immunology, genetics, pain management, neurology, and more! New diagnoses - finally have some answers - include: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, essential tremors, and major depressive disorder. Additionally, my local specialists, including cardiology and gastroenterology have added the following diagnoses: mitral valve prolapse with severe regurgitation and irritable bowel syndrome.
I am continuing to work with my amazing team of physicians - my allergist/immunologist believes that there is also an underlying autoimmune deficiency - that would explain my frequent illnesses/infections.
This previous year, 2018, was perhaps the toughest I have faced. Here is a brief listing of challenges encountered:
I have always had a strong desire to give back to my community; this was instilled by my parents... who modeled this behavior by their own volunteer work. I remember some holidays, we as a family would help serve meals at local soup kitchens.
Beginning in 6th through 12th grade, I volunteered at the Lake Placid Public Library and the nearby hospital (as a candy striper). In high school, I also spent a summer volunteering with a botanist at the Archbold Biological Research Station.
I continued the spirit of giving back when I moved to Pensacola to begin my undergraduate degree at the University of West Florida. I worked within the Center Learning & Volunteering Experience (CLOVE) nearly 4 years – which helped place UWF student volunteers with a myriad of nonprofit organizations in a tri-county area.
After college, my volunteer work became dedicated to pet rescue - fostering cats and dogs, transporting companion pets, assisting with the adoption process, and helping with fundraising efforts. We currently volunteer with Safe Home Rescue, based in Des Moines, Iowa.
Additionally, I have supported fellow alcoholics and addicts and their family members through my involvement in 12-step programs. For the past six years, we have hosted what I affectionately call “orphan holidays;” on major holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc., we invite those in recovery without a safe place to go to join us at our home for a potluck on the holiday. We provide a sober, fun environment for our tribe.
Communication Arts, BA
University of West Florida
Human Resources Management, MS
Golden Gate University
Previously held designations:
Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Administrator
includes diagnoses and current medications as of March 2019.