Imagine a world where you’re not allowed to hold your partner’s hand. Where you can’t share a bed. Where you’re not even allowed to watch TV in the same room together. As unbelievable as it sounds, for Johanna Watkins and her partner Scott, it is a harsh everyday reality.
It was never supposed to be like this for the Minneapolis couple. They were completely perfect for each other and should have had a long and happy life together, full of long hikes, family meals and laughter. But things don’t always turn out the way you plan.
Johanna began to cough. Soon enough the young teacher started to struggle with unusual rashes, irritable bowel syndrome and migraines. Knowing something was drastically wrong, she visited the doctor who came up with several possible diagnoses, all of which were minor illnesses. But no theory seemed to stick.
Assuming that Johanna’s illness would soon be concluded, the couple married in 2013 in a beautiful ceremony. But their happiness wasn’t to last for long.
The severity of Johanna’s condition was dramatically revealed soon after the wedding. The honeymoon period quickly turned into a complete nightmare when she began suffering from anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction which causes someone’s throat to partially or entirely close up. The couple needed answers. And fast.
Her sickness completely and utterly baffled doctors. Over the next three years she was given an unbelievable 30 different medical diagnoses, all of which came to nothing. But tragically getting a sure diagnoses turned out to be the last of the couple’s problems when they realized this…
Johanna said, “We had noticed that when Scott would come in [to the room] I would start feeling worse and worse. My normal daily symptoms would just be aggravated. And then at one point he went to get his haircut and came back in the room and within two minutes I had started my anaphylactic symptoms and he had to leave.” Johanna’s condition would often stop the couple from being intimate with Scott admitting, “There were times three and four years ago, before we got the diagnosis, that if I was extra close to my wife, specifically if my face was close to Johanna’s face, she would cough.”
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