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Honor Wall Stories

Read how these people dealt with their particular liver disease in their own way. Select the type of liver disease to read each story.

Home > Patients & Families > Liver Champions > Kim Barkman

Kim's Story

Towards the end of my last (4th) pregnancy I developed an unknown and all consuming, unbearable itch that was over my entire body, but from within. At first doctors dismissed me as just typical pregnancy symptoms but after being tested twice (the first results apparently vanish) I was diagnosed with cholestasis of pregnancy.

I was IMMEDIATELY sent from that office to labor and delivery to be induced at 37 weeks in order to save my babies life. I was beyond terrified as I had never heard of this and all I kept hearing from my medical team was the word stillborn.

Luckily, my outcome was happy and I have a healthy 2 year old daughter now. I had to FIGHT to get a doctor to finally take my symptoms seriously and I encourage other pregnant mothers to fight, hard, if something feels wrong.

The outcome can be happy if you fight for yours and your child's health. This is a frightening and indescribably unbearable condition but it can be conquered with swift, proper treatment. As it happens, a few months ago I was diagnosed with PBC so I am now an even stronger advocate for such things, as is my mother, Cathy Kirby (PBC'er of the Year 2016).

Don't ignore your symptoms or instincts. Your body is wise, it'll usually tell you when something is wrong. This particular disease is pretty impossible to ignore but I was still dismissed by several doctors because it's rare. I was tenacious and it resulted in a perfect outcome. Don't give up, find someone who will listen and take you seriously. It's your life and your health, YOU need to be your biggest advocate, especially if it also means the life of your child is at stake. Fight, and then fight harder! Don't let them ignore you!

Related Terms: ICP, Pregnancy, Liver Disease, Washington

Page updated: June 29th, 2017


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