Dealing with the Unknown

Analiesa Hollowood struggles to find a medical diagnosis through months of health issues


One of the ways Analiesa Hollowood passed nearly two months in the hospital was by learning some new skills. Here, she plays “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” on the ukulele for her father, Jay. Photo Courtesy of Darla Hollowood

On a regular Saturday evening in mid-August the Hollowood family decides to enjoy themselves and go out to eat for dinner. Analiesa Hollowood was not feeling the greatest after her meal so she decided to rest at home after dining out. When she woke she was in excruciating pain and soon she began to vomit thus starting her long journey with her medical mystery. 

Abdominal pain. High blood pressure. Dizziness. Light headed. Increased pain after eating. Nausea. High heart rate. Chills. Gastroparesis. General weakness. 

Feeling scared and confused every single day because she had no clue what was wrong. Laying in the hospital for 58 days straight, going through various tests and getting no clear answer, this is what it was and still is like to have the life of 15-year-old sophomore Analiesa Hollowood. 

“I was even hopeless at times, but I’ve tried my best to stay positive throughout all of this,” Analiesa states. 

Not only has Analiesa taken a big toll from this situation but her family has as well, especially her mother, Darla, who has been by Analiesa’s side everyday, has struggled as well.

“I have prayed a lot. I talk to my friends,” Darla said. “I research all possibilities and have armed myself with knowledge to better serve my daughter. I too have broken down. It’s hard to see my child go through all this.”

Struggling to stay positive Hollowood is trying her best to maintain a normal teenage life. To do so she auditioned for the school play “Clue” and hoped for the role of Mrs. Peacock. After an audition with an IV and a feeding tube, Analiesa became overwhelmed with emotion upon discovering she had in fact gotten a callback. The next day after callbacks Analiesa waited patiently to find that she had actually landed the role of Mrs. Peacock. 

“The show gave me something to work towards and gave me something other than pain and stress to focus on,” Analiesa said. “‘Clue’ was seriously my saving grace, I felt so supported by everyone and it reminded me of the things waiting for me beyond a hospital room.” 

Cori Stallard, the director of “Clue” said working with Analiesa was easy yet unpredictable. 

“It was pretty unpredictable, as far as you know her situation was constantly changing. And when she was in the hospital they were just trying to find the answers,” Stallard said. “You never knew what could happen.” 

Darla also said Analiesa tackled her duties for the play with the same enthusiasm and preparation she has for other shows she’s been in.

“Analiesa is very serious about performing, has a few years experience already, she memorized her lines quickly, worked to understand her character and works well with direction and other cast members,” Darla states. 

She was living in a bleak room outside of her comfort zone with random strangers coming in and out, putting in IV’s, taking tests, becoming very personal with her before she even had the chance to become comfortable. 

“Staying in the hospital sucked at first, but I eventually got used to it,” Analiesa said. “I actually had no privacy as my mom was with me 24/7.” 

As she grew bored she began to learn the ukulele during music therapy. She also began to embroider and learned to love her new favorite hobbies she used as pass times. 

“I had a lot of free time, so things got boring quickly but luckily I had my friends and various hobbies like embroidery to keep me entertained,” Hollowood said. 

“She learned to play the Ukulele in 10 minutes with the music therapist. The two became friends and jammed together. Analiesa even wrote a song and the two sang it together,” Darla states. “She found things to do to overcome boredom, to distract herself from pain and work out some emotions.”

School during a global pandemic has been proven difficult on everyone but imagine going to school with not only a global pandemic but also having a medical mystery. 

“School was weird because of all the tests and procedures I had to have. I couldn’t even attend virtual school full time,” Analiesa said. “I still am in the process of catching up now and I am so grateful for all of my teachers who helped work with me and my weird situation.” 

After struggling for months and finding no answer Analiesa and her family finally received an answer on what is wrong with Analiesa. On Dec. 9, Analiesa went to a pain management program at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City and received an official diagnosis of Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome (AMPS). Analiesa is going to begin a 3-4 week intensive RAPS program (Rehabilitation for Amplified Pain Syndromes) in the beginning of 2021. 

“This program will consist of Intense Exercise Therapy, Desensitization Therapy, Stress Management, Education Reintegration and work to decrease attention to her pain,” Darla states. 

Analiesa wakes up everyday and continues to fight AMPS. She is happy to be no longer a mystery and is ready to start her new treatment. This amazing young woman is strong and stays positive everyday despite the challenges life throws at her.