peeks into my life dealing with everyday life and obstacles as well as obstacles of dealing with disabilities and accessibility obstacles, Chronic Pain due to broken spinal rods, living on pain medications, dealing with anxiety/depression, experiencing the newness of love, and fighting for my right to live and love my life in an ableist society.
As we are aware, I had re-broke my spinal fusion rods and was dreading facing my parents about it. This weekend, my parents came in off the truck. As soon as they saw me, Dad asked “what happened to your forehead” because that was the first thing he noticed. “Well, you see, there was a incident in the backyard on the steps. I fell…and re-broke my rods.” They didn’t look happy, but didn’t say anything, later they mellowed out and we joked about it. Then I gave them some candy bars I had bought at the store on Thursday after the incident, before they came in, with the joke to David, “I’ll get their favorite candy bars so when I deliver the bad news about my rods, it will be less of a blow…Like…’look, I got yall favorite candy, oh by the way, my rods are re-broke. Oh just eat your candy bars before you reply.” hahaha. To which I recounted that story to them and they laughed. I am so lucky to have understanding and supportive parents with good senses of humor. 🙂 #Blessed.
I also sent the Xrays to Dr. Kelly on friday through “snail mail” with post office saying it should be delivered/recieved on monday. So I will call monday to tell his office and hopefully by tuesday or wed, I will have some news on what Dr. Kelly had to say. I also hope I hear from the genetics doctor soon as well.
So earlier today, I had my appointment with my GP who agreed to refer me to an EDS geneticist that I had found in New Orleans- Great news, right? Right.
later that evening, I was outside helping my fiance’ do some yard work around the backyard and he asked me to go get him some bottled water; should be a simple task, right? Wrong. It ended in me having to go to the ER.
I went into the house, got the bottle waters(1 for him, 1 for me), and started back out the backdoor: Now our backyard door has a drop about 1-2 ft and then the first step. I don’t know if I missed the step or if my ankles/legs decided to give out; it all happened so fast- All I know is next thing I know, I am losing my balance and falling forward and landing face-first onto the concrete sidewalk.
Landing forward, should spare my rods right? Hmm. well, I’ll get to that…
When I fell, I hit my legs and knees and felt like I couldn’t stand right away, I busted my head on the concrete and had a big gash and later a knot, scraped up my right wrist, and had landed on my left ring finger that had started to already swell.
I waited for a little while to see if the headache would subside and I’d feel better. No luck. So we went to the ER. They did a CT Scan (to look at my head to make sure no damage) and a Xray(to look at my rods and back).
The Drs said the finger wasn’t broken; it was a busted blood vessel and ice and rest should bring down the swelling. The CT revealed no signs of any damage or concussions. However, the Xrays were not as lucky: My rods that I just had fixed almost a year ago, from being broken previously, were broke once again! Now the rods could’ve been broken before this incident- After all, I was still taking pain medication on and off as needed and I had an experience months ago while still in the apartment where i had stood up and it felt like a popping shockwave down my back. The timing just really sucks, so now I have to call Dr. Kelly and tell him the bad news about my rods. I feel like I let everyone down again, but I did everything I was supposed to- I wasn’t straining, I wasn’t bending, I was being cautious,, I didn’t get on inflatables this time and I still end up with broken rods. I wonder if my EDS could be a contributing factor to the rods continually breaking? I suggested it to one of my fellow Scoliosis friends who is in a scoliosis group and said there was a girl who kept breaking her rods and getting infections and was later diagnosed as EDS and ended up having her rods removed, so it could be a contributing factor. Hmmm….I don’t know. Seems like I try to do everything right and then something still f** it up and I am back to being a disappointment. UGh. I hate these voices in my head and feeling like I am mentally unstable. Will things ever get easier?
like for real why do medications cause side effects? Like pain meds help with pain but in the same token, you might end up adding in depression, anxiety, mood swings, agitation,etc. (to which I already have some.)
so it’s like okay..do I wanna deal with pain and possibly just cry to the point of wanting suicide…or do I take the pain medication and stop the pain, but end up depressed or miserable and still wanting suicide for a different reason other than pain- because of emotional impulses and acting like a toddler throwing a tantrum? hmmm.
oh and then lets not forget when I am on pain meds but not sleeping, I tend to “go down the rabbit hole” and spiral emotionally- like right now, I am convinced I have Borderline Personality Disorder.
guess the saying is true, “Idle time is the devil’s playground.”
so here is the latest development in my EDS journey: I am in several Ehlers Danlos groups on Facebook. And they gave me a few names of geneticists who are listed as pediatrics but also do see adult patients with EDS. So I called the one that was named multiple times to confirm that they still do this and they do and also take Medicaid. So I will give their name to my GP on wed. when I go for a medical checkup so they can refer me. #Amen#GodBless❤ might finally be getting answers .
Life of someone with EDS/ Ehlers Danlos Syndrome: I have had it all my life, but don’t know the type. I was trying to find a geneticist that accepts Medicaid because I am having more and more joint pain(if it’s not my scoliosis, its joints), and the only way to truly find alternatives and answers besides Pain medications would be knowing the type I have. so I called Medicaid, but they say all that’s in their system is Pediatrics.
Due to the severity of my Scoliosis/Kyphosis, in summer after 4th grade, I had my first bout of Pneumonia. For those who may not be aware of everything that Scoliosis effects, here’s a health lesson; it’s not just the spine. Sure, the definition is “Lateral curve of the spine,” but it all depends on the severity. My Scoliosis became what is known as Kyphosis, “Hump Back,” and is multiple curves, whereas Scoliosis is just one curve. The more a spine curves, the more it can cause other internal problems in important organs such as the heart, stomach, lungs, etc. Before my surgery in 2012, my lung capacity was 18-20%, I had ribs twisted around my spine, a lot of stomach problems, and problems that were never diagnosed or discovered until my pre-op visit or after surgery; (How weird is that?) Anyway, I was almost finished with my week of Summer VBS (Vacation Bible School- a weeklong camp that is put on by local churches/religions), when the Wednesday night, I started to develop a cough. Mom took me in to see my pediatrician, and he said, it had started as a typical “summer cold,” and due to my hatred of shots, my doctor just gave us cough medicine. The medicines, however, did not work, instead, my cough progressed until I had a “popping” in my back every time I coughed. I say Pneumonia, but it might’ve been bronchitis that was turning into Pneumonia, I don’t remember exactly what the doctor had told my mom, other than the fact I needed a shot; that memory stuck with me! We went down to the pharmacy that was in the same plaza as my pediatrician’s office and as soon as we got back to the doctor’s office and I saw that needle, I had a full meltdown in the doctor’s office, to the point where mom had to hold me down. Normally shots are given in the arms, or the butt, right? Mine was in my legs because it was the only spot on my body that had “any meat” on me. You should’ve seen it, mom holding me in her lap, me tossing and turning, her having to trap my legs under hers so I wouldn’t try to kick; I laugh now that I think about it because shots aren’t that bad anymore, sure they are unpleasant, but really a quick pinch and then it’s over.
After the shot, I was crying and telling my doctor “I hated” him and how “he was so mean,” being a total brat, but by that night, I felt like 50% better. Shots may suck, but you feel a lot better afterward because they work quicker than medicine. Life is a lot like a shot, there are changes we don’t like or can’t deal with, we cry and boo-day about it, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is going to happen; it’s a slight “pinch” (shock/anger/sadness, etc), but then we adapt to it and are over it.
My brother and I’s relationship has gone back as far as to when I was in the womb. Mom often wrote that my brother would tell her, “It’s a girl because all she wants is junk.” Mom ate just healthy foods when she was pregnant with my brother, whereas, for me, it was just junk food. Another interesting fact is that my brother is the one who picked, “Jamie,” for my name; Mom and Dad wanted a “J” name, who knows how he picked it: maybe it was because Dad’s middle name was James, or maybe he just liked the name.
Once I was born, he often spent time with me. There are pictures of him holding me, or sitting with me in the rocker under some covers. When I was 2 years old, he’d follow me around with the video camera and video me; it’s one of my favorite videos even though the camera shook and watching it, can make you sick from all the motion because it shows he loved and interacted with me. I gave him the nickname “boy” when I began talking; my uncle/ Paran would call him that, and I picked up the habit. When I was 2, I’d beg him to read with me and he would sometimes. Our relationship started to get strained when I was in pre-k because he started to become a pre-teen/teenager.
When I was 5, I would sit at the front door like an eager puppy, waiting for him to get off the bus. I’d jump around excited, “bubba’s home! Bubba’s home!” Would he pay me any mind once he got home? Nope. He’d walk past me, annoyed from school, go to his room and slam the door. He was in Jr. High at the time and Mom says, she wouldn’t interact with him much except to make sure he was still alive, and to let him know the food was ready.
When you are a younger sibling, you often tend to look up and emulate/try to imitate your older siblings, out of the feelings of “that is how I need to act, just like____ ((whatever the name may be). For me, when I tried to do things my older brother, Jared, did, it often got me into trouble; examples of this include the time I nearly drowned at Blue Bayou Water Park in the wave pool and another time when I was crossing the highway we live on, to head home from the neighborhood across the street from where we lived.
I was about 5 years old, and every summer one of the highlights was to go to Blue Bayou Water Park with my Aunt (one of Mom’s sisters-in-law) and her children. At the time I had not taken swimming lessons yet, so I stayed in the shallow ends of the wave pool, or went in the kiddie pool. We were in the wave pools and the waves had not started yet; my Brother had come to meet us and right before the waves started up again, he was heading out to the deeper parts; At the time, I admired and looked up to my older brother, and tried to follow him. I was crawling on my hands and knees into the deeper and deeper (but still in the shallow part) of the wave pool; the waves started and knocked me over, and I started to panic, so I didn’t even think to stand up and run back to mom. I just stayed under the water, coughing and spitting up water, waving my arms. Mom ran over and “rescued” me. I think it was this incident that convinced mom to get me into swimming lessons. The pool and water soon became a big part of therapy for me and I love to swim now; I am convinced I am part mermaid. I want to be able to breathe underwater, swim with dolphins; I want to be just like “Ariel,” the little mermaid.
The other incident was when I nearly got hit on the highway we live on. My Brother, his friend, my mom, and I were across the highway in the neighborhood, riding bikes (I had training wheels on mine). The sun was starting to set, and the mosquitos were coming out and biting me. My brother and his friend were old enough to cross the highway by themselves, so they told mom and began to leave. Mom was talking and visiting with one of the neighbors, kind of distracted; I kept tugging on her arm, ready to go, but she wasn’t listening. That is when I saw my brother and his friend leaving, so I followed them; His friend noticed and started to lag to watch me. My brother looked both ways and crossed the highway, with me behind him. I, however, was too young to know the whole “look both ways before crossing,” rule, and started right behind my brother, just as a huge 18 wheeler started towards me, really fast. Luckily, my brother’s friend was behind me. He grabbed me out of the road just in time. Dad was in the front yard, and he looked like he was about to have a stroke! I think my brother got in trouble instead of me, but I can’t remember for sure.
I think it was after those two incidents, I learned not to try to imitate my older brother. He was older and knew how to handle life more than a little kindergartener did.
My brother and I did fight and have that sibling rivalry thing, up until I returned from surgery. We had rare moments where we didn’t fight or argue, but we were two different individuals. When I was younger, Jared had chores, while I didn’t; when dad would fuss at Jared to go do chores, occasionally I’d fuss dad and say “quit working Jared like you a slave-driver, dad,” but he’d often tell me “stay out of it, Jamie.” And I quickly shut up.
When we did argue/fight, it was often because I was a hyper little brat; I will admit that. I think it was mostly, I wanted him to play with me, and he wouldn’t. I called him names: “Jar-head, armadillo (I have no idea why,) Boy (that was more when I was a baby/preschooler).” Sometimes, I’d have a “food fight” at him with my tea-party play food. He was a boring teenager who didn’t want to play with his kid sister, and I wanted attention from my big brother; I just sought it annoyingly. He would pull jokes and pranks on me, and I took it the wrong way and would cry. When I was 2 years old, he put a frog in the “golden Easter egg” during an Easter egg hunt, and to this day, I blame that for my phobia of frogs. Sometimes, I would pick/instigate it, and when he’d try to “strike back,” I’d go hide; like the one time in 2nd grade when we had ice/snow, I went outside, got some icicles, and stuck it down the back of his shirt when he wasn’t looking. Afterward, he went outside to get some, I ran to the bathroom and locked the door.
When he had friends over, I’d try to hang out with them, tag along, and sometimes he’d lock me out of his room, or they’d torment me, by locking me in the hallway till I was a crying mess, banging on the doors; sometimes, one friend and him would pretend that they were going to put me in the oven; they wouldn’t actually turn the oven on, just open it and act like they were going to put me in; I’d cling to that friend’s neck and beg “No!”
One time when I was 6 years old, he had to babysit me. I was playing with his Nintendo NES, but he got mad that I had taken it out of his room without permission, so he unplugged it, and put it back into his room. I was easily scared of everything and every villain of every movie, but yet, I watched Anastasia the movie that night and slept on the floor in a sleeping bag in his room. I heard a noise, a voice,“Jamie, go unlock the back door.” It was my parents; it turns out they had locked themselves out. I tried to shake Jared awake, but to no success; I was so scared that it was a bad guy, trying to trick me, but I did go unlock the door and luckily it was my parents; I later found out, my brother was faking sleep just to see what I would do; what a jerk!
As I got into my teen years, he would be annoyed because unlike him, I had no “thirst” for knowledge. He felt I was “ignorant” and that was one of his pet peeves. He’d occasionally try to help me with math or science, but he’d end up confusing me more, and I’d get aggravated and snap at him. Other than that, we didn’t talk or hang out, mostly cause he was in college and I was still young and “ignorant”. The only time I remember him smiling during this time was the one time he got drunk and “creepy”; we had gone to a wedding for a cousin, and then after we went to see a movie: Mom, Dad, my brother, his girlfriend, and me. I don’t know how this happened, but somehow I got this seat between him and his girlfriend; my brother started to hug me, smiling, and ruffle my hair: I wasn’t used to that treatment by my brother, so I looked at his girlfriend and said: “switch seats with me, I think your boyfriend is plotting to kill me.” Another memory around this time was when I was getting curious about my Ehlers Danlose and my brother who always had an interest in science, came to me and held a scalpel and said: “all I need is a skin sample and I can get you your answers.” I looked at him and yelled “I’m not a science project, heck no! I’m not letting you cut me with that thing, get it away from me, weirdo!”
It wasn’t until I guess that I got into college myself, that we started to have a different relationship. When I’d see him, he’d ask me about my classes and how they were going, he’d offer to help me out when I’d hurt with aches, etc. He was there when I met Dr. Lenke for the first time, and he asked questions to Dr. Lenke. When my family did a benefit for my medical funds, he and his girlfriend helped out a lot. I guess what I am saying is, once I got into college myself, and wasn’t as “bratty” and “ignorant” he started to like/tolerate me, but it wasn’t until I got home from my St Louis journey, that our relationship got to what it is now; When I first got home, I had gotten a new computer and he was helping set it up. He had me sit next to him to watch, but he would ruffle my hair, and just smile at me; it’s like “uh…weren’t you suppose to ruffle my hair like that when I was 5?” Now when we see each other, we give hugs, no kisses because that’d just be too odd. He asks about how things are going in my life. I ask about his occasionally. We have a good relationship now, it was odd at first because I was so used to the tension, but I love it now. I know when I need it, my big brother will always have my back; Love you, Bro.
I have a lot of dreams and ambitions, even despite having a severe chronic physical disability/handicap, but with the right amount of patience, determination, willpower, confidence, hard work, and God almighty at the helm of my life, anything is possible.
I will pick one thing at a time and will try to accomplish them all eventually, but one at a time.
The “dreaded” Corona Virus has now reached Louisiana. As of yesterday, there were 33 presumptive positive cases of it. For over a month, it’s been “Corona this, Coronavirus that,” to the point, I want to shoot myself if I hear CoronaVirus one more time. Even worse, now schools are shutting down, events are being canceled, and stores are running out of items- especially water and toilet paper; it is an illness people, not the end of the world- Practice good hygiene and handwashing, stay home if sick, and just sanitize if come in contact with sick people. It is that simple.
the news media and politics are causing a panic and the sheeple are falling for it. This Coronavirus is just like a really bad virus/cold or flu, yet they stockpiling and shit like its the end of the world, shutting down schools…if you sick, stay home but this is going into borderline craziness. Smh.
Every time a new sickness comes out..its always panic with politics and news media: Swine flu, Bird flu, West Nile, Mad Cow disease, Ebola, now CoronaVirus. Seriously people just practice good hygiene and if you sick, stay home. Common sense. Don’t be sheeple. Yet, we don’t shut life down for flu or regular viruses and people go in sick all the time and get others sick. It doesn’t make sense.