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disability journey: Broken rods – facing my parents and such…

 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. šŸ™‚ #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. 

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Disability Journey: Broken rods again..What does it mean?

As we know, my rods are broken once again, but until Dr. Kelly receives my Xrays from OGH and I hear back from him and go to my appointment in Septemeber, we do not know what will happen. Will I have another surgery? More than likely- I mean my rods can’t stay broken. What does that mean?  Well, more than likely it means another surgery, recovery all over again, push back college again, postpone the wedding again, having to raise money or apply for hardship case again since St Louis Barnes Jewish doesn’t take out of state Medicaid, and the talks of David and I starting a Food truck business will also be put on the backburner. 

I am tired of the rods breaking; this is the 2nd time! Maybe I should just put myself in a plastic bubble or “ground myself” permanently into a wheelchair and say “Fuck walking” – maybe I won’t injure myself, since I can’t seem to not be a klutz. I don’t know what the answer is. 

I am just dreading it. Dreading facing my parents about it, dreading facing doctor kelly about it, I know accidents happen, but I feel like I am a disappointment and let everyone down even though I did everything right this time: I didn’t get on inflatables again (I learned my lesson from last time), I was cautious when picking up on my niece or stuff, I was cautious and didn’t bend- instead I squatted or got on my hands and knees,) and yet, I still broke my rods. I wonder if my Ehlers Danlos has something to do with it? Hmm. Guess that’s a question for when I do see that EDS genetics doctor. 

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Disability/Scoliosis/EDS Journey: Ended up in ER

 8/12/2020

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?Ā 

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disability Journey: Thought of the day- Medications and side effects…

 thought of the day…8/10/2020

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.”

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youtube video: Cover “Unbreakable”-Ali Mcmanus

In the video, I was in the car jamming to my new “theme song” Unbreakable by my good friend, Ali Mcmanus. -video July 17.

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Putting my tiktoks on youtube

just in case we lose the app because of Trumps talks of banning the app. (I really hope Microsoft is able to buy it.) I love some of the videos I made. 

Tiktok is one of the few things that I can do to entertain myself on a pain day. I really hope it doesn’t go away. 

anyway, here is the video .Ā 

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EDS Journey: found a possible doctor??!

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#GodBlessā¤ might finally be getting answers .

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EDS Journey: trying to find a genetics dr- Epic fail

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.

God, please send me a sign and some type of help. šŸ¤·ā€ā™€ļøšŸ™šŸ™šŸ™šŸ™šŸ™ #RareDisabilities #EDS #EhlersDanlos #Louisiana #Medicaid #MedicalSystem #Disabled #Disability

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Disability Journey: update- No More infection!!!

I am almost at a year post-op. During the surgery, it was discovered that the broken rods that were being replaced had gotten infected, causing an infection throughout my body and I was put on IV antibiotics for 6 weeks post-op, then switched to oral antibiotics- ever since then, I had been on the oral antibiotics. 
I was due to go to bloodwork in March, but due to COVID, things got pushed back and hard to get in to go do the bloodwork until almost 2 weeks ago.  Finally, almost 2 weeks ago, I had bloodwork done to send off to the Infection dr in St Louis to see if I still had the infection in my body. I hadn’t heard anything, so I decided to give a call. They just called back and said my labs were all clear. No More infection!!! woot-Woot! No more antibiotics! šŸ˜€ yahooooo! Break out the champagne. šŸ˜› haha.

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Disability Journey: through Mom’s eyes

While I was working on my autobiography about my life (still a work in progress), Mom contributed the following chapter for it; Enjoy. 
” South Louisiana knows how to eat, drink & party.  Life was pretty easy for me growing up. I did my share of partying in my teen years.  Life should be a party, but we’re not always the guest of honor. Sometimes we must take our places in the back of the room. Jamie taught me that life is not fair and we are not perfect. I felt guilty and still do sometimes that my daughter has to suffer so much, to teach me and others about important things in life. 

During Jamie’s 1st year of life, words were spoken to me by a doctor that have haunted me to this day. He told me that he could just look at her and see that she wasn’t normal. I am thankful for these words, though, because they opened my eyes. We have all been created to be different, but we are normal. What we are is what God intended us to be, therefore, it’s our normal.

Jamie has such a strong personality with the ability to win hearts, but unfortunately, trying to fit in has made her heart somewhat hard. I always wanted her to be tough. As a female, I knew she would have to be strong; being female with a disability, she needed to be extremely tough. I never wanted her dependent on anyone. She learned well, she hates to ask for help. She hasn’t learned to balance her strong personality and independence with her ability to teach people as well as she has taught me.

A lady that had a hurt back shared with me what Jamie did for her life. During the time Jamie was in swim therapy, this lady was also receiving therapy, but she was having a tough time adjusting to her injury. She was angry, in pain, and feeling sorry for herself. Then comes Jamie, this little ray of sunshine with a smile that would light up a room. It was because of Jamie’s disability she found the courage to not give up. As the saying goes, “She put on her big girl panties and told herself, if this little girl can have such strength to deal with her pain, shame on me for the self-pity.”

She had such an outgoing personality when she was young. Ronald & I brought Jamie to a wedding for a pool playing friend of his. Ronald knew the bride, groom and a few of other people. I knew the bride & groom. Jamie didn’t know anyone. She worked the room like a politician running for office, going from table to table at the reception. By the time we left, almost everyone in the room knew her name. How does society take you from the point of being a social butterfly to the state of almost wrapping yourself in a cocoon? I hope one day, I can see the self-confidence she once possessed shine through again.

Jamie started preschool at 3 years old. She still often tells her preschool teacher, she would like to go back to that time in her life. She was so happy; rarely did she complain about pain. She was in preschool for 2 years. The coordinator wanted her to stay for another year. Ronald and I decided she needed to be pushed through to kindergarten.

She adjusted well with a fantastic teacher. At the end of the school year, her teacher shared with me, how she was apprehensive to have Jamie in her class. Unsure how Jamie would handle the class setting. With tears in her eyes on that last day, she said, “It had been a tough year, the class had challenged her, but because of Jamieā€™s smile, she had the ability to not give up. Jamie’s disability helped carry her through the year.”

When Jamie was about 5 years old, we took a trip with my niece and her children to Texas to visit my sister. We stopped for fuel. Jamie was told to stay in the car with the others while I went inside to pay. My niece needed the restroom so she came in and Jamie followed her. Jamie asked for a snack cake, but our plan was to eat when we arrived at my sister’s house. I told her, no, but a little lady looked at me & said, “Let that child have a snack” and she bought it for her. I realized at that time, the world was going to spoil my child.

On separate occasions, years after Jamie went to Jr. High, I met up with former principles of the elementary school. Both shared with me, Jamie would give them a hug, every afternoon before leaving school. Sometimes they may have had an extremely hard day, and her hug would lift their spirit.

In Jr. High, the assistant principal would give her such a hard time. He gave Jamie the name “Jasmine” and that is what he called her every day. She would stomp her feet, saying, “My name is Jamie, not Jasmine.” He would laugh. Getting Jamie frustrated seems to be what most of her friends and family like to do.

Most people go through their entire life not knowing their purpose. Jamie’s smile so often would lift a person’s bad day when she was a child. Being an adult, she finds it a little more difficult to be happy and carefree as she was in childhood. Her pain has gotten worse, therefore, it is more difficult to smile. Sometimes she needs someone to give her that smile and hug her that she so easily gave as a child. The great job we did making her independent also makes it more difficult to ask for help from anyone; even when she needs it!

  Why do we try so hard to fit in? We are all created equal. We have different hopes, dreams, and talents. It is when we try to fit in, we are put into a box. Thinking outside of the box is what makes us truly become what we are meant to be.  Ourselves.

People often tell me what a wonderful job Ronald & I have done raising Jamie. I feel we have been blessed to have shared in her great little life. Her life hasn’t been easy, no life is. Dealing with a disability for a child is more challenging, but the rewards I’ve received, far more outweigh the challenges. Sometimes, I still feel guilty, because the struggles with her disabilities have taught me so much about life. Although I do realize, we didn’t raise her alone.”