page is dedicated to those who have endured health
are victims of unfortunate accidents, or are care
givers to loved ones.
it's just because I'm over 40 now, but it seems
as though the last few years have been a real
"eye opener" for me. I have had to cope with
terrible illnesses of loved ones and then I
myself have been diagnosed with several different
health problems. Worst of all, I had an unfortunate
work related accident in 1997 and am suffering
pain every day and have been unable to work
What Follows is My Story
I was born in January of 1959. As a child, I
was fairly healthy. I had the usual colds, three-day
measles, mumps, chicken pox, etc. I had my tonsils
out at about age 6, not uncommon, and minor
eye surgery about a year later for a "lazy eye".
I considered myself pretty lucky. I never broke
a bone or had unusual problems. But then I reached
I "became a woman" at age 8 while at Brownie
Girl Scout Camp! The real troubles began shortly
after that. I began to get bladder and kidney
infections rather frequently. I had cramps so
bad each month that I would have to miss school.
By age 12, I was seeing a Gynecologist and they
were running numerous tests on me trying to
establish a root cause. Finally, about 2 years
later, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. I
had complications like PID (Pelvic Inflammatory
Disease). Then I was one of the unfortunate
young women to get Toxic Shock Syndrome. And
this was only the start of my problems!
At age 22, I had to have an emergency hysterectomy.
A routine Pap Smear said I had cervical and
ovarian cancer. This was one of the hardest
things I've had to endure in life. Never having
an opportunity to have a child of my own was
a hard pill to swallow. However, the surgery
was very successful and I have no signs of cancer
to this day.
Fortunately, my health problems subsided for
a number of years. Then, about 6 years later,
I was dating the man who would later become
my husband. His father had just died of a horrible
disease called Scleroderma. There is no cure
and the dear man suffered for over 5 years before
he finally passed away. I wanted to learn all
I could about this tragic disease and it's effects.
I thought it would help both his family and
myself to come to terms with it.
About 6 weeks before my wedding day, I awoke
one morning and got up to sip my first cup of
coffee. Imagine my horror as I tried to sip
and spilled the entire cup down my chest! My
face was paralyzed on one side and I began drooling
out of the corner of my mouth. I couldn't open
or close my eye, it was stuck open! I screamed
for my fiance' and he rushed me to the hospital
where I was told I had Bells Palsy. I would
end up suffering with it for almost a year before
My husband and I were married in August of 1987.
His Mother had begun to show signs of poor health
that same year. She complained of discomfort,
but couldn't express what was really bothering
her. After taking her to many different doctors,
she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. This is
one of the hardest illnesses to deal with for
both the family members and the unfortunate
victim. We contacted support groups for care
givers and had to put her in the care of a nursing
home. It was so hard to watch her deteriorate
and eventually not recognize her children. My
heart goes out to everyone whose had to endure
watching a loved one with Alzheimers. My Mother-in-Law
passed away in 1995 from an aneurism in her
heart. The Alzheimers would have taken her if
her heart hadn't given up first.
My poor husband was now without either of his
parents at the age of 35. At this point I again
felt very blessed that my parents and younger
brother were in good health and I was enjoying
good health too. Then I reached the age of 37.
I was laying on the couch watching television
one evening. It was December 28th, 1996. Suddenly,
my heart began to race uncontrollably and I
couldn't catch my breath. I was scared to death!
My husband rushed me to the hospital emergency
room and I was given a full round of tests.
I was later diagnosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse.
While they were running the tests on my heart,
they discovered I had multiple gall stones that
were traveling towards my liver. I had to have
my gall bladder removed immediately. Well, by
now I was beginning to feel old before my time!
I continued to have chest pains and saw a Cardiologist
for about a year. He began to suspect that my
problem was not heart related and referred me
back to my general practitioner. After running
mammograms, ultrasounds, blood workups, EKG's
and just about every test known to man, I was
told that I had a shadow in my left breast.
Further testing revealed it was a benign cyst.
I breathed a sigh of relief, but too soon. He
then informed me my blood workup indicated a
"Positive ANA" which has something to do with
an autoimmune disease. Diseases normally associated
with a positive ANA are Scleroderma and Lupus!
He continued...my chest pain is a condition
which is very painful and there is apparently
no cure...I have Fibromyalgia. I went home that
evening and I have to believe I was in shock.
After all I had learned about Scleroderma and
not knowing a thing about Lupus or Fibromyalgia,
I thought I was dying! Or at least I felt as
though I wanted to die!
In January, 2001, I received a phone call from
my Mother. My Daddy hadn't felt well and they
had taken him to the hospital for a chest x-ray.
I'll never forget that date, it was January
15th. The x-ray had revealed that my father
was suffering with Stage 4 Lung Cancer and it
was terminal. Of course I flew home right away
and just two months later on March 29th, 2001
my beloved Daddy lost his brief but valiant
battle with cancer.
Last, but certainly not least, is my current
problem which was my accident! For those of
you with back injuries or those who are on Worker's
Compensation, I am including some links below
that should be of some comfort and help. Because
my back problems are "on-going", the story is
I am a survivor!
I continue to battle with my back injuries,
Fibromyalgia, Mitral Valve Prolapse, and Rumatoid
Arthritis, but I am thankful and blessed for
it could be worse.
and Informative Links on Following Page