A True challenge 4 A 45 year old (Degenerative Spine Disease)

by Tonya Johnson
(Chicago, Il.)

I am a teacher, a decorated boys basketball coach, certified referee and a returning post graduate student who will receive her 4th degree. Seems somewhat impressive if I were reading it and it was someone else testimony. For years I believed these titles defined who and what I am, but today degenerative spinal disease is my cap and gown some days. I have graduated from the once thought of degenerative spine condition to this diagnosis last week. I have a child who is seven and raising a nephew with autism. I feel like no one really understands. I am no longer working, because as you know the stress is a terror on the nervous system. It felt like someone was eating me from the inside out. What do you do when all you know is how to work and improve the quality of everyone else's life. Coming from an abusive mother who I now reside with. Go figure huh. You get tired and worn. I don't want these to be the adjectives to describe me, so someone reach out to me. I need advice or encouragement. I need what I gave so freely all 45 years of my life.


In Love to my new FAMILY!!! WE WILL BEAT THIS CONDITION!

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Aug 27, 2011
Hold on very tight to the blessings you have!
by: Pam

I suffer with numerous aweful symptoms related to a neck/shoulder injury since July 2008, even suffered intense feelings of overwhelming seasickness for a prolonged period and wanted to die ;) if you have been seasick, you understand what I mean :)Most days I attempt to be exceedingly grateful for the immense health that I do have otherwise, but of course it is difficult to live with the crushing, overwhelming fatigue

Cheereo for now, Pam

Best of luck!!!!

Jun 15, 2011
I Understand
by: Lisa, Long Island, NY

Dear Tonya:

I just want to let you know that I understand how you feel. I wrote a post about my husband on this site quite a while ago because I felt the same way that you do. My husband has been in terrible pain for 5 years now from some type nervous system condition that no one has been able to diagnose. We keep trying new doctors and treatments in the hope that something or some one will finally help him. I don't know how he manages to drag himself to work every day but he does, and he rarely complains. I struggle with my feelings of frustration, sadness and despair over his pain every day. It is not easy, but I do what I can to find support from my friends, my therapist and from things that make me happy, and I do a lot of soul searching. And, I refuse to give up trying to find a diagnosis and help for my husband. So, I say to you that you owe it to yourself to find support and help with your feelings, whatever form that support may take. I think that having a good therapist to talk to is so helpful, so I hope that you will consider it. I am sorry for the unfairness and pain of what you are enduring, and I hope that you find the support and understanding that you so need and deserve.

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