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more about me and my health

Here is a shorter version to catch you up…

I was a pretty healthy person until I got in an accident in 2010.  I was 25 years old at the time and life has never been the same.  I was on an ATV in Mississippi and it tipped over and fell on top of me.  The roll bar fell onto my chest and my health has been a pretty big nightmare ever since.  The initial accident almost killed me.  I had a Traumatic Dissected Thoracic Aorta, a Pneumothorax (collapsed lung), six fractured ribs, a broken Clavicle and needed stitches in my chin.  I was airlifted to The Med (My life saving surgery was at the Elvis Presley Trauma Center, best name ever) in Memphis, TN and some fantastic trauma doctors/surgeons there saved my life.

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Thumbs Up, Always
I was working on my collpased lung
My poor little lung
With my sister Lauren and Mom in ICU
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Lauren, Molly, me and Patrick.  (Patrick was with me during the accident, and helped care for me during my recovery.  He tragically passed away at 33 years old in 2017)

Later in 2010 I was having circulation issues and developed Subclavian Steal Syndrome, and needed another surgery.  I had a Vascular Bypass placed from my left Subclavian Artery to my left Carotid Artery.  This gave me back pretty good circulation and I was finally able to find a pulse in my left wrist.

Before the first bypass surgery
After surgery

In 2014 I had back surgery.  I have had on and off back issues ever since the accident.  I had an L5-S1 Microdiscectomy.  It has taken a long time, but that is finally pretty strong and not causing many issues.

In 2017 my vascular bypass from 2010 became blocked and I needed surgery again.  The Vascular Surgeon was able to unblock the bypass, but after surgery I got a blood clot in the bypass.  I had an Angiogram and they were able to remove the clot, and placed a stent in the bypass to keep it open, and keep the blood flowing.

After surgery 👍🏼 2017

Ever since this surgery I have had a ton of pain in my left arm, left shoulder, and left side of my neck (in addition to everything else!).  As it turned out I had dissected an artery in my neck, and that was probably what caused all of the weakness, pain, and other symptoms I was experiencing.  At this point it is hard to tell because I have so many things wrong with me!! 

I did a month long pain management program at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago, and they have helped me more than I can even begin to explain to getting back to living a “normal” life.  

I am starting to get back to the things I couldn’t do for a long time, like gardening, some yoga, and working a part time job, and I am looking forward to seeing what else this body of mine is capable of.

Since I have started in 2018 here are my newest diagnoses;

Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Cervical Radiculopathy/Radiculitis (C5-C6)

Herniated Discs in Cervical Spine (C3-C4 mild disc bulge, C5-C6 mild concentric disc bulge, C6-C7 mild disc bulge)

Cervical Disc Disease 

Spondylosis (C-Spine)

Heart Murmur 

Tachycardia 

PFO – Patent Foramen Ovale 

Dissected Vertebral Artery

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