Christina Ruotolo

Monday, September 10, 2012

Today I am introducing guest blogger, Maria Grego. We went to high school together way back in the mid-nineties in Burlington, NC. Go Bulldogs! Maria posted this recently on facebook and it inspired me to carry on any way no matter what pain I have, Her post is emotional and heart-felt and true for those suffering with chronic illness. Let it be the wind in your sails today, so keep calm and carry on. Thanks Maria for letting me share your story. Here is a little background on Maria's story: I guess bout how I got blessed with chronic illness. I was coming home from work a lil early on 11/19/09--3 yrs ago almost--I was driving on the interstate and the car in front of me went right ( I was in 1st lane, by the divider wall) and before I knew it--there was a dually truck tire on a rim in front of me--I braced rather than turned (first responders said if I turned I would have flipped & almost surely died) and first hit the rim & tire, then went over it....the force was incredible. Seriously--I had a very spiritual moment. I felt 2 hands on my shoulders pushing down & 2 hands on my chest pushing back. I believe it was my parents...I felt the imprint of those hands for hours. So the accident tore out everything under my car. Totaled. I was worried I couldn't work the next day. The guy responsible was driving a car hauler, for a dealership. They pressured me not to get a police report even though I had called 911. I was in shock. They promised to help me & I believed them. At the time--adrenaline & all--I didn't know I was hurt. I went home. Thanked God I was alive. Stared at my kids thinking I almost died. The next day I could barely move without crying. I repeatedly went to E.R. I requested MRIs...they did xrays. Said I had sprained muscles & whiplash. I finally went to my doctor who knew me for 20 years....he ordered MRIs...days later he called me personally & said I needed to be very careful. I had multiple ruptured discs (4!!!) and multiple herniated discs (8!!!) My neck & back hurt. From my neck to my low back. Just about every other one is damaged. I have had cervical anterior diskectomy with fusion on 2 ruptured discs--I also have degenerative disc disease now which has accelerated since my accident & causes all my joints pain. I have continually torn my right rotator cuff (the muscles in my neck try to support my head but if I sit up or stand too long, it tears my rotator cuff. I have PTSD from my accident. Panic attacks. Nightmares. I have found out I am allergic to most common anxiety meds: ie, xanax, valium, klonipin...my throat swells up & I get hives. So--beyond a therapist I have to get myself out of panic attacks. It sucks. The doctor can't perform anymore surgeries on me to correct any more discs because of the degenerative disc disease. My spine is getting worse everyday. I rest as much as possible cuz of the pain. Also I hope to extend my mobility as long as possible. Besides a total spine replacement surgery--I haven't heard any other options. And that scares the crap outta ME!! I am sorry I wrote such a whiney cry baby message....you just needed a lil info but its hard to explain in short....Now, I have just been granted disability. Thankfully I worked enough to just make enough to provide for myself & my 3 kids ( whom I almost never get child support for)....it took 3 years to get it--even though I qualified I was denied due to a mistake on the governments review. Well, now I have a lawyer for my accident. The other party actually gave a statement & admitted they are at fault. Not only did their tire come off--the mechanic who works for the dealership didn't tighten down the lug-nuts, so it is negligent. I am in pain, for the rest of my life. I can't pick up a gallon of milk. I can only lift up to 4 lbs!! I can't bend over, push a grocery cart, reach above my head.....it sucks plus my PTSD....I don't know if they are going to get away with injuring me. I have prayed to get some kind of compensation...I'm living off of less than a third of what I used to make---and its the government paying me disability--not the responsible party....so my disability is from my past jobs, not their insurance. I don't know--the stress of it all is a lot sometimes too much. I refuse the morphine & methadone they try to give me cuz If I take it I can't drive & who would take care of my kids? So I take the weakest form of pain pill-just enough to help me move without crying from pain. Keep Calm and Carry on by, Maria Grego I am 1 of those people who never asks for help---mostly because I am so independent. I would rather do everything myself. I have always been self sufficient. I used to work 2-3 jobs, it's just how I am. Keep calm & carry on. So when I actually do ask, the fear of rejection & depending upon another person, makes me feel weak....I'm sure that is caused by asking & relying on someone & then being let down. That is why I only ask for help when there is no other way possible. Keep calm & carry on. Since my accident, I have been having to ask my kids to help: to do laundry, or push grocery cart, etc...I hate being weak. I didn't ask for this. I did nothing wrong. It was someone else's fault. I am constantly in pain. I refuse to give up. I am hopeful not hopeless. I keep calm & carry on...what else can I do? I carry my injuries like a badge of courage. I earned them. I fight everyday to not give up. I have friends with 1 or 2 herniated discs who complain more than me. I know people who gave up & quit walking because of 1 herniated disc! Keep calm & carry on. I just had to get this off my chest....It's frustrating to hold it in--and if you are really my friends, then you will understand I don't want attention, I just want to know you heard me. You have kept going. You didn't give up, either. So let's keep calm & carry on. Together ♥ thanks ♥

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