About this Blog

~Hi, my name is Courtney. I was a full time college student, starting to be a dancer, and used to work with kids part time, living on my own until my illness disabled me.
~I became sick in 2005. I created this blog in the summer of 2006 to record my "headache" diary and to see if anyone finds it interesting.
~12/2006 I lost my job then after, failed a year of college.
~2/2007 Dx Lyme Disease with Bartonella: prescribed 8 months of oral antibiotics. I'm not even sure if I ever had the Lyme Disease.
~11/2007 The doctor took me off medicines while I was still improving but not fully recovered.
~6/2008 Dx Chiari I Malformation by a neurosurgeon in Beverly Hills.
~8/2008 Decompression and Lamenectomy helped 80% of my problems.
~2/2009 Dx Hypermobility by an Orthopedic Surgeon/School Doc: Started PT, dancing, going to school and working.
~6/2009 Started working full time as an Infant-Toddler teacher, which requires lifting. Dancing part time, maybe I'll finish school eventually...lol
~12/2009 Dx Chronic Sinusitis: Stopped dancing due to constant infections.
~2/2010 Sinus Surgery & complication: Severe Epistaxis: Became severely anemic.
~3/2010: Dx Ehlers Danlos Syndrome: by Geneticist
~4/2011: Switched jobs, now work at a Pre-K teacher for 3 and 4 year olds. Less lifting!
~5/2011: Started PT and exercising again

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I remember a year and a half ago running into an old friend from high school and on the verge of tears because I was about to lose my job. The start of my illness in full swing trying to put behind me the horror I went through the summer before. Her life was going great, hot boyfriend, head of her sorority Delta Delta Delta. I'm worried I can't make it to my dance class because of my bout of narcolepsy coming on me making me more insecure. Embarrassed because I look flaky. vulnerable and lazy. I'm not that person although my past before college dictated that I was. My life was doomed to disappoint. And it didn't stop there. It took another year before the light would begin to show.

A year wasted? I think not. It's not something i wanted. It certainly felt like it was wasted. But God had His plan. It was a boost into the healing that I wanted, that I asked for. I've learned the art of grieving about the idea of hope. And though my life looks like I'm choosing these paths, the path was chosen for me. I am limited I am working and going to school like I was before. Maybe people will think I"m picking up where I left off, and in a way that's what I want.

But it's not like that. As I'm writing this I know I will go home so I can use a TENS unit on my tense muscles that go spastic whenever they want and I have my instant ice packs in my purse along with an almost empty bottle of Aleve, Migralief tablets and my Dramamine for nausea. My sunglasses are always available. The major and classes I chose, the work I choose has to be flexible. If I have a bad day and need to stay home or if I need to zone out or rest. I have to learn to relax my muscles as much as possible and even though I want good posture I need to forget about that for the sake of neck pain relief.

Whats gotten me through has been http://chronicillnesssupport.typepad.com/ and this verse:
I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.

Also the knowledge that all things are for the good of all those that believe. The order of events in my life contribute to the order of events in another life. If I know that theres a possibility I'm in pain and distress because another person will benefit greatly it is worth while. It's a way to endure.

But one thing that has been constant since the start of my back pain 2 years ago is I have prayed and hoped it would not interfere or cause my dancing to go away. I don't know why but I still have that passion and who knows if it will ever be fulfilled in any way. I hope that my blogs are a source of encouragement to anyone out there.

PS I do like my classes and I do like my job and I am enjoying my husband more and more each day.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

happy update

i noticed that my blogs were depressing so I wanted to let everyone know the good things coming out of this. I'm slowly able to to more and more. My mom and I are trading Saturdays and going to each others home to help clean/organize. i had gone to the ER the first week i started work and the doc took an xray of my lower spine which showed that the only thing noticeable was that my tailbone was straight instead of curved. The doctor said I have bad back spasms though and prescribed muscle relaxers and pain medicine which I was not able to afford. but all in all I'm doing better. I'm trying to relax my back as much as possible, not rush etc.

We still need insurance. Probably going to go with student health insurance. the safe route. but not sure yet. we'll see. any suggestions?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

post-polio syndrome?

"Partly due to association with past epidemics there has long been hypotheses linking ME/CFS with polio. From the very first well documented epidemic in 1934 (labelled Atypical poliomyelitis) the question has arisen concerning the relationship between an infection and immnunization. Many ME patients prior to 1956 suffered a paralytic association along with typical ME/CFS symptoms, however post 1956 ME/CFS patients have been spared paralysis, and it was hypothesised that polio immunization altered the symptoms common in earlier epidemics. Despite polio having been first described in 1881 there was no mention of PPS or even named until about 1979, the same time ME/CFS catapulted into public attention, and the rise in numbers of PPS closely parallels the rise in ME/CFS. It has also been noted that patients who had previously fallen ill with Akureyri disease (a synonym for ME/CFS) in 1948, and the general population of that particular area, of Iceland failed to succumb to the polio epidemic that swept that country at the time. Which raised the questions; are many ME/CFS patients simply PPS patients who had contracted a subclinical case of polio years earlier or is ME/CFS in subgroups, a poliomyelitis variant? [5] [6] [7]"

Reasons I could have had a mild case of wild-poliovirus
#1) I did not have a polio booster shot prior to my trip to Ethiopia
#2) There was an outbreak coming from Nigeria around the time I was in Ethiopia
#3) I had diarrhea upon returning for 2 weeks.
#4) One other person on my trip came back with symptoms including mild paralysis on one side
#5) my main problems are back spasms, joint pain, dysautonomia like symptoms, hypoglycemic like symptoms, fatigue
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