treatment

‘This surgery is unlike the other 35. Do you understand we don’t know the effects?’ With a shaky hand, I signed my name on the black line.’: Woman with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome undergoes life-altering surgery

“‘I’m ‘chickening out. I can’t do it.’ My dad was holding the door open when I took ONE step and froze. Something shifted in my back like it never had. I had some ‘colorful language’ and said, ‘Let’s go.’ Tears in my eyes, I signed my name on the black line. 8 hours later, I woke up screaming. ‘I can’t do this! Ow! The pain! Ow! PUT ME IN A COMA! I CAN’T DO THIS!’ The meds weren’t working. My mom was rushed in.”

‘We placed my son in the back of a black SUV and said goodbye. I lost all hope. Just before I drank myself to death, I found out I was pregnant.’: Mom’s harrowing journey to recovery, ‘It’s up to you to break the cycle’

“Right after I turned 15, I met the absolute love of my life. Apparently, we were never really exclusive. In the summer going into my senior year, I got pregnant. I learned alcohol numbed the pain. After my daughter’s father left without telling me, I started partying more. He had no more fight in him. Days after his 4th birthday, we brought him home on hospice care.”

‘I’m positive you’re depressed, and that’s just from this one conversation.’ I froze inside.’: College student shocked by depression diagnosis, ‘It’s good to know people aren’t supposed to operate like this.’

“My family is very against medicine and doctors. My parents still don’t know I went to the doctor, or that I attend therapy regularly now. I don’t know what they would do, honestly. It’s ridiculous I need to hide going to the doctor, especially when it’s for my brain. My roommate was sharing how she couldn’t get out of bed. ‘It’s like someone placed you into a blank room, with no furniture or door or windows, and they expect you to thrive in it.’ It all clicked.”

‘No one else has the guts to tell you this, but you look like a crack addict.’ I was surrounded by a looming cloud of self-hatred.’: Woman beats lifelong battle with eating disorders, ‘I get up every day and fight for my life’

“Every time I leaned over my toilet and stuck my fingers down my throat, I would tell myself this was just what a disgusting person like me deserved. I was a shell of myself. I was too scared to kill myself. “Please don’t let me wake up.’ On the morning of my grandma’s funeral, I knew I was next.”

‘My new wife is younger and we have a daughter.’ He smashed photos of my sons. I am worth more.’: Woman escapes abuse, alcoholism, creates her own recovery program to give back, ‘I survived for a reason’

“I was living with a very dangerous individual. With him gone, the nightmare became more real. I felt unsafe in the house. You can’t change locks on a shared ownership home. One day, I came home to find my bed had disappeared, along with all the mirrors. He would not stop until he had destroyed everything. The house was repossessed and I received a Christmas card from him. ‘Hope you and your sons are cold on the streets this Christmas. Here’s hoping you prosper.’”

‘Mom, her x-rays are not good. It’s spreading.’ WHAT?! She went from mentioning pain to crying that it ‘hurt so bad.’: Daughter diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, ‘I’ve learned more in 2 years than the 40 I’ve been alive’

“Gabby kept complaining about her left knee. Her brother had just gone through a similar growth spurt and had constant knee pain as well. I thought nothing of it. I took the kids to Target after school one day when I noticed she was limping. ‘Does it really hurt THAT BAD?’ Nothing looked wrong with it. Soon after, I got the call. ‘They will call and tell you where Gabby needs to go.’ WHAT? I paused, no idea what she was talking about.”

‘Watch what you eat. Work harder in the gym.’ I started purging. To be better means to be smaller.’: Young woman overcomes eating disorder, uses her recovery to help other young women change their way of thinking

“‘I feel fat’ was one of my most commonly used phrases growing up. Most people worry about zits and grades, I was worried about staying alive. ‘You didn’t fight for so long to just give into the eating disorder now.’ Six months later, a woman walked into the store. She lit up. ‘Oh it’s you, you helped my daughter!’ I had no clue who she was. ‘My daughter is the one you talked to six months ago!’ Not only was she doing better, but she was ready to share her story ‘like the girl in Lawrence.’ How proud it made me.”

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