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    Community Voices


    I don't get what I do ...one min. Me and my mother in law are chatting and laughing then BAM next thing I know she's pissed off and rude ...not sure if at me or something else...I'm so confused ugh!! #Whiplash #confusing #FamilyMember #frustration

    Donald J

    How Distracted Drivers Can Endanger Someone With a Spinal Cord Injury

    My spinal cord injury journey started with a fall in my own home in 2019.  I was sitting in my recliner chair watching a movie with my legs propped one behind the other.  As I sat relaxing and enjoying my weekend afternoon, my left leg went, unknowingly, completely numb.  After a period of about one hour, I started to stand up and the plan was to go to the kitchen less than 10 feet away and get an ice-cold glass of tea.  I never made it to the kitchen. When I attempted to stand, my left leg gave out and my body completely collapsed to the hard tile floor.  I jarred my cervical spine in my neck and felt extreme pain instantaneously.  I sat on the floor for a moment and attempted to stand.  My leg numbness persisted and would not support my weight.  So, I remained on the floor until I regained feeling.  It took a few minutes but eventually, the feeling came back, and I was able to place myself back in my chair.  I did not realize what I had done at the time.  I thought it was a standard sprain in my neck and I felt with time it would heal. After a couple of weeks, the pain did not improve.  I had trouble turning my head to the left.  This concerned me as I use the maneuver to do things like look over my left shoulder while driving and checking for oncoming traffic.  When the injury did not heal, I presented to my family physician and described my symptoms, and I informed her of my fall.  I was advised to seek out yoga and get a massage. Over a period of several weeks, I did as I was instructed.  I noticed that when the masseuse was massaging my neck primarily at the base of my skull, there was a burning sensation in that area.  I did not understand what this meant at the time. The house I lived in at the time was a two-story structure with stairs between the first and second floors.  This quickly became problematic.  I began to experience weakness on the left side of my body which also happened to be where my injury was in my neck.  This problem was exhibited in the form of multiple falls down the stairs, reinjuring my cervical spine every time I fell, and it was excruciating.  I repeatedly injured my elbows, arms, and legs as well and ended up with bruises.  Finally, the last time I fell down the stairs, I informed my wife I wished to sell the home as I was tired of navigating the stairwell. After all this time, I kept complaining to my doctor over several visits that I was falling and experiencing bilateral body weakness primarily in my arms.  My spine was never imaged while under the care of that practice, so my injury went unknown and untreated.  Two years passed by.  I would frequently feel dizzy and had other falls.  I began to use a walking cane and finally ended up using a wheelchair that had been approved by my health insurance.  And yet, the pieces were never connected. In 2021, I saw an independent doctor from my disability attorney.  He immediately noticed problems with my body upon examination and inquired as to whether I had an MRI of my spine.  I told him no.  His next advice was to see a neurologist and demand one.  I did as instructed.  Finally, after MRI, I was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury in my cervical spine from C3-C7.   All my doctors could do was apologize and send me to a neurosurgeon.  I left the practice that missed my diagnosis and sought other care. Upon examination of my imaging and physical, the surgeon reluctantly stated that he could not help me, to let no one touch my neck, and he told me he felt sad for me and apologized.  I felt lost.  What was next for me?  Paralysis?  My mind began to wander into unhealthy thoughts of what my future looked like. Then, in 2022, I was in a car accident where I was rear-ended by a distracted driver in a pickup truck.  I was struck from behind in my small SUV and instantly received whiplash and a splitting headache.  I ended up in urgent care and received more imaging.  The doctors discovered that my spinal injury had worsened, and my spinal bones were pressing against my spinal cord and the nerves inside it causing further dysfunction.  I was told by the doctors that one more hit like that could “snap” my neck and it would be lights out. Now, I drive even more cautiously.  I frequently check my mirrors and can exhibit anxiety over what could potentially be another accident.  I have considered no longer being behind the wheel.  However, that would not save me in the event of being involved in an accident as a passenger in a vehicle with another driver.  I try not to dwell on what other drivers are doing and focus on my task at hand.  I am, however, always on guard.  I always play defense behind the wheel, for even another minor accident inducing whiplash could be my undoing. I feel like it is always a matter of time before getting entangled with another distracted driver.  With millions of cars on the road and opportunities everywhere for people to not be paying attention to what they are doing, I just hope that my injury remains unaffected.  But I feel the clock is ticking.  So, to other drivers on the road, please, please devote your full attention to driving when you’re behind the wheel.  Even what would seemingly be a minor accident can have disastrous effects on other people.

    The Hyperfocus Day, Low Motivation Day, and Other Ways ADHD Impacts Me

    I often get asked what it feels like to have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or what a typical day looks like for someone who has ADHD. It’s a tough question to answer because the thing is that no two days are the same with ADHD. The only consistent thing about ADHD is its inconsistency. And it’s not just that some days are “good” and some days are “bad,” but rather that there are different characteristics of harder or easier days that make them different. So instead of speaking about what a typical day with ADHD looks like, I can speak to some of the high-level categories of types of days that I have. The Hyperfocus Day This type of day is characterized by an indeterminate period of time in which I am extra-super-focused on one particular thing. If I’m lucky, I’ll be focused on that deliverable at work that I’m falling behind on, or that chore I’ve been putting off for far too long. This is rarer because all the stars have to align in order for me to focus on the thing I really need to be focused on. When this magical type of rare hyperfocus happens, it’s incredible. In university, I’d call this my “Power Hour” and I’d be able to write a stellar paper in one night. It would usually be the night the paper was due because pressure and stress can sometimes induce hyperfocus, AKA the fire under my ass I’d been wishing and hoping for. More often than not, I get hyperfocused on something wildly unnecessary, like researching luxury vacation homes I will never be able to afford, or understanding the history of a random ancient empire. With hyperfocus, you don’t really get to decide what gets your focus, you just have to go along for the ride and before you know it, it’s 3 a.m. The Hyperfocus Crash Inevitably, after every hyperfocus day comes a crash day. On these days, I run a deficit of FocusBucks. Essentially, all my focus power was eaten up the previous day in order to hyperfocus, kind of like a cash advance, and today I’m paying the price for it. The stark contrast between hyperfocus days and crash days is extreme and gives me a bit of “ADHD whiplash .” I find myself foggy, a bit disoriented, and dead tired. Sometimes it takes more than one day to recover from a hyperfocus day, and I never really know how long it will take. The Low Motivation Day On these days, ADHD gets to hang out with one of its best friends: depression . In fact, it’s hard to say whether my low motivation is driven by ADHD or depression , and I’m often unsure of what the cause is. Having little to no motivation is hard because I often have things that I need to do, and maybe even want to do, but it’s like I physically can’t. You know when you’re in a car and your seatbelt locks so you can’t move forward at all? That’s what it feels like — like there’s this invisible force holding me back, and there’s nothing I can do to change it. I’m tired and bored, but have zero desire to do anything or get going. The worst part is that more often than not, I probably have a fairly large to-do list that I just can’t start on. I find these days happen the most when I have the most to do, and the mounting stress of having to do it all makes me feel like I can’t even start. The Busy Bee Day Busy Bee days are by far the most chaotic type of day. It’s when I work on about 17 different things at once, and feel like I’m doing a lot or being super productive and multitasking. In reality, because I’m bouncing around from one thing to the next in rapid succession, I rarely actually complete anything and at the end of the day, I’m left wondering where all the time went. The frustrating part of these days is that I feel really tired, as if I’ve accomplished or done a lot, but then I have nothing to show for it. Heightened Sensitivity Day Some days, I feel overly sensitive from an emotional point of view. My rejection sensitive dysphoria ( RSD) is at an all-time high, I feel like everyone hates me, and I have no self-esteem or confidence. On these days, I feel isolated, alone, or abandoned and tend to overthink or overcriticize how I act in my relationships . The only consistent thing about ADHD is its inconsistency. Sensory Overload Day TOO LOUD. TOO BRIGHT. TOO MANY PEOPLE. TOO MUCH STIMULATION. Sensory Overload Days are the days where everything just feels like a bit too much and I get overwhelmed. I often find it triggers my anxiety , and makes it hard to do much else because I find environments that are usually OK too stimulating and stressful. It’s difficult to define what level of light is too bright or what level of noise is too loud because it changes depending on the day. The “Oops, My Bad” Day Even on a good day I’m forgetful, but on “oops, my bad” days, I find myself constantly apologizing because I’m extra absentminded or forgetful. It’s like there’s fog inside my brain and I feel very out of it. I might be late, forget our plans, or miss something important. What makes me sad about this type of day is that it usually doesn’t just impact me, but can hurt the people around me. The Steady Eddy Day These days are the best because on Steady Eddy days, I get to forget I have ADHD. Maybe my medication is working well, or maybe I slept really well, or maybe it’s a combination of things. Either way, on these days I feel calm and can consistently do the things I want to do — whether it’s work, chores, or social activities. I love these days because they feel so natural and I often don’t even notice they’re happening. They are rare, but can really make up for the other days. Though I’ve categorized these as different days, it doesn’t mean that I can’t experience multiple types of days at once, but I usually find one of them dominates even in the presence of other experiences. And while this is how I experience my ADHD, it may be a bit different for other people. Because of the unpredictable nature of ADHD, I often feel like I am unpredictable and that can be hard for myself and the people around me. My hope is that those without ADHD are able to understand a bit more about how varied and “all over the place” my experience can be, and can offer some patience as I navigate a multitude of experiences.

    Community Voices

    How am I doing?

    When someone asks how I'm doing, I'm going seems to be the only way I can think of to put into words how im feeling. Im a single mum to a wee 4 year old boy who has a severe learning disability along with cerebral palsey with dystonia. It was his birth and the trauma of it that brought on ptsd but anixety has always been there from as early as 4 years old (thats when my own dad left). At beginning of lock down I watched "13 reasons why" on netflix and it brought back alot of memories I hadn't realised at the time where abusive/sexual assult/emotional abuse the list goes on, I mean even memories i hadnt known about, someone once told me once you open pandoras box there's no going back and thats litetally what it has felt like. While all these realisations are coming out im still having to parent as many of us do. Childs dad takes him for 1 hour every night and to be honest thats more hassle to get ready for than its worth and most nights i come back feeling crap because he has told me im a part time mum can call me all the names of the day,then next day its whiplash as he says I'm a good mum, its just mentally draining. He has him overnight 1 night at wkend and theres always a story when he comes back how difficult he was or what I could do better. I send absolutely everything down right down to a list of his routine and meds. It gets alot and while doctor has said ptsd, i have researched anixety depression, bipolar disorder, ocd, adhd and autism. I would love some clarity and ive such a long road of councelling needed im on a waiting list for cbt but that is long and nothing else offered as of yet, but I just keep going and try to remember everyone has their reasons they are the way they are #anixety #PTSD #CBT #13ReasonsWhy #singlemummy #cerebalpalseyawareness

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    Devon Shapland

    Why I Refuse to Compromise My Mental Health for a Job

    Years of self-analysis and self-love has led me to develop a strong self-confidence. I am grateful for the strength that allows me to recognize and to leave toxic relationships. I walk away like I’m headbanging at a System of a Down concert — no f***s given, neck aching with whiplash. I do not give people permission to disrupt my peace. My work relationships, however, are different. It’s stumbling into a mosh pit at a Taylor Swift concert. I did not know you were trouble when I walked in. I didn’t expect red flags to trip me up. I have been in denial of toxic work environments for nearly my entire professional experience. Because, of course, when you jump from one workplace environment to the next to the next, it starts to seem like you are the common factor of failure. To answer the question, “Why is it so difficult for me to get a job?” I have become self-critical. I have a college degree, I ace interviews, so why am I not as successful as I want to be? Well, maybe it’s my resume — maybe I don’t seem impressive enough. Or maybe I just need to tough out those uncomfortable situations at work. Maybe I’m difficult to work with and I’m not a people person or a team player. I’ve challenged myself to change careers in the middle of the pandemic. I’ve challenged myself to go back to my previous career when six months of job searching turned up zilch. And then I quit when I got a new job. And then I quit that new job. So what the heck was going on here? Was I such a “weenie” I couldn’t meet simple job expectations? What was it about me that wasn’t enabling me to keep a job for longer than a year? In the midst of texting a mental health hotline, as well as texting a group of friends, feeling like rock bottom kept becoming even rockier, I challenged myself to look outward. “I’ve looked inward and sought to self-improve,” I told myself. “What about my job environments? What aspects of those jobs do I wish were better?” Cue the lightbulb moments: My jobs made me miserable. Why? Well, maybe because I wasn’t getting the support I needed while also facing unrealistic expectations. I wasn’t getting positive verbal reinforcement from my higher-ups, and that lack of validation of doing a good job hit my self-confidence. When I was vulnerable to a coworker and expressed I needed a mental health sick day, I was viewed as “not a team player” by higher-ups. When I officially declared the need for mental health accommodations, I felt like the weakest link (and it was a months-long process to obtain only one of the four accommodations I requested). I am someone who places a lot of value on my ability to pass as “neurotypical” and “hardworking” and “a regular employee.” But that’s not my truth. So, it’s no wonder faking it, with the belief I can “fake it ‘til I make it” led me to failure after failure with my job situations. The reality is, I am someone who needs an employer who will respect mental health days, and who will encourage and praise me in addition to criticize my work performance. It has taken multiple rock bottoms for me to realize and recognize workplaces can be toxic. Jobs that don’t allow me to be my authentic, mentally-ill self are jobs that prevent me from being able to work to the best of my ability. When I feel pressured to present as neurotypical, I burn myself out and become resentful toward my employer. And I quit. The quitting is an action of self-preservation. It is not an act of cowardice or lacking resilience. It has been my unconscious recognition I deserve better. I think this realization allows me to search for a work environment that acknowledges and genuinely promotes mental health. Instead of my previous approach of searching for a job by submitting dozens of resumes to companies, I have become more mindful. I have a part-time job, at the moment. My situation is stable enough to allow me to consciously search for a good job. And that is something I do not wish to compromise on. I am focusing my energy and intentions toward finding a good job where the environment promotes my mental health instead of hinders it. I want to find a good job where I want to stay for longer than a year. I believe I can obtain job stability by remaining uncompromising toward my truth: I am a person with mental illness, and that mental illness requires patience and compassion presented in judgment-free sick days and positive reinforcement. The absence of these work environment features is the presence of red flags. And I hope I can unapologetically headbang away from bad jobs  to crowd-surf my way into a good job.

    Community Voices

    When therapy is too triggering

    I'm with a fairly new therapist, whom I like so far. But CPTSD symptoms are raging. I've been in therapy for years, processed a lot, but am in a fragile spot now. Trying to move on and heal, but then I'm dragged back again in my head. To all those feelings, flashbacks, nightmares. Is there anything that helps or any suggestions? I'm going to speak with my therapist about it and maybe for now focus on something else.

    I'm scared to go just because of the whiplash. But I need to talk with someone to stay afloat. The goal is to treat my complex trauma without going into a meltdown.

    Has anyone had trouble like this? #CPTSD #PTSD #complextrauma #Trauma #Abuse #Depression #Anxiety #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #Nightmares #neglect

    14 people are talking about this
    Mel Hebert

    Why Cancer Remission Can Bring Up Complicated Feelings

    My husband and I were seated in front of my oversized computer monitor waiting for another video visit with my new oncologist. I had just switched providers to get a second opinion, and this was my first meeting with him. Earlier, he had said I’d most likely need a stronger chemotherapy regimen, so my husband and I sat side by side. He had a notebook to write things down and my heart was pounding with anticipation. But then, almost magically, the doctor came on and said those three words every cancer patient I know wants to hear. He explained what was found in my restaging process of biopsies and PET scans, then proceeded to tell me, “You’re in remission. Your cancer cells are sleeping. It will come back eventually, but for now, you no longer need treatment.” Naturally, I clarified, “So, I don’t need any more chemo right now?” He said I didn’t. And everyone around me was so overjoyed. My husband wanted to celebrate. My mom was ecstatic. My mother-in-law nearly cried. Yet I sat there feeling nothing but anxiety. I didn’t feel happy about it. Because if I wasn’t in active treatment for cancer, what curveball was coming next? Throughout my diagnosis, my husband and I found solace in humorously calling my life “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” To be honest, I don’t remember what happened in the actual book series, but the title was fitting. My entire life has been trauma after trauma, so adding on medical trauma was just another checkmark off the list. It was only a joke because we were serious, though. If I’m being honest, 2021 was one of the hardest years of my life. It started with multiple hospitalizations, then an intensive therapy program, then a cancer diagnosis, which meant that I couldn’t work my dream job when I graduated college due to the treatment. From start to finish, it’s been one whiplash after another. The entire year was spent mourning my health. And now, a doctor was telling me I was on the road to getting my health back. So, why wasn’t I happier about being in remission? As my husband took me out to Olive Garden to celebrate, I found myself with clenched teeth, trying to find it in me to smile and be as carefree as he was. Still, I didn’t see how everyone else could be so elated. All this meant was that another curveball was coming to blindside me soon and this time I didn’t know what it was. I felt anxious and scared and had an enormous sense of dread. I had just gotten into a comfortable routine with the cancer thing. I didn’t have it in me to adjust to whatever terrible thing was coming next. And on top of that, I felt bad about feeling bad. Everyone around me was happy, and there I was, being pessimistic and bringing the mood down. That created a lot of guilt, yet I couldn’t let my anxieties go because, in order to protect myself, I couldn’t be happy-go-lucky. I had to be guarded and anxious. Because if I wasn’t, the next unfortunate event would surprise me again, and I didn’t want any more surprises. I’ve had enough of those to last a lifetime. Two weeks have passed since then, and it still feels odd. I’m not entirely anxious about being in remission anymore, but it’s rare that I’m boasting proudly about it. I’m still apprehensive, but I’ve also realized that being in remission is a blessing and I now get to go back to living my life again. Even if that fact terrifies me, I still get to go back to living my life. I’m just hoping there won’t be any more bombshells to deal with as I do. But even if there are, I know I can handle it. I did handle cancer, after all. I’d just prefer to live a life free from sucker punches like getting diagnosed with cancer or being in the ER six times in a four-month timespan. I’m hoping I can find a new “normal” soon.

    Community Voices
    Community Voices

    Hi, my name is AllisunStarshine. I’m new to The Mighty and am excited to connect! I have newly diagnosed Fibromyalgia, Chronic Migraines, Anxiety, Depression and a "recovering" whiplash injury. I am stoked to not feel so alone with my health.


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    Community Voices

    I realized I hadn’t updated my “medical conditions” list on my medical ID bracelet site in awhile. I realized after looking over my list that most of my conditions are “invisible”, except for my knee problem that I wear a knee brace for and sometimes use a cane. So often, I feel overwhelmed by the number of conditions I live with (Am I a “bad seed”?) and the physical and emotional pain that they cause; even the ones that have been “repaired” have come with lingering pain from scarring, incomplete cure or subsequent Dx. I’m thankful for my caring husband and a few really close friends who understand to a point. But even they get tired of my need to share my emotions about what I’m going through. I’m thankful for this group who gets what I mean and can give support without judgment or weariness.
    I’m no longer able to work fulltime; I used to be an educator in various special education programs as well as in schools.
    I try to help others who have conditions like mine as well, so I’m not just a “taker”.
    Here is my list. Dates indicate either diagnosis date or surgery date.

    Right inner ear imbalance 1998
    Narcolepsy 1999, 2021
    Allergies - plants, animals, foods and meds
    Sliding hiatal hernia 2011
    Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction Type 3 2007 - result of gallbladder removal 2005
    Diabetes Type 2 1996
    GERD 2005
    Mild/moderate disc degeneration neck & low back and mild spinal stenosis
    Slip & fall back injury 10/15- MRI Nov 2017 SI joint injury
    Fibromyalgia - 1995
    Sleep apnea 2019
    History of ruptured ovarian cysts 2006 -
    Recurrent tingling/"electrical shocks" all over body 2007 - diagnosed as Small Fiber Polyneuropathy 2020
    Scoliosis (curved and twisted)
    Right knee cartilage deterioration (injured 1979 & 1986) - diagnosed permanently dislocated kneecap 2019
    Arthritis - neck, hips, knees, hands
    Carpal Tunnel syndrome - 2019
    Bursitis - left hip 2017
    Recurrent "tennis elbow"
    Plantar fasciitis and tendonitis both feet - custom orthotics 1991
    Fatty liver
    Cardiac "regurgitation"
    Major Depression,
    Anxiety, C-PTSD, possible BPD
    Multiple concussions (5)
    Multiple whiplash injuries
    Vaginal Hysterectomy with Rectocele and Cystocele repairs - 2018 - Urinary incontinence
    Frequent Migraines

    #ChronicPain #MentalIllness

    #SexualAbuse #SexualAssault
    #PostconcussionSyndrome #SmallFiberPolyNeuropathy

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