Many of you think of me as somebody who is invincible or super human for keeping our unique family running. The truth is I live each day in chronic pain with a body that I sometimes get mad at since, it is so wore out at only 31 years old. I have a super high tolerance for pain but have not had a day of 0/10 pain in over a decade! Let me start this by saying, I love that my body was able to be strong when I needed it to be strong. It carried our quintuplets over a month longer than most quintuplets are carried. I love that my body was able to breastfeed all of my children’s first year of life. The journeys my body has endured and triumphed through have seemed impossible but yet it did it. When I was in the military, I was injured numerous times and some of the damage is permanent. I now have arthritis to my left ankle, right foot/ankle, right hip, right wrist, right elbow, right shoulder, and lower back. I have degenerative disc disease in my lower back. My ears constantly are ringing from tinnitis and I have a hearing loss. I have sciatic nerve pain radiating down my legs. I have a labral tear to my right hip. I get injections every 3 months in my spine and right hip to prolong when I am going to need further surgeries to repair them. The success rate of these surgeries are 50/50 and require a long down time to heal. I have had hours and hours of physical therapy and occupational therapy. This year, I have really been focusing on my health, well being, and overall outlook. I have worked with therapists virtually to help me cope with some Military Sexual Trauma and PTSD that I have endured. I have also been coping from the OCD and anxiety that stems from these traumas. I still have a long way to go but am glad to finally be able to start to truly heal.
My husband is frequently gone as we all know for long periods of time. What most people do not realize is he is frequently gone for short periods of time between 1-3 weeks, for different worldwide missions. When he is home, he works 40+ hours a week and then flies additional missions or training exercises weekly after work. Having a long recovery period is not something that is achievable currently so all of the other procedures for the ailments above will have to wait awhile.
I often hear that “it is great you had five kids at once so it made an easier pregnancy than being pregnant five times”. I have no idea since I have “only” been pregnant four times in my life. The pregnancy after losing a baby is always scary. I was bombarded at every doctor’s appointment to selectively reduce my pregnancy to twins. I was told repeatedly by my MFM in New Jersey we “were all going to die”, my kids “would have terrible disabilities and suffer”, I was “just selfish since this many kids is a medical nightmare”, and “your husband and you will get divorced”. I am happy to report that none of those things were true. At 6 weeks, I thought I was about to lose the “twins” since that was all we had seen at that point on ultrasound when I started bleeding. It was a subchorionic hemmorrage that eventually disappeared on its own. At 7 weeks, we found out that it was quintuplets and not twins. Our plans completely changed as the military canceled our PCS to northern Alaska. At 17 weeks, I measured “full term” for a singleton pregnancy. I almost lost all the babies at 20 weeks. My body went into preterm labor and the hospital did not know what to do with so many babies. Thankfully, I wasd able to stop the contractions (the hospital did nothing). I fought the military for my medical care and for my husband to be able to be there with me. I flew across the US to Arizona to be alone for 10 weeks of hospital bed rest with the best higher order multiple spec ialist in the world. I had a surgery there to prolong my pregnancy alone. I was terrified when I met with the neonatologist that said if the babies came at 23 weeks (when the surgery was), that the outlook would be grime. I missed milestones of my oldest son during that time. Thank goodness for Facetime. I planned our cross country move, rented a house sight unseen, and prepared for my husband’s arrival 2 days before the babie’s emegency csection. I gained 40 lbs of fluid in the 4 days before they were born, my skin was literally weeping and ripping, and I was on oxygen. I was allergic to the medications needed to keep my body from wanting to deliver the babies but stayed on high doses of it for 8 weeks continously. I delivered almost 17lbs of “just baby” during the quints csection. This was after having contractions for 16 weeks. After delivery, I traveled back and forth to the NICU, unpacked us from our move, recovered from a complicated horizontal and vertical csection, pumped and breast fed like crazy, and was a mom to sweet Conner. I went to physical therapy not only for my military injuries but also for the diastasis recti, and severe abdominal trauma. I have had hernia surgery. The diastis recti caused lots of random issues, like struggling to have bowel movements, urinary incontinence (no matter how many Kegels were completed) and posture issues from lack of having a core or organs where they should be located. Add in another pregnancy of sweet but heavy Gideon. The amount of loose skin I have is crazy and causes many so many rashes and discomforts. It is really defeating to know nothing I can do can on my own can fix the extreme amount of loose skin or the abdominal sepation.
I am so grateful for all my body has endured but being in chronic pain for 10+ years is daunting! It affects literally every aspect of your life. It is mentally and physically draining. If you tapped by blood right now, you would find so much ibuprofen. Anybody who is mil,itary knows the military gives you 800mg ibuprofen for everything. I try to not take anything more since I do not want additional long term damage to my body, have to function for my family, and have to function for my jobs well. I very rarely drink alcohol (maybe once a year) and have never tried drugs (yep, not even marijuana) in my entire life. My half sister has faced many addictions before and I was always worried about having an addiction. I can proudly say she has beaten her addiction, is currently clean, and loving life. I am glad to be given the oppourtunity to get to know her now as an adult. It has been a perk of 2020. I have just adapted and push my body until I can not anymore. There have been many times my body locks up and hurts too bad to move. The kids thankfully have learned to help mommy when I need help up. My body lets me know a storm is coming far before the weatherman does. I have adapted and pushed on since I have so many people depending on me. We never have had hired help or had oodles of volunteers. So, I know I am the rock of our family and must perserver so our family can keep thriving. My mom helps now when she can but has her own health ailments. I never try to be a burden to her or anybody. My family are all my reasons for pushing on even when I am hurting to tears.
I am really in awe that 2020, in all it’s difficulties, has allowed me to get some of me back. I am really focusing on myself so I can keep giving to others in every way. One of the most exciting things, is that I finally got my abdominal region and more fixed! The kids have the first steps now to get their mommy back too. I have always been open about our journey. I try to always find the positives in life, so you won’t find me dwelling on these ailments often.
***Check out the start of my transformation tomorrow 11/02/2020 on Dr. 90210 on E! Hollywood @ 10pm EST. Dr. Kelly Killeen is a magician!***
3 Replies to “Medical Update and a life changing announcement!”
Hope it’s your time!
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Prayers and hugs for a continued outstanding journey!! Your strength and endless love for others are commendable, but I’m thrilled that you can focus on your physical and mental well-being… I’m in awe of that little girl who has grown up and of all you have accomplished in your personal and professional life!! Please continue to share your journey so we can help to celebrate and follow you!! We may not be your rocks, but many pebbles can support rocks wonderfully!!
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Wow! I watched the show last night. You do so much for other people. I hope that you are now feeling your best and that you do not have to go through anymore surgeries. You have such a beautiful family and I think you just started a new career in nursing. You do have a lot on your plate but you do handle it as far as I can see. I have been following you since the babies were born. Best of luck and good health to you.