Hi, My name is Noelle Leslie. Everyone calls me Leslie because I was named after my grandmother and my mother so it's less confusing for my family that way. I however prefer Noelle. I was asked by Ms. Dani to introduce myself and explain in a little more detail about
my life and what my problems were. I'm going to try my best to do that and I appolgize in advance if I ramble I tend to do that when I'm nervous. So here goes. I have suffered with chronic pain both emotional and physical more than half my life from different reasons. When I was 13, I was molested by my uncle. Then raped by a high school mate when I was 15. Both of which I blame myself for allowing these things to happen and being so stupid as to not see it coming before it was too late. So I tried to commit suicide. Obviously, it didn't work. My sister found me in time. I had swallowed more than 100 pills, but seeing as my mother worked at the local hospital and didn't want to be embarrassed by my actions they did not take me to the hospital. I was given a bottle of ipicac to help me throw up the pills and they just hoped for the best. I was not taken for any therapy or anything. It was never even discussed. My parents knew nothing about
my uncle or the rape, and yet they never even asked me why I did it. I just was never spoken of.
Then when I turned 18 I had a steady boyfried, who later became my husband, and I wanted to get birth control pills, so I went to the clinic and they did an examination and found out that I had cervical cancer. I was terrified and yet I couldn't tell anyone in my family because they would somehow just blame me. And when I say they I mean my mother. For some reason unbeknownst to me, my mother dislikes me. I am one of nine children. When I was an infant she gave me to my aunt to raise and I didn't come home again until I was 16. I saw her on family gatherings or occasionally when she came over, but I always wondered and still do as to why I was the only one she gave away. I think I was an embarrassment to her in some way. I don't know and probably never will.
Anyway, after my surgery to remove the cancer and a few months of chemotherapy, I was given a clean bill of health and discharged. I lived with my boyfriend at the time, so it was easy to hide my condition from my family.
Then at 20, right before my wedding day, I became pregnant. I wanted the baby, but my new husband did not, so I had an abortion to please him. Something I have never gotten over. Then at after my son was born, when I was 24, I had severe abdominal pain which turned out to me having my gallbladder removed. Oh, I neglected to mention that because I am only 5 foot 3 inches and maybe 105 pounds and my son was almost 11 pounds, he did not fit down the birth canal, but because I had an HMO and the baby was in no distress I had to just wait it out. I was in labor for four days. Then finally a nurse took pity on me and she came in, closed the curtain and said start pushing even though I was only at 8cm. She said just please trust me. And I did. And thank God my son was born 45 minutes later. Afterwards, they took me to the recovery room which you should be moved out of within an hour, but since they had the room and I as so exhausted the nurses let me sleep in recovery for four hours. When they came in to take me to my room, I had hemorrhaged and lost a lot of blood and I was unconscious. I had to have 3 blood tranfusions to save my life.
Okay. Let's see after my gallbladder, I accidently put the cleaning solution to my contacts instead of the lubricating drops in my eyes and burned the outter layer of my eyes off. So for two weeks I could only see shadows and to make maters worse it was Christmas Eve.
There are so many illnesses and injuries that I could write a novel, but I will try and spare you all of that and just go over the worst ones. I became pregnant again with a little girl and when I went to the doctor, he said I was about four to five months along. I knew that wasn't possible because my husband was out of town then. So you can only imagine what he thought. Until they did an ultrasound and found a grapefruit-size tumor in my unterus. They told me my only chance of saving my baby was to have it removed before the baby got any bigger. They assured me that this procedure had been done successfully in the past, but of course there are always risks. I had the procedure and continued on with my pregnancy. In my 6th almost 7th month, I started bleeding and my baby girl died. After they removed her from me, my husband had them get rid of her remains before I woke up. He thought it would be easier for me that way. I could have killed him. I just wanted to hold my baby girl just once, but it was too late. Then at my check up several weeks later, I was told I could not have any more children. And that the tumor could come back or even a bunch of small tumors they did and I had to have several more surgeries to remove them and then to remove the adhesions that formed from those surgeries. After the last surgery to remove adhesions, I began to experience more and more pain. I called the doctor and he said just keep taking the pain meds. Finally, my husband took me to the ER just in the nick of time as they say, I had a huge infection in my uterus that would have killed me with in 48 hours if left untreated. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital on intravenous antibotics to finally get rid of the infecftion.
Then came the car accident. I was riding in the back seat. I took my seat belt off for a minute to tell my boyfriend - my husband had left me by then, he couldn't take all my illnesses - something and before I could lean back and put the seat belt back on he hit an oil slick in the road and the truck we were in flipped six times and landed on top of me. I required a full spinal fusion and six years of healing and therapy to reach MMI I still suffer from chronic pain every day of my life. Not just my back, but unexplained abdominal pain, constant infections and now my teeth from all the stomach acid getting below the gum line from being sick are breaking below the gum line and there is nothing they can do except dentures or implants. Neither of which I can afford even with my insurance.
I used to be a court reporter and I loved my job, but with all my health issues I had to quit and file for disability
since I was only 32 when I filled, I don't get very much every month. I am trying to find some kind of typing job that I can do from home. Since I had a grand mal seizure my driver's license was taken away. So I have no transportation to and from a job. It's hard enough getting friends to take me to my doctors appointments.
And on a final note, six months ago my son was diagnosed with Spina Bifida. I was so wrapped up in my own health issues I failed to see just how sick my son was. Try and live with that guilt. I am doing everything I can to help him, but he also suffers in severe chronic pain and can't get his medications either.
So we take it one day at a time and just pray that somewhere out there somethings gotta give and things will get better.
Well, Ms. Dani, I'm sure that's much more information than you planned on, but there it is. And I would just like to say thank you for asking. So few people ask about me these days, it's kind of nice to know someone was interested enough and cared enough to even ask.
Thank you and God Bless, Noelle68