I Am a Survivor!

I am a survivor. I am sharing the list of diagnoses I have received over the years so you can see why I believe that no matter what a Toxic person tries to do to take me out, they won’t succeed, as I have survived a lot more than they could dish out to me.

I have managed to maintain all of these things and learned how to live in spite of them, there is no way other people would do any real damage to my life!

The life experiences I have had has made me strong, mentally and physically. I have a very high tolerance to pain, even mental, and while I might get down and out at times, I always get back up and find my way to get through. Nothing keeps me down for long!!

Some situations might take longer for me to find a way out, like this mess of a smear campaign, but I have found a way. I accept I am disabled and there are things I will never do again, but I am still deserving to live my life and enjoy what I can get out of it.

A lot of these diagnoses below have similar symptoms, fatigue, brain fog, and always so much pain. I have felt pain every single day since 1991, gabapentin these days help to take most of it away but high doses make me too loopy and I can’t think.

I am a human being deserving to take up space in this world!!

Sharing the story of my life experiences is hard, but in order for me to heal, I needed to do it. I needed to share all the mess of this situation which led to me feeling so bad, all because I had PTSD from before. If I didn’t have these issues, it wouldn’t have been as bad! That is logical.

Mobility is an issue and always will be. What do ya expect with the damage I did in 1991? I am pragmatic enough to know my body would just deteriorate over time, as all things do!! I suspect my spine issues all come from the fall I did that day!

All these diagnoses do play on my mental health as well, as dealing with all the related symptoms takes a toll on you. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, it is a part of my life that I need to take into consideration. It is reality.


Medical Diagnoses – Stella Reddy 

In 1986 I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and have been on medication ever since. I was 20 years old when I was diagnosed with this and have had trouble over the years regulating it. My doctor sent me to Emerg many times as it was too high, only for me to sit there till it came down and they sent me home. Currently, I take 3 pills for it 2 doses of Coversyl and one dose of a water pill. I’ve been doing really good regulating it the past few years!

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/heart-health/high-blood-pressure/about-high-blood-pressure.html


In 1988, when I was 22 yrs old, I was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer, I was 7 months pregnant with my son, and around the same time, I was also diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Disease. I had a hysterectomy in May 1989 when I was 23 and at the same time, they removed parts of both ovaries.

Cancer was removed and my symptoms from ovary disease went away, except for the hair all over that I was stuck with. I have tried various methods to remove the hair I ended up with on my face but find shaving the more convenient option!! lol

I don’t remember much of my recovery from this surgery as my partner was killed in a car accident 4 weeks after my procedure. I lost most of the year that followed.

https://www.cancercareontario.ca/en/types-of-cancer/cervical

https://www.canadianliving.com/health/prevention-and-recovery/article/what-is-pcos-and-how-do-you-know-if-you-have-it


In March 1991 I was involved in a house fire and we lost everything we owned. I got stuck on the 3rd floor and had to jump approx.. 32 feet to the ground to get away from the flames. I lost my voice for over a month from smoke and it never sounded the same since, I broke both femurs, shattered both knees, and smashed my face into the ground which cut open my chin and bottom lip and knocked out various teeth and cracked others.

I spent 3 months in the hospital and had long pins put into my femurs and leg splints put on my legs for my knees to heal. While in the hospital I developed an infection just above my right knee where they screwed in the pin for my femur and had to have surgery to remove the screw and went thru 2 weeks of packing the wound to clear up the infection. That was rough!! I have a hole in my right leg as a result of them removing the infected tissue there.

The screw holding the pin in place in the right hip also backed out, as they called it, and had to be removed. I developed a bone spur from the damage this screw did to my bones and tissue there and I have a hard time laying on that hip, it causes my leg to go to sleep…

I was released in June 1991 and spent 2 yrs in physiotherapy learning to walk again and strengthen my legs and be able to bend my knees. I had one pin in my femur removed from my left leg just over a yr later in June 1992 and the other removed in August 1992.

My brother lived with me during my recovery and physically looked after my children. Due to the damage to my legs, I ended up with my left leg shorter than the other by 1 1/3 inches. This was caused by the way the femur broke.

In 1993 I had what teeth remained, including broken ones, removed and had complete dentures put in place. New dentures in Feb 2019

Every year from 1993 to 1999 I had surgery on alternate knees by Doctor to remove various bits floating in the joint and I developed degenerative arthritis in my knees and a bone spur in my right hip. I was informed by my specialist, that I would end up in a wheelchair within 10 yrs of my knees falling apart. He told me at the time in 1991 that I was too young for knee replacement and he would replace my knees when I either ended up in that wheelchair or I got old enough for them to last me.

Ultrasound in 2018 showed left knee dai 3.2 and right knee dia is 3.8. The left kneecap does get out of the joint at times and I have to put it back in place.

Because of the damage to my legs from all this above, I have developed degenerative arthritis. My knees are falling apart and they hurt to walk, but I do it anyway. Even my thighs hurt at times!

This past Fall, I was lucky enough to be involved in the GLA:D program and it did help to strengthen the muscles in my legs. I would recommend the program to anyone with this arthritis!!


1992 I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with high anxiety. Since 1991, while in hospital I got involved with counselling and spent about 8 yrs with a councillor and mental health groups and was on various medications to help with depression and anxiety.  I have seen doctors for mental health off and on over the yrs since. It was only recently I was told I don’t need counselling anymore on a regular basis!

There is no cure for PTSD, there is only maintaining the many symptoms and there have been situations over the years that triggered my anxiety, like being bullied, but I found that with determination, you can get past it once again. I find that anything is maintainable if you want it bad enough!

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd-in-canada


In November 1999 I was diagnosed with Cancer of the Vulva and as I was moving to Ontario to find work with my spouse at the end of November, I was referred to Dr in Ontario and I had my first surgery to remove various lesions in March 2000.

I have had 15 surgeries since to remove lesions that keep returning with the last major one being in March 2023. Up till this date, I was cancer free for 10 Years!! I had great Doctors in Ontario who looked after me very well. Dr. Sarah Ferguson was my saviour for 17 years!!

Though it took over a year, I now have a Doctor here who is also fantastic! My last appointment was on June 6 when she told me the Lab reported “not clear margins” so I have an appointment in July for laser surgery to remove more of the area. I was told I could lose the clitoris which is daunting, but I can deal with it. I want to live, so will do all I can to do that. That has always been my mentality!

https://cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-types/vulvar/what-is-vulvar-cancer


Since moving to Ontario I have been diagnosed with various health issues such as Fibromyalgia in 2007, Degenerative Disc Disease in the lower spine in 2008, and type 2 diabetes in 2014.

https://arthritis.ca/about-arthritis/arthritis-types-(a-z)/types/fibromyalgia


I have had low B12 since 2009 and from time to time need to get shots to boost it. When I tend to fall asleep while sitting up, it is a sign I need to boost it! I get really sleepy and dragged out when it gets too low…

https://ca.style.yahoo.com/symptoms-of-vitamin-b-12-deficiency-180209205.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAE-aQ56O53OYXPJng1t-kK_eIxUEYjrpJVNb_CrKhYUeNpNU5NggtCfXtW41XBGCIuxGE6H4JTmoenYOVwa7AXDdZSPChsZ_ffykLiqVmT_Fy9eQzNONAtreDkmyhutP3Cog68Jw-qc9mVPcTmiM_v45wtudEe4j14fcYDtz0_eI


In February 2015 I was working and developed a kink in my left shoulder. I ended up in the hospital on Feb 11 due to severe pain and was referred to a Neurologist, who arranged for an MRI of my neck area. I was informed I had a compressed nerve between C5-C6-C7 and was referred to a surgeon. I saw the surgeon in June 2015 and saw another in July 2015 for a second opinion, was informed they cannot operate due to the location and that I would eventually lose the use of my left arm and hand. The nerve compression is causing muscle weakness in the left arm and hand and extreme pain from the shoulder down into the arm into my hand.

As a result, I am not able to type for too long, cannot lift any weight on my left side and have numbness in the outside of my left arm and outside fingers. I was diagnosed with Cervical Spinal Stenosis of C4, C5, C6, and C7 which is causing compressed nerve root in my left arm.

In the past year, I have developed other symptoms, such as incontinence, which tends to be the most embarrassing one but there are products for that… lol It is getting worse and I had a CT-Scan done on my whole spine a little while ago and get the results next week. I am a little nervous but I will do what I need to do to manage it all!

The Doctor thinks my stenosis is spreading into my lumbar area and causing the sensation of walking through the mud at times and the intense pain down the back of my legs. Thankfully, I have options and will see what they suggest!

https://www.healthcentral.com/condition/spinal-stenosis/severe-spinal-stenosis


In 2019 I ended up with a frozen shoulder as I tore a coupe of tendons that took about 2 years to heal. I still don’t have the rotation I once had!

My left arm got frozen, couldn’t move it much as spasms down my arm into my hand. The pain was terrible at times and woke me up at night. I was diagnosed with a torn ligament in the left shoulder at the socket and went thru physio for a few months to get movement back.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rotator-cuff-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20350225


I was being investigated for Cushing’s Disease when the pandemic hit and had a phone conversation with the Doctor about it. I have to take hormone pills for the rest of my life to keep the cortisol production down in my system. They said the constant stress I was under for so long, constantly producing cortisol, caused this in my system, as they couldn’t find anything other cause.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cushing-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351310


Had a mental breakdown in July 2018, and lost 2 days due to psychosis due to severe bullying by tenants in my job. I was the subject of a severe smear campaign online and in person on the property, within 6 websites for 7 years, filled with name-calling and gaslighting.  

I endured various legal actions over 2 years, in the end, they walked and didn’t bother to show up for the hearing scheduled. I called Mental Health Helpline quite a bit during the first couple of years for support. The people working there at the time really helped me when I was struggling.

Went to MD Connected, a walk-in clinic, in July 2018 to see a doctor and was referred to Scarborough Mental Health, and saw a doctor there in November 2018. I was told my PTSD symptoms returned and I was in counselling till the pandemic shut it all down in Feb 2019 and it went to phone consultations till I left in Fall 2020.

I tried suicide twice, once in July 2018 and Oct. In January 2019 I was admitted for a couple of days due to my symptoms of depression and anxiety and they were afraid I would try again. I haven’t though and I won’t. Therapy has helped me so much the past few years, even just having someone to talk to and get all my angst out over it all.


In July 2021 I went to the hospital, as my left knee was swollen and tight, was told after x-rays that I have fluid buildup on my knee. I got cortisone shots hoping this time it would work, but it didn’t. Cortisone never works for me. It has eased off some since but flares up from time to time. I need a knee replacement.

I also had 2 lesions on my back that were biopsied and came back ok by a doctor also in the summer of 2021 Due to my history of cancer, any new skin lesions will be checked!! lol

I have Type 2 diabetes, since the fall of 2011, which I manage by diet these days, no pills for a few yrs but need to be monitored. Diabetes runs in my family and I did have gestational diabetes when I was pregnant both times, was even on insulin then! I am hoping to stave off this getting worse and monitor my levels religiously these days!


I fell down last February 2022 and broke my left ankle in 2 places. leaving me laid up for a few months. With the lack of strength in my arms, getting around on crutches was hard. I was in a cast for a week till they gave me a walking boot, but I couldn’t put weight on it. I spent months in the house, not being able to go too far, then weeks in physio. Yes, I had flashbacks when I went to the same physio dept. that I spent so long in all those years ago as it hasn’t changed much!


Last year, I had my eyes tested, as my sight was getting worse, and now have progressive glasses. As I have diabetes, I got them checked again last month, to be told I have an overabundance of bacterial buildup and I have early signs of glaucoma that she gave me drops for to help.


I don’t need counselling anymore but I have access when I need it. I am maintaining everything to the best of my ability and it all seems to be okay. Even my mental health seems good!

I went for a long walk yesterday and spent over an hour walking around taking in some new changes that happened while I was on the Mainland. This City has grown so much! I am greatly enjoying getting out to see all the new sites!

I did end up Downtown, which is my favourite spot, where I took this pic below of the Fog hugging Signal Hill. It looks so mysterious… lol I love the feel of Downtown, all the old buildings mixing with the new, and of course, the harbour. I have more pics on Facebook!!

When I feel overwhelmed, I go outside and immerse myself in all the sights, sounds, and smells of this beautiful City I now call home. It calms me as no medication ever did. Thinking of all I am grateful for, empowers me to keep looking for more good things!

I am sore today after all I did yesterday, but it was well worth it to me. Meeting my own needs is always worth the effort to me and I will always find the strength to do so.


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