WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America
WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America

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Gina Owens
Fulton, MS

I am 36 years old and I have been "COMPLETELY DISABLED" since February of 1998, with Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, and Chronic Fibromyalgia. I basically diagnosed myself, at first, because the doctors wouldn't, "label" me with these "horribly debilitating diseases"! I knew something was terribly wrong with me the first time I got up to walk across the floor and I couldn't (not because I was terribly fatigued), but I literally could not pick up one foot and put it in front of the other! Doctors told me I had Hypoglycemia, Thyroid trouble, stress, and a whole host of other things, and I just kept on getting worse the whole time.

For months I still tried to work until February 18,1998 when I was picked up by an ambulance and taken to the E.R., not able to speak, totally exhausted, in chronic pain all over my body, and completely lethargic. After this, I spent the next 18 months not being able to talk at all, or talking like a stroke patient. I'm still in chronic pain everyday! I have my wheelchair, my TENS Unit, my Vit's. and I use heating pads a lot.

I have to keep my feet elevated or they swell badly, as do my legs and hips everyday. I'm usually on the couch or in bed, and I can't do very much at all. I am either at home or the doctor's offices. I use my Internet to try to stay up with the outside World. I thank and praise God everyday for bringing me through yet, another day and night. I'm sooo blessed to have the wonderful family and friends that God has so richly placed in my life!! I wrote my whole story, (much longer, with many more details) and I put it on the World Wide Web, if you'd like to read it, send me an email at GinaOwens@webtv.net and I'll send it to you. Thanks for caring"!!!!

Zoe Albright, Stroke
Betty Bennett, Kidney Disease
Roxanne Bedford-Curbow, Seizures
Valerie Brekke, Fibromyalgia
Lily Casura, Chronic Fatigue
Billie Davis, Peripheral Neuropathy
Penny Day, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Julia DeJesus, Seizure Disorder
MS Patient, Fairfax, VA
Charisse Farmer, Hydrocephalus
Katherine Fielder, Chronic Pain
Zoe Francis, Juvenile Diabetes
James Hines, Hemochromatosis
William Holford, Emphysema
Nancy K, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Patricia Lawson, Natural Rubber Latex Allergy
James Locke, Crohn's Disease
Gary Maslow, various
Kathy Matthews, Parkinson's
Andrea Meyer, MS
Gina Owens, Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome
Alicia Salas, Chronic Pain
Allison Scott, Chronic Pain
Deborah Serrano, Stroke
Becky Shively, Phenylketonuria
Jennifer Smallin, Type I Diabetes
Joanna Southerland, Diabetes
Alina Valdes, Cystic Fibrosis
Elizabeth Wertz, Seizures

Jose Pedro Greer, Physician
W.F. Nagle, Physician
Ronda Riebman, Exercise
Cathleen Schilling, Case Manager
Jim Sykes

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