RaQia's Medical Recovery x3

HUMBLE PIE TIME

Wow, so… Hi. My name is RaQia Lowo and I'm at a loss for words. That, by the way is saying something, as I’m known for being long-penned. I enjoy writing,  it’s one of the few things I can do right now without much pain. However, as a private person, I’m having a little difficulty opening up about my personal health issues on the World Wide Web and asking for money, let alone having a  catchy clever intro to grab your attention. I debated on asking a friend to do this for me, but this is my saga. No one knows all the pain and emotional stress I’m experiencing, so they can’t tell it like I can. It’s going to be long, like my medical journey. I hope it’s engaging, it has certainly has caught my attention… Here we go.

I have two young-adult sons, whom I call my Boyz-to-Men.  I love to take photos of them walking away from me. It means that they’re transitioning into manhood. 


With my current situation, this photo is now bittersweet.

They are doing their best to assist me during this physical and financial hardship. However, one has recently relocated to another state, and the other is a senior away at college… so this medical crisis could not have come at a worse time.

In addition to that, about a year and a half ago I took a leap of faith, left my job of 10 years as a Paraprofessional Educator and started my own business called Motivational Educators (ME). As with any new business venture I’ve had my challenges and was just really getting started when my medical problems surfaced.

M.E. is the best part of me. It combines my creative talents with my love for children and desire to see them succeed.  My mentoring and tutoring company incorporates raps, songs, and real-life connections to keep students engaged and excited about learning. The company slogan is, “We Make You Want To Raise Your Hand.”

I introduced a social media persona (Lady Lo) who raps and talks to students to keep them engaged and motivated. I’ve included a couple of videos, one of which I created the night before my surgery. My desire is to reach and connect struggling students via the internet. Ironically, now I’m the one who is struggling and reaching out on the internet.

HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED

I had been dealing with joint pain for a long time, and in 2013 I had both of my knees replaced. The recovery was a long, and painful road but I felt healed for the most part. That is until last November 2016 when my joint pain resurfaced with a vengeance. It was now affecting my neck and back, as well. I was advised to try physical therapy for my neck and knees, but this was unsuccessful, and I knew something was wrong.

In addition to achy joints, I had nerve pain as well. I’ve been to a Neurologist, a Gastroenterologist, a Rheumatologist (for a Positive ANA test) and a Pain Specialist, but nothing concrete was diagnosed. During this time, I began having intense abdominal pain and other female issues, so I went to an OB/GYN doctor as well.

Rather than go TMI on you, let’s just say for my age I should not have been experiencing certain symptoms, so I underwent a couple of tests/procedures. I had an ultrasound which revealed that I now had 4 large fibroids, one of which was pressing on my lower back. (Previously, I had 2 smaller fibroids… I told y’all this was TMI.) There were also a couple of abnormalities in the results. I had hoped to wait until December when students were on break and my children would be home for the holidays. Unfortunately, the pain intensified, and I was advised by my GP to have the surgery asap.

On September 29, 2017, I underwent a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy (TAH) for large fibroids and abnormal bleeding with hopes of alleviating acute/chronic abdominal, back, hip, knee pain and other female (TMI) issues. The surgery did not reveal any other abnormalities and I was discharged on 10/1/2017. I was hoping for the standard recovery time of 4-6 weeks, 8 weeks tops.


                                                                       "PostOptimism"

Two days later, on October 3, 2017, I began experiencing shortness of breath. I went to the ER and was diagnosed with a life-threatening Pulmonary Embolism (PE), which is a blood clot in the lungs. I was re-admitted to the hospital.

                                                                                  Blood Clot 

My oldest son was scheduled to leave (out of state) that day. I remember telling him when we arrived that we’d be out of the hospital in time for his flight. Unfortunately, he had to change his flight plans, and schedule more time off his new job.

I almost ignored the symptoms. I was just a few days out of surgery, on strong pain meds and all I wanted to do was sleep. I’m so glad I didn’t because, unlike Deep Vein Thrombosis (which is a clot in your legs) this clot went straight to my lungs. When I got the diagnosis, I was floored. I was thinking that maybe I needed a breathing treatment or something. The LAST thing I expected to hear was that I had a BLOOD CLOT in my LUNG. It was a complete shock to me since I asked my surgeon at my PreOp appt. if I would need to be on blood thinners for 2 weeks PostOp (like I was when I had my knees replaced.) She assured me that they would not be necessary. This wasn’t that kind of surgery, she said. :/

On October 4, 2017, I was prescribed blood thinners for 6 months. This took my recovery and emotions in a totally different direction. Discouraged, but determined not to let this dip in my “rollercoaster” ride recovery keep me down, I pressed on. In a couple of weeks, I was beginning to feel like a person again.


PLOT TWIST

Within a few weeks after being diagnosed with a Pulmonary Embolism I began to feel a burning and tingling sensation on the left side of my lower back. I attributed it to my TAH recovery since the sensation sometimes wrapped around to my abdomen. Within a week this sensation morphed into a fierce sharp, stabbing pain which radiated from my back down my thigh, to my knee, leg, and then on to my foot. Once more I returned to the ER on November 11, 2017, this time limping. I was told it was most likely Sciatica and referred to a spine specialist who on November 15th, diagnosed me with Spondylolisthesis, which I pronounce, “Spondy-LOL-is-thesis” to keep my sense of humor intact since clearly, my spine has other plans.

WHAT THE WHAT IS SPONDYLOLISTHESIS?

Here’s a link explaining Spondylolisthesis:

https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/tc/spondylolisthesis-topic-overview#1

Essentially, Spondylolisthesis is when one of the vertebrae in your spine slips forward and onto the one below it. As awful as this condition is, I was relieved to know that I wasn’t crazy, and I finally found the source of my chronic pain. Unfortunately, the vertebrae do NOT snap back in place, so it’s not quick, or easy fix. It’s a condition that comes with joint, nerve, muscle pain and weakness, fatigue and limited range of motion. This new pain is amplified and much worse than any joint pain I’ve ever experienced... and I’ve had BOTH of my knees replaced. In short, It’s debilitating. Even prescription pain medication does little to nothing for the pain.

THE THIRD TIME’S NOT A CHARM

For the past few weeks, I can’t stand, or walk for more than 5 minutes without pain in my lower/mid back, neck, hip and/or and legs. Any daily mobile activity over 10 minutes ends in me limping to find somewhere to sit, or lay down w/a heating pad. Sitting and sleeping are a challenge too. l'm somewhat like Goldilocks, minus the bears.

Due to blood thinners, I cannot take any anti-inflammatories, have surgery or receive spinal injections to alleviate the pain for another 4-5 months. When the Dr. told me this, I was devastated and felt like I had the wrong surgery.

Within the span of little over a month, I have had a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy, a Pulmonary Embolism and been diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis... Can I get some fries with this combo? I was joking about the Hysterectomy surgery being the sequel to my knee replacements and saying, “For My Next Act...” SO not funny anymore.

I am now recovering from 3 MAJOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS at ONCE, each with their own set of difficulties, and overlapping symptoms. The latter the condition has knocked me totally off my game, and I play hurt.

For now, I’ve been prescribed physical therapy. Which I translate, “here’s some pain to help with your pain.” Thanks, Doc. Unfortunately, with my recovering abdominal muscles, the benefits of the therapy are currently limited, but like I tell the boys and girls, “If you give 100% that’s your “A!" That little slogan stings right now, as I have days where I barely have 50% to give.  

WHAT ARE THE FUNDS FOR?

As a new small business owner, I do not have Short Term Disability or ANY source of income right now (except for one student I’m still tutoring twice a week), so I need help paying my household bills. I also have an outstanding medical bill, physical therapy sessions, several upcoming bills for my CT Scan and bloodwork (PE), an MRI (spine) and God knows what else.

I hope to gain some sort of relief with physical therapy eventually and restart my tutoring services and clubs in the new year, with a focus on the upcoming testing. But to be honest, I don’t know what the future holds for me, not being able to take the standard medication for my spine condition has slowed things way down. All I know is I can’t function right now with this excruciating pain and fatigue, and I miss working with kids.

My friends and family have helped as much as they can financially afford. I have exhausted financial my resources, juggled bills and pinched pennies every possible way. I have no other choice but to humbly and publicly ask for support. Ironically, the M.E. catch phrase is, “Help ME Help You.” Now I simply ask that you help me.


OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT M.E.

This detour is not what I had planned when I took a leap of faith to start my own business. I was revved up about touching the future. With this in mind, I ask that if you can’t support monetarily, (or even if you can) would you PLEASE visit my social media pages and share my work to keep my business going.

A Like, Comment or Share is worth more than silver or gold. It would truly motivate me, and lift my spirit during this distressing time.

More importantly, if you have children, teach children, or even SEE children walking past you, STOP THEM and show them my videos.  :) Let them know that I care about their struggles, even as I'm going through my own. 


I made this video the night before my surgery. I had a feeling I wouldn't be able to do another production for a while... I was right.

I appreciate any and all support you have to offer.

~No amount is too small, when it comes from a big heart. "A Hay-penny will do. If you haven't got a hay-penny, God bless you." <3

Thank you in advance,
RaQia (A.k.a. ~ Lady Lo)

Here are my Social Media Sites:

https://www.facebook.com/motivationaleducators/

https://www.instagram.com/ladylo_me/?hl=en

https://twitter.com/Motiv_Educators

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN44daZfIHqyvlcpJB2QGfw/videos

Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 27 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 27 mos
  • Kavin C 
    • $50 
    • 29 mos
  • Kayode Lowo 
    • $40 
    • 30 mos
  • Dominic Poon 
    • $100 
    • 30 mos
See all

Organizer

RaQia Lowo 
Organizer
Norcross, GA
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