Welcome! ... What is it like to live with a chronic illness?

Dealing with any chronic health condition, and/or illness, can be a daunting task in-and-of itself. While there are numerous aspects that affect one's everyday functioning and survival, one of the greatest frustrations is the lack of understanding, compassion, and tremendous judgement experienced by an individual struggling with any chronic health problem. While it may be difficult to relate to someone who battles a chronic illness, it is so important for those on the outside looking in to make their best attempt to understand their loved one's challenges.

Several years ago my mother stumbled upon a wonderfully written document called "The Spoon Theory." This piece details what it is like to live with a chronic health condition in simple and relatable terms. In my opinion, it is a must-read for anyone whom is seeking to better understand what it is like to live in a body which is chronically ill.

Trust me ... this piece is enlightening and extremely insightful.

This blog is a commentary on my own very personal, and sometimes very painful and challenging journey, with chronic health conditions (including the auto immune diseases Psoriatic Arthritis & Ankylosing Spondylitis, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto's Disease, Hyper-Mobility Syndrome, PCOS, as well as a spine condition called Spondylolisthesis), and the medical system. While I am not a doctor nor a medical professional of any kind, I am most definitely one very experienced patient! My hope is to share my gained knowledge and experiences with others who deal with similar issues.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spondylolisthesis Resource Links ...

This document contains resource links for everything involving Spondylolisthesis. 

This document contains a compilation of resource links related to Spondylolisthesis. The main intention of this list is to offer everything from general information, treatments, surgical information, disability-related resources, and everything in-between that relates to Spondylolisthesis. I have begun by creating different "categories" as they come to mind. If you have any additional suggestions, please contact me so that I may add resource links to this list. I hope this selection may be helpful when seeking assistance and treatments for a wide array of matters to do with Spondylolisthesis! I will continue to add resource links as I find them, so please check back in the future if you don't see what you're currently looking for ... Please also feel free to contact me at spondyostories@gmail.com with any questions regarding these and other resources!
*Are you interested in joining the *closed* Spondylolisthesis & Retrolisthesis Support Group on Facebook? Please click on the link and ask to join! My.Spondyo.Group 

My most recent support group is called Spondylolisthesis & Pregnancy. If you are a female with this spine condition and would like support and information regarding pregnancy, please click the link and request o join: Spondyo.Pregnancy.Group


Spine Health 

Spine Universe 

Spine Universe (Pertaining to high grade Spondylolisthesis slips)

PubMed Health (U.S. National Library of Medicine - Spondylolisthesis)

OrthoInfo - AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons - Spondylolisthesis)


Laser Spine Institute (Endoscopic Spine Surgery for Spondylolisthesis)

The Bonati Spine Institute (Laser Spine Surgery)

North American Spine (Minimally Invasive Spine Care)

Spine Centers of America 

Mayo Clinic (Back Surgery - When it's a Good Idea & Spinal Fusion - Why it's Done)


Massage Therapist Locator & Referral for the United States (Assists in locating a large number of different kinds of massage therapists/treatments in your given region)

Soma Massage Integration Therapy (Information regarding Soma Massage & Practitioner Locator)

Reiki Energy Work (Definition & General Information about Reiki Energy Work)

Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy for Spondylolisthesis (Spine Universe)

Chiropractic Care for Spondylolisthesis (Spine Universe)


Basic Disability Resources (United States)

Social Security Administration 



AARP Health (Supplemental Insurance Coverage for Medicare - 50 plus & Disabled)

Getting Approved for Social Security Disability Benefits (Post Brenna wrote about obtaining approval for SSDI - Suggestions, Tips & Info., derived from own SSDI case & speedy approval)

Health Insurance Plans (Locate and Compare Health Insurance Plans Online)

Health Insurance Plans (Locate and Compare Health Insurance Plans Online)

"The Spoon Theory" document/But You Don't Look Sick (Gives a wonderful sense of what it's like to live with a chronic health condition - A WONDERFUL way to get others in one's life to truly understand what it's like to live with a chronic illness and/or disability! This website, butyoudontlooksick.com, also offers a large array of additional resources.)

Spondylolisthesis Stories (Brenna's website collecting individual's stories regarding Spondylolisthesis)

Spondylolisthesis Grade 5 (Brenna's personal blog about Spondylolisthesis)

Spondylolisthesis Open Forum on Facebook (Brenna's Spondylolisthesis Facebook Page)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pre & Post Operative X-Rays (From my 1997 surgeries & body traction)

So, I've been waiting quite some time to take photos of my pre & post operative x-rays from my surgeries & full body traction circa 1997, ... and today I finally did it! Yay! I do plan on creating a more extensive post than this in the very near future, but for now, I will simply post my x-rays from way back when to start things off. I am also in the process of getting copies of my more recent x-rays. Specifically the films which show a better picture of what my spine now looks like as a result of the deterioration, degeneration, and early-onset OsteoArthritis in the L4, L3 & L2 vertebras above my fusion region. In addition, I plan on posting my most recent slip found in my neck, located at the C6 & 7, which thankfully is a grade 1/2, but is certainly still troublesome! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to type away! 

                      Pre-Operative 1997 - Complete slip called Spondyloptosis

Post-Operative 1997. After full body traction, which increased my height by 3 inches, but L5/S1 still sits at a grade 5 Spondylolisthesis. 

About Me

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My interest for all things related to health & illness arises from my own struggles with chronic health conditions. I have found it most therapeutic & empowering to write about my many experiences within this realm. Through education, my own research, and my ongoing personal challenges, I am teaching myself how to become my own best advocate. To learn more about me, please see the page entitled "About Cat" located at the top of the page. If you have any questions or comments, you are welcome to contact me through the "about" section listed above, or email me at healthandillness@gmail.com. Please note that this address is also linked through my profiles. Blessings of health, energy and peace.

Questions? Comments? Use the Contact Form or Email healthandillness@gmail.com


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