My name is Marion Pound. I am 43 years old. Here is my story.
A Body Betrayed: A story about 22 years of physical hell
By: Marion Pound – caregiver for life
My name is Marion Pound. I am 43 years old. This story is about a body betrayed — a story about 22 years of physical hell. Let’s start at the beginning.
I was 21 years old when it all began. It was what I would come later to know as PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder). The actual reality of it all is much worse than the words sound. For the next 9 years of my life I would be miserable. I had no regular monthly cycle. I had constant pain around that time of the month. I had severe mood swings (from up to down and back again).
I decided at the age of 30 years old that I was done with all of it. I had to go through three different birth control medications, migraines for days, canker sores in my mouth, and much more. One day I had absolutely had enough. I convinced a very wonderful doctor that I was done with all of it. She agreed to help me. At 30 years old I had a full abdominal hysterectomy. That was truly something to survive.
After the surgery was over, I found out that I had diverticulitis. Also, I realized that all of my PMDD symptoms were gone. The healing process took awhile. The doctor did warn me that I would physically turn 50 years old over night. I thought she was kidding. Let me tell you the night sweats and cold flashes were truly no joke. This is where the problem with my large breasts begin.
As I aged I wanted more control over my hormones so I started taking estrogen. I had no idea that it would create a problem with my breasts. Low and behold they started growing. Mind you they were not small to begin with. So, I stopped taking the medication for a time. Several years later I tried again, and the same thing started to happen again. So, I have never taken them since.
Let me take a moment to tell you about myself. I am an amazing human being. I am a caregiver of 22 years and counting. I have cared for many people over the past two decades of my life. All the way from the basic in home care all the way to hospice. The one that has stayed with me throughout my caregiver journey is my best friend’s mother. She is the reason I am telling this story today. She was our rock through no matter what life could throw at us. I took everything I learned from caring for her for 10 years at home to the field of caregiving in facilities and in home care.
My body started to truly betray me after I left the long term care field to be my best friend’s caregiver. It started with my shoulders in 2014. I ended with distended rotator cuffs in both my shoulders. I also started feeling constant and chronic lower back pain. I earned this part of my betrayal from working with the elderly pushing wheelchairs, moving hoyer lifts, pushing sit to stands with 300 pound people inside them, and of course pushing med carts up and down halls.
I was turned out by the long term care community. They said that my pain was not for them to be responsible for. So, I moved on. I did not give up on being me. I was still my best friend’s caregiver.
Over time things got worse. I had carpal tunnel relief surgery in both my wrists. The pain in my lower back slowly became worse. The pain in my lower back has slowly taken over the past 6 years (2014 to 2020) taken over my every day. I have difficulty doing normal things like sitting in a chair, and laying down in bed.
A few years back, my gallbladder decided that it was going to get sick. Little did I know that all the times I was getting sick at work while being a caregiver. It was my gallbladder turning against me. So, I had it removed. It was hell to heal from, but I am better for it. I still have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). No fun ever for anyone.
Here is a list of what I have for diagnoses (current – to – date):
- Chronic back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (both wrists – had surgery)
- Degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis
- Fibromyalgia affecting multiple sites
- Distended rotator cuff (both shoulders)
- Cervical radiculopathy @ C5
- Bilateral leg numbness
Now I am going to get to the heart of the matter. I have had multiple exams including CT scans, MRI, EMG (nerve test), and XRays. All to say that there is nothing found to explain my chronic pain that I feel every waking moment, and every night when I go to bed. This leads me to know that my large breasts are the problem. They are the ultimate betrayer to this body that I call “me”.
Here are just a few of the things that I suffer from everyday that I am live:
- Back and neck pain
- Cause for my spinal degeneration
- Cause for my constant fibromyalgia flare ups
- Skin irritation caused by moisture and bacteria trapped with the folds of my skin under my breasts (this is a problem that happens no matter how clean I keep myself)
- Chafing and the like due to bouncing during exercise (walking around doing everyday things)
- Bra straps digging into skin due to weight of breasts
- Poor posture (unable to keep back straight and shoulders up due to weight and size of breasts)
- Shortness of breath due to weight pressing on rib cage
- Difficulty sleeping due to size of breasts
- Structural issues like torn rotator cuffs and arthritis (not to mention fibromyalgia flare ups) / chronic pain every day due to weight and size of breasts pulling on tendons, and ligaments in back
My ultimate hope and prayer is that one day real soon I can call up an amazing surgeon and schedule a breast reduction surgery for myself. The reason I am writing this story of truth and sadness is to get attention. I am tired of being in constant pain everyday. All I want is to just be a caregiver to my best friend, and someone who can reach out and help others in need through many platforms on the web. First, though, I have to help myself.
I will now and forever be a caregiver no matter what. I will always want to give of my time and energy to help those in need. I want to work with my friend on our internet radio station venture. I want to be able to be there for him when he is down and needs me. Most importantly I want to stop thinking about my breasts. Lately, they are all I can think about.
Please help me raise $9,000 to get my breast reduction surgery. I truly have a lot to offer, but not if I am constantly in the bed depressed and in pain. I know of an amazing surgeon here where I live here in the great northwest. $9,000 would cover the breast reduction surgery and a few weeks of rest at home while I cannot work. Anything that you can do for me will help get me one step closer to my goal. I know that I will always have pain in my life with fibromyalgia, but if I do not have a severe trigger like my large breasts I know that life will be much more manageable.
I hope that this story and my message for help reaches the hearts of many and does not fall on deaf ears. I am in truly great need to get this done. Please help me get better so I can be the best caregiver I can be.
Thank you for your compassion and time to read this. – Marion Pound, caregiver for life