Strength Lies In Numbers


Let me introduce you to our newest family member. This is our first & only grandson, “Baby Bryce” aka “Bubba”. He was taken by ambulance from the pediatricians office on Friday morning (11-30-18). He was de-stating during feeding. He’d turned blue and his oxygen went as low as 40%. I received a phone call from my very frightened youngest daughter (his Mommy) & then I was sent the photo above, of my sweet newborn grandson in an ambulance. He looked so small and so helpless and that is exactly his his mommy & daddy felt. It is precisely how I felt as a mother and a grandmother. It’s been 5 days……

I want to update you on baby Bryce; but first I want to say what amazing daughters, their in-laws & son in laws we have! When they say “it takes a village to raise a child” I now know the true meaning of this. I also know the true meaning of “strength lies numbers”….. it’s been a difficult time seeing my daughter struggle, weep and see her newborn baby, our sweet Baby, Bryce struggle to breathe and watch his oxygen go down to 40%. Our usual jolly son in law has become serious over these last 5 days. They are living in a nightmare of fear. We all are. But as parents, it’s the #1 fear to feel & be helpless while doing all that you can to be there for your child. All the while, Drs & nurses at Motts Children’s Hospital, are life savers and thank God for their healing skills.

But we have banned together as a family and I admire the love and strength that I’m seeing. We got the sheer joy & chance just a few weeks ago to have a couple of “sleepovers” with our dear, sweet Kiera when her baby brother was born. We went back twice on the last day (we have a kitty at home who’s afraid of most everything & everyone so we chose to make the drive back home to check on her for a few hours) to make sure we had the pleasure of being there when they brought baby Bryce home and to make sure Kiera always felt safe & loved while Mommy & Daddy were at the hospital. We went back for several days to be there for the happiness, joy and to do whatever is needed to keep “my own baby” feeling safe and loved and to help keep her firstborn baby, Kiera, in some sort of routine.

Last Friday morning I heard the fear in my youngest daughters voice. I saw the photo of our beautiful, yet fragile 2 1/2 week old newborn baby, Bryce, being put into an ambulance. My heart was in my throat, my stomach was in knots & tears filled my eyes. This is where I asked God to please make me as strong as I’ve ever been. *(side note: since the majority of my pain medication has been taken away, I’ve literally been sitting in my recliner the majority of every day). I asked for strength so that I could do whatever was needed to keep my youngest daughter, Amy & her little family feeling as safe & good as possible.

I’m so thankful that our son in law, Grant (who is such a great father), has been able to come back at night and wake up with Kiera in the mornings. He’s been able to juggle all of this with great valor! He’s been there for my daughter, his daughter & his son. Daddy’s there when Kiera to wakes up. He’s been there to give her breakfast & 6:30 am lunch at 11:30 am. He puts her down for a nap at 12-12:15 pm.. He then goes back to hospital to be there as well. We’ve been getting there during nap time and we have had the pleasure of having dinner with our darling Kiera. We’ve had the extra special joy of putting her to bed and watching over her as she sleeps soundly.

Grants parents have been there with him and Kiera most every morning and they’ve spent many hours, being there with us and with Kiera, in the evenings. They are awesome people and Kiera adores her Grandma & PawPaw. The past couple of evenings, Grants mom, Kiera & I have hunkered down to watch the “Holiday Trolls” movie. Kiera wanted to be between her Grandma and me, with the blanket over each of us. If Grandma or I had to get up for some reason, she would quickly tell us to “come back” and hunker down with her. She’s so adorable. She’s always saying “huggin” when she wants or needs extra cuddles or reassurance. On Sunday, there was not much going on with a skeleton crew at the hospital and so Grant and his parents were there with Kiera. While we stayed at home & did a few errands & went to a little extended family dinner outing.

Amy has been a champion throughout this ordeal. She’s missing her sweet Kiera and her heart is torn in two places, as only a mother or father knows. So Grant took Kiera Sunday afternoon & is taking her today to see her baby brother and her Mommy. Amy has not left her sons side for even a moment! My eldest daughter, Jessy is a very thoughtful person and she went up to the hospital Saturday and brought Amy an entire brand new outfit so she could shower & change clothes in Bryce’s room at the hospital. She was there several hours with Amy & Bryce during some testing. She had dinner from Panera, delivered to the hospital for Amy, Kiera & Grant. Jessy even brought a unicorn headband for little Kiera. She’s juggling her own family of 4, but she’s been calling Amy several times daily.

Amy’s friend, Sara, went to the hospital & brought Amy and Grant some food & stayed there several hours too.

We are blessed to have the best son in laws and all of their parents as well.

All of us are working together to make sure that Amy, Grant and Kiera are as settled as they can be. We are trying to pull together as one family, while the Drs figure out what’s going in with our dear little Baby Bryce.

Nothing else matters right ggnow, except that this little guy and his Mommy get back home and the “Fab 4” is back at home together again.

Now, I have to add that my soul-mate, My darling husband, Craig, has also been a champ!! He’s been driving the 1 hour drive there in midday and home late at night. He’s offered to get groceries and do laundry (which Grant has already taken care of!). He’s carted our home accessories, my favorite food & drinks back & forth and he’s played and read with Kiera. They adore eachother and his playfulness makes her giggle. He is my rock! I thank God for him every day.

Tragedy can bring out the best or the worst in people. In this case, the best in everyone has been shining through. To my daughters, their husbands & our grandchildren; “We are here for you all, through thick and thin. We will be here for you always. As long as humanly possible.

Tonight when Grant takes Kiera back home and puts her to bed, we will be going to see Bryce and Amy. I can’t wait to hold them both in my arms. We don’t know what is wrong with little Bryce yet. We are hoping it’s some kind of sucking, breathing & swallowing issue that will get better with some Occupational therapy. The Dr.’s are still contemplating a lung issue and test. We will know more soon, I pray.

For now please keep this little guy in your prayers. Please keep his big sister and his Mommy and Daddy in your prayers as well. God made families for a reason. It’s so clear to me that nothing matters as much as the lives that he gives us & that we help bring into this world. Strength truly does lie in numbers. I’m so thankful for those who’ve been surrounding us with love, kind words & positive energy. I’m thankful for the families God has blessed my daughters with in this life.

Why I Resigned From USPF


Hello Luvs,

It is with sadness that I write this blog post today. I would never intentionally hurt anyone. Therefore, any part of the following letter, that could in any way divulge information which I’m not at liberty to share; I have put “X’s” in the place of the words I had written. But I wanted my followers/friends in the pain community to know that this was the most difficult thing that I’ve ever had to do. I loved doing this volunteer work for USPF. They always told me that we were a “family”. Yet, the very day that I lost my Long acting/Extended release pain medication, I opened an email that was just the opposite of everything I thought we stood for. Since that email, I have contemplated resigning, but did not want to “hurt” anyone or do anything to leave them without enough board members etc. But from that day on, things just went down hill. Next, I saw a trailer for a movie that stars actress Karen Duffy and our Interim CEO, called “Balancing the Pain Scale”, that I found out has been in production for 2-3 years. As a Board member, I knew nothing about this movie until someone else alerted me. I went to the trailer and was saddened when I saw the words get “beyond the pill bottle” as I was losing the one thing that had given me some semblance of a life; and so are so many of you.

Lastly, I must add that in the past, I was sent copies of kind emails that pain patients would send in about me. I was also sent emails about patients who needed my help. I never received any emails/letters such as these since becoming a Board member. Not until a disgruntled pain patient who was removed from one of my groups for being disrespectful and unkind sent the interim CEO an email. This person spelled my name incorrectly as “Susan Stuart”, she obviously does not know me and did not know me at all. I felt belittled and reprimanded by being sent the code of ethics. Especially when the issues had nothing to do with USPF and I did not use my role in any conversations with that person. I did not receive a personal phone call, nor did anyone request any information or clarification regarding the absurd complaint; after my years of loyalty to USPF. Therefore, you can read the end result in my recent letter to the Board members below:

Dear Nicole, Wendy, Ellen, (XXX & XXXX,(*2 attorneys)

When I was initially asked to join the Board of Directors of the USPF, I was pleased and excited to be joining a group that I feel is  doing wonderful things and representing the interests of the pain community.

Very quickly, (XXXXXXXXX) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX However, I decided to help shoulder the burden of guiding USPF through the trauma of the aftermath of XXXXX & more. Also to stay & help with USPF losing its founder and CEO. As time went on, XXXXXXXXXXXXXX kept adding up. I decided that it was my duty to stick by Nicole  & the other Board members & our legal team, to help clean up this mess & help to guide US Pain Foundation in the right direction.

I have become increasingly frustrated because everything that was promised to me upon becoming a Board member has not happened. I was told that I could represent US pain foundation at Pain week in Las Vegas 2018. I was also told that I would be put on an advisory board and be given a program of my own to run and see through to the end. I have been told repeatedly that as a Board member I cannot officially run any programs, but others do. I feel that those things I’m most passionate about are marginalized. I feel that somehow I was inadvertently sought out & appointed to the Board, because somehow, some person(s) thought that I would just agree and not ever express my own voice and opinions. But I do have opinions and a voice. I’m sad that as a board member I don’t know who any of our donors are and I didn’t find out about the movie that’s been in production for three years, I was told? There’s so many things I don’t know but then XXXX told me that “there’s no one higher than the board”? It’s a bit confusing in all honesty. I feel “kept in the dark” about many things.

One big reason or probably the that I feel the need to resign from the board of directors of the US Pain foundation starting immediately, is due to the lack of  insurance for Board members & support group members. I don’t feel “safe” being involved with voting on big decisions yet being “left in the dark” much of the time. I don’t really know where money is going or where n it comes from in all  honesty. All the things that I used to love I’m not able to do anymore because “I am a board member“.

Last of all & sadly, I received an email today with a copy of the code of ethics from Nicole. A disgruntled pain patient from Canada, sent her note full of horrible lies & accusations. I was not consulted privately via a phone call or even given the benefit of the doubt. I have never had any trouble with not one person since I joined this or any organizations. I don’t speak or claim to speak for the USPF in any of my groups that I run. I only give facts with links to back up what I say as chronic pain patient.

For all of the above reasons and due to the fact that I don’t feel respected, I must tender my resignation from the Board of Directors  of the US Pain Foundation immediately.

Sadly,

Peace & Hope,

Suzanne B. Stewart

about.me/suzydukettes

Recipient of USPF’s Pain Ambassador of the Year Award‘16, Mentor & Social Media Assistant RSDSA, Staff Columnist/Ntl. Pain Report, Blog-“Tears Of Truth” @tearsoftruth.com, Patient leader WEGO Health, HoH/ASL, patient advocate for Deaf/HoH

“Out of suffering have emerged the most massive characters are seared with scars” ~Khalil Gibran~

Thank you for taking the time to let me share with you. I feel a deep sadness and broken at this time.

WEGO Health 2018 Awards


I am very excited to inform you that I have been nominated for two WEGO Health Awards in the 2018 WEGO Health Awards season. The two areas in which I’ve been nominated are: “Best In Show Blog” (for this Blog “Tears of Truth”) and also for “Best In Show Facebook” for my many facebook groups:

  • (International CRPS Support group, RASE for CRPS (research,awareness,support and education)
  • Dysautonomia Support Network
  • Michigan/Midwest & friends
  • Chronic Pain Support Group
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Living with Chronic Pain
  • People In Pain Unite
  • ASL Song and ASLSuzyQ (these last two are ASL, or American Sign Language groups).

Also for my Facebook Pages:

  • RASE for CRPS,
  • RASE for Invisible Diseases,
  • Dysautonomia Network,
  • Association for Ethical treatment of Pain Patients (AETOPP),
  • People In Pain Unite,
  • Gone But Not Forgotten Friends and Family
  • ASLSuzyQ)

WEGO Healt is a mission-driven company connecting healthcare with the experience, skills and insights of the patient leaders.  They are the worlds largest network of patient leaders, working across  virtualy all health conditions and topics. click here to learn more about their Patient Leader Network.

The WEGO Health Awards  were created to celebrate those who tirelessly support the mission of WEGO Health to empower the patient voice.  With 16 award categories, the WEGO Health awards are the only awards across all conditions and platforms, that recognize the over 100 thousand inspiring Patient Leaders who raise awareness, share information and support their communities but often without recognition.

I want to thank those who nominated me and thought enough of my advocacy/awareness work to think of me for these awards. It means so much to be nominated because though I don’t do what I do in order to get anything from it; I appreciate being recognized for the work that I do. It means that the work that I do voluntarily to help the several communities that I am involved with, is not going unnoticed. Thank you so much for that.

I feel that I deserve the “Best in Show Blog” award because my blog, ‘Tears of Truth”, has become a large network and a plethora of information for patients who live with various illnesses that especially cause chronic pain. There are many resources and so much information here to address patients with various needs. I feel that I also deserve the “Best in Show Facebook” because I serve several different patient communities who live with chronic pain from various illnesses. I have created 6 chronic pain support groups and 2 ASL groups that support Deaf/Hard of Hearing community (including myself, as I am HoH). I try very hard to work closely with several different non-profits and I do not ask for anything in return. These awards, even just being nominated gives me that feeling of being appreciated.

This year, the 16 WEGO Health Award winners will be honored at an in-person celebration in Octoer, co-hosted by the Society of Participator Medicine at the Connected Health Conference. It is very important to me and I would really love to attentd this event to collaborate with industry leaders. Also, I would truly love to meet all of the people who I’ve been working with and talking with all of these years, since 2010 or so, when I first became a WEGO Patient Leader.

I’m now looking toward YOU, my incredibly supportive network to help endorse me for these two awards.  There are two easy ways to endorse me, (*Wordpress does not allow me to put a badge on this blog. Therefore the link is on the column to the upper right side of this blog (on a computer)…or you can easily choose the method below)….that will only take seconds of  your time, I promise! (I would love to be endorsed in both categories because they are equally important.

If I have ever supported you, made you laugh, given you inspiration  or cheered you on to keep fighting – please consider taking just a few seconds to endorse me for these awards. Thank you in advance, from my heart.

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Becoming Incurable Crowdfunding Campaign


Please watch this short video and see how this film producer is bringing awareness of Chronic pain and Chronic illnesses to the big screen!

If you prefer to visit my advocacy YouTube Channel to watch this, you can visit: WWW.YouTube.Com/Suzydukettes….

BUT my newest Youtube video is right here for you to watch -and it’s only about 4 minutes Long: I hope you will enjoy, learn & help in any way possible with the crowdfunding campaign, at: http://www.seedandspark.com/fund/becomingincurable

Here is a very short 4 minute video: (Thank you for Watching):

Becoming Incurable Crowdfunding Video

I Am Invisible No More!


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Hello Luvs,

I wanted to post the video that I made for Invisible Disabilities Association. I was hoping to ask you for a favor? I have entered this video in a contest, in order to spread awareness of Invisible Illnesses. Would you please be so kind as to just click on the video below and then watch the 3 minute long Video? Then right above the video, after you click on it, you’ll see the word “VOTE”! Please click on that word and that will cast your vote for me!

Thank you so very much! If you could, I’d be so obliged if you could SHARE the video on your Facebook pages and in your groups, Tweets etc. It would be really awesome to make Invisible illnesses more known! Thank you for your vote, in advance. I appreciate it so much! Ohhhh please always us the hashtag #Iaminvisiblenomore thank you !

My video “I Am Invisible No More” Is Right Here, When You Click!

http://woobox.com/yskmzt/gallery/0by3nprZkI0

New Year, Old Fear


The New Year always brings hope of a new beginning and fear of the unknown. Especially in this time of unrest and uncertainty; there is a panic in the pain community. I see it around me and I feel it each new day. People are starting to come apart and pull away instead of moving together as a community to fight the thing that we all fear most.

Nobody wants to be left to die. We don’t like feeling ignored and uncared about. Drs are running away and leaving in droves. There’s no one left to listen, care or treat those with horrible & high chronic pain conditions. There are groups sprouting up from other groups. It feels as though there are many who wish to be the one to “save the pain community “. But in reality we each can be our own hero. We need to depend on ourselves to get out of this mess.

Try your best and do whatever you are able to do. I’m sure you talk with your families on the telephone? So call up your Senators office and tell him your story! You’ll probably get a staffer, but that’s OK! Write emails much? Write an email to your state reps, Senators and your Governor. You don’t need to be eloquent. They need to see faces, hear stories and come to know us as a community of real persons. Ask them if they can remember a time when they had the worst pain ever? Tell them that this is how we feel most days! Let them know that our Drs need to do the Doctoring. The government has enough to deal with; and so allow the Drs to make informed decisions. After all, they went to school for 12-15 years, some of them. They do know what they’re doing.

Turn your fear into action and if you’re just too sick; see if someone will advocate on your behalf? If nothing else, we need to realize that we are worthwhile individuals. Each of us has something to offer in this life and we are not expendable. We deserve to have love, respect and caring. We have a right to be taken care of just like anyone else does.

We must remember that there are bad people in every walk if life and in each profession. There are the good and the bad; the ying and yang with a balance someplace in the middle. There are good and bad politicians, teachers, and more. Drs, go into this career mostly because they want to heal and help others. There are bad patients too, but most of us just try to do whatever we are told and we follow protocol.

The thing that those in power are forgetting, is the balance. They are going with an all or nothing attitude. Why not realize that there are many precautions in place now with the PDMP and more? The people who want to break the law are going to find a way to do it! Those who are good, law abiding citizens living with daily chronic pain are the ones suffering. I think somehow they know we are physically weak. They think we are unable to fight for what we need and therefore they will make decisions above and for us. But we are not mentally weak. We must join together as one voice and support each other. There is no glory or fame here! There are peoples lives at stake. The right of every human being to live in some semblance of comfort.

Becoming Incurable Magazine Feature


Hello Luvs

I’m really excited to share this with you today! The US Pain Foundation has teamed with Victoria Suan, the producer, creator & Director of her Documentary “Becoming Incurable “. I’d written to you about 6 weeks ago regarding the feature film etc. But today I want to share this online magazine that she’s made to compliment the video compilations and her Documentary!

I am the middle of 3 persons being featured in this online magazine. I’m being featured for the illness of CRPS. This is thrilling and just so very exciting to be a part of this beautiful project to spread awareness of chronic pain and illness.

Becoming Incurable magazine feature