Thursday, August 2, 2012

Our Deanna Doolittle Project- Help Needed!!

This blog was started as a forum for Mommies who suffer from a Chronic Pain condition but still manage to do it all (or most of it depending on the day!).

This post and a separate website will now be a quick test to see how many of us there are and how much we can overcome when crisis strikes. We need to help my sisterfriend and I know that many of you will be able to help her with words of support. She really needs it now. 

Deanna Doolittle is an amazing woman who I have known since we where both adolescents.

Over the last 20 years we have both evolved in different directions but have maintained our connection as "sisterfriends." Sadly one of the many ways that we traveled a similar path is that Deanna and I both suffer from extreme chronic pain.  In spite of this we both consider motherhood to be our highest and most rewarding calling. 

In a future post I will explore the number of mothers who also suffer from chronic pain. I believe that we are a large sisterhood.

Deanna is the mother of five children, two grown sons and three beautiful little girls.  The youngest is a 3 year old ray of sunshine.  Like so many of us Deanna's world is full of little girls, play-dates, parent teacher conferences, pediatric well visits and obscene amounts of laundry.  As with so many of the amazing woman I know I could write chapters about what a loving mother Deanna is, that too will come later.

Deanna is going through a crisis that could,  theoretically, happen to any mother living with chronic pain. The entire medical history is now public record, suffice to say Deanna has Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, pelvic floor tension myalgia (the triggering event also caused PTSD, she suffered anal and vaginal trauma two weeks before her 16th birthday), migraines, and has had 15 operations; 13 anal surgeries, 3 colonoscopies, a lost baby, and she will continue to need operations to address anal fussures and anal fistulas. The latest operation was a hysterectomy to correct severe endometriosis.

I need to hug her right now! There is a long list of other problems, IBS, anxiety and things that come with illness.

Last year Deanna returned to school and completed a degree in Massage Therapy. She graduated (and passed certification) with flying colors. During this period she had an abcess burst during a class and had to be driven home then to her specialist. Also during this period, she filed for a divorce.

Deanna takes no narcotic or pain medicine. She manages her condition with muscle relaxants that slur her speech but allow her to function and lead a very full life.

On July 5, Deanna was in extreme distress having suffered days of bloody loose stools (another chronic condition on her list) and in the afternoon took a shower and a muscle relaxant before a nap with the baby. In the manner of a child, her 8 year old wanted to go outside and to the park but Mommy needed to rest. When Deanna fell asleep, in a room with a baby gate, her daughter decided to let the baby out and cause trouble. She went to the neighbors and said her "pill popping mother" (as her father and step-mother teach her) was passed out and she couldn't wake her up. At the neighbors house DHS was called for neglect. Deanna heard the neighbors at the front door and woke to great them. The next day a social worker came to her "messy" house and noted that Deanna was slurring her words. DEANNAS CHILDREN WERE REMOVED FROM HER HOME.

The baby remains in foster care. Deanna has given all medical records, prescriptions and many urine samples to DHS. We are working on a plan to address her daughter's anger and to teach her that "Mommy has to take this medicine for a reason."

We are getting everything sorted out. A date for trial has been set. This scenario could be enacted on any Myalgia Mommies going through a divorce. The truth will always come out, in this case the truth is she has been very wronged by a system that doesn't understand chronic pain.

I am setting up the Deanna Doolittle Project on a separate website where we will be collaborating on this case and possibly a book.

Please help.

Thank you,
Anna-Lisa Johanson JD-MPH


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Any words of encouragement for a fellow myalgia mommy helps. Thank you for taking a moment to post a comment,

  3. Im very sorry Deanna to hear of your acute/chronic colon problems-it sounds very active and debilitating right now..let alone the temporary loss of your children. I use to coordinate a gastroenterology department. Our doctors were quite supportive in providing any medical data/records to support the loss in work time, etc. Please use your medical team to assist you with the crisis you are facing. Any chronic colon disease is quite devasting-I hate hearing of the collateral problems you are suffering outside of just caring for yourself. Much love to you as you endure this painful journey one understands how awful the relentless and painful fissures can be..unless they've been there..find support for your situation in your friends, family and medical team. God bless you my friend :)

  4. Mary, thank you so much. Unfortunately I will ensure surgeries for fissures
    , pain, fistulas and mot for the rest of my life due to the pelvic problem: pelvic floor tension myalgia I appreciate your words of encouragement. this is going be a hard battle, but I will never give up. Mt kids are my life and just because I am dealing with the illness, surgeries and tests brought on by the trauma I endured, doesn't make me a bad mother. It makes me a stronger one because it taught me when I need to reach for help.l will get my kids back. I will. <3

    1. when no earthy source matches the strength and courage you may seek, rely on God as your source to triumph over your battles :)

  5. listen to what mary says....God can heal and lift you up if you just ask!


Thank you for commenting. We appreciate everyone who reads and has something to add to our community.

Popular Posts