Springfield locals deal with disease

Alicia Blood, Lamp writer

There are times when we find ourselves at a point where we hit a roadblock in life. For some people, it is finding out that they have cancer, while for others it is making changes to their life due to Chron’s disease. Living with a disease — bodily or mental — can make life tough. But for some, however, they have found coping mechanisms and ways of dealing with the challenges they face when it comes to the certain disease they have.

Tami Carver, the wife of Pastor Charlie Carver of Southtower Community Church in Dawson deals with depression. 

“It was very hard at first,” Carver said, “But I have found that my faith in God and praying has been my number one method of coping.” 

Carver has had depression for several years but has kept it in check by her faith and fellowship at Southtower Community Church.  

“I purposefully guard my mind when crazy thoughts run rampant,” Carver explains her coping methods, “I visualize corralling the thoughts and throwing them out of my mind.” 

Carver says that she is no longer on medications and has dealt with her depression well ever since. 

“I try to stay away from foul movies as well as bad music,” Carver says, “Life has enough ugliness, which is something I definitely don’t need!”  

Carver says that since she stays away from a lot of negativity, she finds herself calmer.  

“Don’t get me wrong, I still have days where I find it hard to get out of bed in the morning,” Carver said, “But I’ve learned to be easier on myself. With or without, you have to face it eventually, and that’s OK.”  

Danielle Lanham

Danielle Lanham, a current student at LLCC, deals with stomach problems. 

“They initially said it was IBS, but then it turned out that I just had an infection in the lining of my stomach,” Lanham said, “It was called H. Pylori. Sometimes my stomach still hurts though.” 

Lanham says that she has dealt with these stomach pains for years and that she still gets them to this day. 

“Yeah it hurts, but I’ve learned that I have bigger issues, such as school,” Lanham said, “I use a lot of herbal teas and stuff to help soothe it when it’s pretty bad, though.” 

Lanham says that the herbal teas have definitely helped and that she continues her coping methods. She is currently not on any medications.  

Theresa Seiber

Likewise, Theresa Seiber, a member at Southtower Community Church, deals with stomach problems as well.  

“After several disorders mentioned,” Seiber said, “they finally attribute mine to adhesions, which is basically scar tissue.”  

Seiber says that she still gets severe stomach pains and has been admitted into hospitals several times.  

“I’m careful with what I eat as well as the amount I eat,” Seiber explains. “I’ve learned it’s easier to nibble throughout the day as well as staying hydrated. If I get too full, I’m in pain.” 

But Seiber has also learned to joke about her disorder as well and make light-heart of it. 

“I’m pretty much a cheap date!” Seiber jokes. “I can order from a child’s menu and be satisfied most of the time, but it’s frustrating. There are times I really want to eat!” 

Seiber also says that she is on medications. 

“If I eat half of what is considered ‘normal’, I’m in pain,” Seiber says. “I have a pain medication, which allows me to eat and take the edge off of the pain.” 

Seiber also makes a comparison of her disorder. 

“Watching what I eat is based on what makes the digestive tract work harder, like red meat,” Seiber explains. “The more ‘work’ seems to pull adhesions. Adhesions are described as ‘web-like’ and ‘sticky’. They can pull away and attach elsewhere. Imagine a spider web.” 

Seiber has learned to cope with her disorder through medication and the friends and family she has at Southtower. 

Susan Colvin

Susan Colvin also deals with something similar to Seiber. In her case, she has diverticulitis. 

“It’s basically when small pockets develop on the intestines,” Colvin explains. “If anything small gets into those pockets, they could get irritated and inflamed, causing me pain.” 

Colvin was diagnosed with diverticulitis back in 2018 and is not currently on any medications.  

“They really don’t have any medications for it,” Colvin says. “I basically have just had to change my diet.” 

Colvin says she has definitely had some big changes in her diet. 

“I can’t eat popcorn because the kernels could get stuck in those pockets,” Colvin says. “I’ve also had to watch when I eat spicy foods, raw vegetables, nuts, such as peanuts, and even corn on the cob.” 

Colvin says that she still gets flare-ups every now and then, but she has become more careful with the foods she eats.  

Scott Allen

Scott Allen, who was diagnosed with sleep apnea back in 2014, says that he has found tremendous improvement ever since he was diagnosed. 

“I used to wake up so grouchy and angry,” Allen says. “But that was only because I was getting roughly four hours of sleep a night.” 

Sleep apnea is a disease in which one cannot get enough air or oxygen while they sleep and some even have stopped breathing in their sleep. 

“I used to take a deep breath, and my wife had to nudge me so I would let out a big breath,” Allen says. “I would hold in that breath for several seconds.” 

Allen says that he is very thankful that he was diagnosed earlier and not later. 

“Sleep apnea can cause glaucoma,” Allen says. “Because you aren’t getting that oxygen to your body. It could have killed me!”  

Allen says that with the help of his continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP machine, he has been sleeping well at night. 

“The CPAP machine changed my life,” Allen says. “The cool breeze from the mask at night is so soothing and relaxing. This CPAP has saved my life.” 

Coping with a disease is never easy, but with the help of family, friends, classmates, and others, it sure helps with the journey to recovery.