Tequanna Allison is a young multi-business owner and mother who was diagnosed with conversion disorder, which is a complex condition with symptoms that cannot be explained by medical evaluation. Despite setbacks with her health she continues to grow and aspires to help those around her.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 31 year old mother of three amazing children (2 boys and a girl ages 10, 8, and 2 years old). Spending time with family and “thrift-shopping” with my daughter are two things I enjoy during non-working hours. Currently, I am an entrepreneur and employed as a customer service representative at a call center. In 2005, I graduated from O. Perry Walker High School in New Orleans, Louisiana. My fiancé (Robert Mitchell ) and I recently became business owners when we launched a transportation service and a hair care line, both of which are doing quite well.
How did you feel when you were diagnosed with conversion disorder? How did you and your family cope?
Initially, no medical expert could explain what was happening with my health. After having medical appointments with two local medical facilities, I was eventually given a diagnosis by the second facility. At the time, I was very emotional and felt it was the end of life as I knew it. Eating and sleeping were my most common coping mechanisms. I was hospitalized for 26 days while medical staff members tried to bring understanding and healing to the baffling disorder. My two older children took my failing health really hard. My children, fiancé, mother and grandmother inspired me to get back to normal in more ways than they may ever know. This was quite a difficult time for my family, but we coped and eventually experienced a good outcome in spite of a somber beginning.
What challenges have you overcome since being diagnosed with conversion disorder?
The biggest challenges I have overcome and continue to struggle with are walking and talking from time to time. Walking is by far the most major physical challenge of the two. During the night, I often wake up to stretch. Otherwise, my legs become extremely painful. Sometimes it feels as if I am just learning to walk; those are the most agonizing, frustrating times.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
My attitude as it relates to the conversion disorder is that I will not allow it slow me down or stop me. Conversion disorder will not win! The transportation service is growing at such a fast rate, that business with potential customers is occasionally refused because we are booked solid. Jesseca Dupart and Delissa Alexander are both major role models for me; their words, actions, and success inspire me. In five years, I see myself exceeding my goals and more. I envision our businesses being an international commodity. I want to take what has been bestowed on me and bless others. In five years, I visualize myself as a motivational speaker and a mentor to those who want to start small businesses and expand to their fullest potential.
What advice do you have for someone who may be dealing with a chronic medical condition?
Three words of advice: Support, positivity, and knowledge! Positivity is key because a positive attitude brings positive energy. With a positive attitude and humility, you can overcome and triumph over any condition you may be dealing with. Become knowledgeable about your medical condition. Network and communicate with people in similar circumstances in order to share information and solutions. Knowledge truly is power, especially when it pertains to the quality of one’s life! Gather, decipher, and apply sound medical advice. Allow it to work in your behalf for healing and wholeness.
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Blog post transcribed and edited by Jacqueline G. Breaux