O'Brien Judged for Hidden Disability
Five years ago, Veronica O'Brien of Keyport, New Jersey, was feeling dizzy and nauseous, and had coordination problems when driving or walking. She reads this column in the Atlantic Highlands (NJ) Herald.
In a telephone interview, 38-year-old O'Brien said, "When walking, I was having to hold on to the walls at the office or home to steady myself. I had a good job working at a grocery (chain) corporate office doing administrative work, working with buyers, and doing data entry and filing. I really enjoyed working there."
A physician thought she could have multiple sclerosis or Lyme's disease, but didn't know. He eventually diagnosed her with vertigo. In November 2011, O'Brien fell ill again, and ended up spending a week in the hospital with intense pain. After months of tests, another physician determined she had peripheral neuropathy and polyneuropathy, which, in short, meant nerve damage. In O'Brien's case, the cause hasn't been determined.
She said, "My life now is very different from what it was. I am making progress, but it's slow. I can't work right now because my symptoms vary day to day. Some days I wake up and have awful dizzy spells and have trouble walking, while other days I am reasonably clear-headed but my balance is bad. Depending on the distance, I walk with a cane or walker. I used to be very independent, but now have to rely heavily on my husband and family for transportation. I've started back slowly trying to drive again, but only on days when I am clear-headed."
She said one frustration has been people thinking she is faking her illness. O'Brien has seen the "judgment" in people's faces, she said, even though at one point she was fighting for her life.
"I'm in pain every day," she said. "I have polyneuropathy all through my arms and legs and it's affected my sleeping. Sometimes I sleep no more than four hours a night. It is very frustrating. I go through days having a variety of emotions. I've always been outgoing and independent, and now it's very hard having to sit at home or trying to do physical therapy. But I've managed to reach out to people and keep myself going, mainly with the help of my family, friends, and husband. I am making progress through physical therapy." She urged people recently diagnosed to never give up fighting.
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News Headlines50 Days of the Grateful Dead: Truckin' at Levi's StadiumTruckin' opens the Fare Thee Well Run in Santa Clara, CA at Levi's Stadium on June 27, 2015. Full setlist.
Gruesome Murders in Roseville Under InvestigationThe two men found shot and burning in Roseville Thursday night have died and the Placer County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in solving this heinous crime.
Honda Accord Hybrid offers great performance, gas mileageIf you're considering purchasing a Honda Accord, the dilemma one could face is one of its primary competitors is conceivably the Accord Hybrid.
Roseville Gas Prices Push Below $2.90 GallonRoseville gas prices are trending downward, recently pushing below the $2.90 mark at a few locations throughout the city.
Roseville Utility Rate Hikes Begin July 1stThe Roseville City Council approved two consecutive annual rate increases for wastewater services that will kick in on July 1, 2015.
Dan Dugger to manage Rocklin Bass Pro Shops Outdoor WorldDan Dugger has been named store manager for the newBass Pro Shops Outdoor World store, which opens late summer in Rocklin, California.
Sierra College & Hacker Lab Open House in RocklinSierra College and Hacker Lab invite the community to an Open House on Tuesday, June 30 from 5:30-7:00 PM at 4804 Granite Dr., in Rocklin
Public Input Sought for Possible Auburn Area Community CenterStudying the feasibility of a potential community center that will serve people of all ages in the Auburn area is the focus of a Placer County effort that's now underway
Santucci Memorial Golf Tournament in Roseville this SeptemberThe 12th annual Bill Santucci Memorial Golf Tournament will take place Friday, Sept. 18 at Sierra View Country Club in Roseville.
Folsom, Sacramento Reach Settlement on Mather Airport ExpansionFolsom, CA - The City of Folsom and Sacramento County announced a settlement today over plans to expand Mather Airport.
Whole Foods Under Fire: Systemic Overcharging AllegedAn investigation in California, which began in 2012, also found pricing irregularities in the state's Whole Foods stores
50 Days of the Grateful Dead: To Lay Me DownSeptember 18, 1990. The Grateful Dead at Madison Square Garden performing To Lay Me Down.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It