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 HeadlinesToyota Camry Hybrid: Better than ever?Toyota decided to redesign the Camry a mere three years after its last major transformation. The 2015 redesign is very significant and gives Camry even more of an edge.
Father Trying to Build UnderstandingJoseph Hernandez of Auburn, Washington, knew before his son's birth that his son would have a birth defect, spina bifida. The only thing in doubt was whether Joseph would hang around.
Former Placer County Sheriff Sentenced in Sex CasePursuant to a plea agreement, Kenneth Skogen was sentenced to three years formal probation and must serve 150 days in jail and attend counseling for unlawful sex with a minor.
50 Days of the Dead: Peggy-OThe perfect dose of intricate guitar work over a smooth rhythm section to a Scottish folk song in this 1978 version of Peggy-O at the Huntington Civic Center in West Virginia.
Roseville's Blue Line Arts Gallery Highlights Student ArtistsRoseville CA--At the recent reception for artists and members, Julie Hirota, CEO, Blue Line Arts, introduced the results of the Prestigious Crocker-Kingsley Art Competition
Roseville Mail Theft Leads to Arrest of 34 Year OldRoseville officers arrested a 34-year-old man from Sacramento on suspicion of vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, and other related charges
New California Laws for 2015 (Part 26)New California laws for 2015 part 26 includes smartphones, health coverage, rape victims, prisoners DNA testing, cocaine, nonprofits, healing arts, student financial aid and more.
Flu Blamed in Death of Placer County ManPlacer County health officials confirmed today that influenza is believed to be a contributing factor in the death of a Placer County man.
Roseville Man Facing Felony Charges in Death of ThreeAaron Caudillo has been treated for his injuries at Mercy San Juan Hospital and has now been released from the hospital and booked into custody into the Sacramento County Jail.
Roseville Violent Crime Rate PlummetsThe violent crime rate in Roseville declined 28% in 2014, according to Roseville Police.
Roseville Mountain Lion Sighting ReportedA Roseville resident saw a mountain lion on the trail near Secret Ravine Parkway and Alexandra Drive
Permit for Emergency Temporary Homeless Shelter in AuburnThe Placer County Board of Supervisors voted Thursday during a special meeting to further the conversation about allowing a temporary emergency homeless shelter to be opened on county
NEWS: In Case You Missed It