Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin and Roseville Today Local Events

Hidden Disability Not Believed



No one knew exactly what was happening to Dorothy Smaniotto of Ocean View, New Jersey. In November 2007, she was having breathing troubles and feeling unwell, and her doctor speculated a blood clot on her lung was responsible. But a hospital emergency room found no blood clot.

A month later, she began experiencing slurred speech and left-side paralysis. The EMT crew believed she had experienced a stroke, but the treating physician diagnosed a migraine. At the time, she was only 38 and not in a high-risk group for stroke.

It wasn't until July 2008 when a physician diagnosed antiphosopholipid syndrome (APS). In a telephone interview, Smaniotto said, "That's when I learned I'd already had two strokes and a heart attack." By then, she had lost most vision in her right eye and would have another heart attack in months following.

A National Institutes of Health website defines APS as an autoimmune disorder often called "sticky blood syndrome," which can lead to blood clot formation in veins and arteries. It's treatable.

As for lasting effects from her strokes, she said, "I now have slower speech, short-term memory loss, and left side weakness. I stopped working as a pharmacy technician because my company considered me a liability (after the strokes). I enjoyed my job and had worked almost 25 years for the same company."

With APS, she looks "normal" on the outside. One of her biggest frustrations has been talking with people who don't think she has a disability.

She said, "I know people mean well when they say I don't look sick, but sometimes I just want to scream. It doesn't matter what's happening on the outside. It's what's happening on the inside of my body (that causes problems)."

As if this weren't enough, and unrelated to APS, doctors in 2008 also learned she had Braca-2, which is a family mutation gene causing breast and ovarian cancer. So Smaniotto had a hysterectomy and double mastectomy. Her sister had died of breast cancer and her mother of breast, ovarian, and lung cancer.

Smaniotto authored a book about her experiences, "The Burgundy Journey: Using Hope, Humor and Faith to Conquer Adversity, No Matter What." Also, to find a cure, the APS Foundation of America this year asked Smaniotto to participate in a film documentary to help raise awareness and prod the National Institutes of Health into funding APS research.


LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.

Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.

Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com



Placer County News Headlines

Reliability remains Honda Accord calling cardHonda has historically produced a great vehicle in the Accord, which has been at or near the top of midsize class for many years.

Rocklin Artist Diane Bell at Rocklin History MuseumRocklin Artist Diane Bell at Rocklin History Museum to display several pieces of her work this weekend.

Bullers Went from Journalist to AdvocateLast week, I featured long-time journalist and disability advocate Finn Bullers of Kansas City, Kansas. I'm now featuring him again because of the breadth and depth of his accomplishments

50 Days of the Dead: Playing In The BandAn extended, psychedelic version of Playing In The Band from the show that would be filmed and released as Sunshine Daydream.

Roseville Proposes 16.5 Percent Rate Hike for WaterThe City of Roseville is holding two community meetings in March to update customers about proposed water and wastewater utility rate increases.

San Juan Water District Responds to CVP Federal Water AllocationsDrought Watch: We all know that California is facing an extraordinary drought. This morning's announcement of federal water allocations through the Central Valley Project is indicative

California Legislation to Refund Illegal TaxesBoard of Equalization Vice Chair George Runner announced today he is sponsoring legislation to extend common sense protections to taxpayers. Assembly Bill 867

Placer County Transit to Take Over Lincoln Bus ServicePlacer County Transit is scheduled to take over operations of the City of Lincoln's fixed-route bus service beginning July 1.

Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (2.26.15)The Roseville weekly crime report digest update for February 26, 2015.

Roseville Celebrity Chili Cook-Off March 20th2015 Roseville Celebrity Chili Cook-Off will be held on Friday, March 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Maidu Community Center in Roseville

50 Days of the Dead: BerthaGrateful Dead play an acclaimed show across from the Big Apple in Jersey City, NJ. This version of Bertha captured on August 6, 1974

Ecological Benefits of Large, Intense Wildland FiresAs the California drought continues, with the severity deemed extreme or exceptional, we are all bracing for an early and intense fire season


more news