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

American River Project: Water Transfer ApprovedDrought Watch: At the May 21 meeting of the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors, the Board approved a resolution authorizing the release of 12,000 acre-feet

Granite Bay Cuts Water Use 32 PercentDrought Watch: Customers in San Juan Water District's retail service area reduced their water use by 32 percent in April compared to 2013.

When 20 Billion Gallons of Water Savings is Not EnoughDrought Watch: Even though customers from 19 Sacramento-area water agencies have saved more than 20 billion gallons

$900,000 Window Project: Placer County Courthouse AuburnWork is under way on a construction project that will restore and repair aging windows at Placer County's Historic Courthouse in Auburn.

Squaw Valley High Profile Development ProposedA proposed high-profile project is in the works that would transform 94 acres in Squaw Valley into a development offering numerous resort residential options and amenities

Auburn Library Opens with Flooring Project CompletionThe Auburn branch of the Placer County Library has been closed since May 1

Kaiser Permanente Roseville Honors Fallen for Memorial DayKaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center held a special ceremony yesterday honoring the memories of all who have died on behalf of our country

Raley's and iFoster Launch Foster Youth Hiring Program iFoster has partnered with Raley's Family of Fine Stores to develop a new hiring program for foster youth.

Auburn Non-Profit Above All Adventures Utilizes IndiegogoIn Placer County, 13 is the average age for first time alcohol and illegal prescription use, and binge drinking increases threefold between 9th and 11th graders

5 Skills Adolescents Need for a Successful and Satisfying Life"During the physical, emotional and intellectual explosions of the adolescent years, it's critical that teenagers develop a belief in their own ability to succeed

Kidney Cancer Secrets Revealed?An international team of scientists, led by UC Davis nephrologist Robert Weiss, have used a sophisticated combination of proteomics and metabolomics to show how

Autism Speaks Walk at River Cats StadiumWalk Now for Autism Speaks takes place at River Cats Stadium on May 31, 2015. ( via ATOU Cares.org)


more news