Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events
HOME

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.


Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.

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

15 Year Old Student Arrested for Felony ThreatsToday, Placer County Sheriff's detectives arrested a 15-year-old Colfax High School student on a felony charge of attempted criminal threats

Kia Forte continues to climb in esteemRoseville, CA- Redesigned two years ago, the Kia Forte got noticed right away. There was a lot to like - it was longer, lower and wider than previous models, and the result

College Program for Students With Intellectual DisabilitiesThey have a residential, individualized academic program at Millersville University (Penn.) for students with intellectual disabilities, where students right now are working

Roseville Gas Prices on the Rise this SummerRoseville, CA- As the end of summer season draws near, Roseville gas prices have been steadily creeping up.

California Fires Update (8-29-16)Over 12,000 firefighters are battling 13 large wildfires in California. While firefighters made good progress on several fronts over the weekend

Roseville & Rocklin: Top 10 Free Things To DoRoseville, CA- Having a great time can get expensive. It doesn't always have to be. If you're looking to cut back or have a growing family, it's time to get a little creative

Former NFL QB Jeff Kemp to Speak at Catta VerderaFormer NFL quarterback Jeff Kemp will be guest speaker Thursday, Sept. 8 at Catta Verdera Country Club in Lincoln.

California Fires Update Summary (8.27.16)Over 12,300 firefighters are battling 10 large wildfires in California. Despite mild temperatures yesterday, dry and gusty conditions

Music: 10 Great Albums Worth a ListenRoseville, CA- Music tastes are as subjective as it gets, but few things are as fun as music opinions.

California's Return-to-Prison Rate FallsThe rate at which people return to prison has consistently trended downward since fiscal year 2005-2006 when the rate was 67.5 percent.

Rocklin Flash Crime Report (8.26.16)Rocklin, CA- Police activity digest update in Rocklin for the period covering August 15- 21, 2016.

Food Truck Cinema Sept. 16 at Woodcreek Golf ClubRoseville, CA- Woodcreek Golf Club in Roseville will host its inaugural Food Truck Cinema on Friday, Sept. 16 at its driving range.


more news