Advocate Fighting Invisible Disabilities
Christy Smith of Florissant, Missouri, saw nine doctors over a three-year span beginning in 1991 before learning exactly why she had periodic, intense dizzy spells. Eventually, she became a "warrior" and advocate for people regarding her specific invisible disability and invisible disabilities in general.
In a telephone interview, 63-year-old Smith said, "My symptoms (in 1991 and now) were this huge dizziness. When it started, I thought I had an ear infection. You know how a (normal) person walks from point A to point B and can always make it to point B without even thinking about it? I couldn't. I would make it to a different point other than B."
When getting a diagnosis of Meniere's disease, she was just as "confused" about the disease then as now, she said. The National Institutes of Health defines it as a "disorder of the inner ear that causes severe dizziness, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear." No cure exists. Like others with the disease, Smith even today will have overwhelming attacks of intense dizziness, which, in her case, occur about three times a week and range from five minutes to 24 hours each.
She said, "Recently, I was going to my bathroom and stopped because I felt unsteady. I held onto the sink for balance. Then it was like someone pulled the rug out from under me. I went down backwards and hit my head on the bedside table. It didn't knock me out, but did give me a two-inch gash. My husband took me to the emergency room. It's like a fog comes over me during these attacks and I really don't know up from down or left from right." Due to having Meniere's disease, Smith chooses not to drive a car by herself.
Advising people recently diagnosed, she said, "Don't think you'll be cured right away because there is no cure. It's an invisible illness. People at times think I'm imagining the dizziness, which in part is why I recently became a public speaker about invisible illnesses and Meniere's disease."
Smith, a fiction author, has been writing what will become a non-fiction book to help people cope with Meniere's disease. She decided on becoming a warrior rather than a sufferer, she said. She credited her Christian faith with helping her get through life. She recommended Facebook support groups to help people cope with Meniere's disease.
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 HeadlinesBottleRock Presents Announces Concerts and Festival AftershowsNAPA, Calif. -- BottleRock Napa Valley, presented by JaM Cellars, has sold out all passes to the festival's sixth installment on May 25 - 27, 2018 in downtown Napa
Mesa Verde Country Top 5 Winter Experiences in Southwest ColoradoCortez, Colo. - Mesa Verde Country in Southwest Colorado is a great winter destination. The area boasts mountains, sunshine and everything travelers need for the perfect cold-weather getaway
BottleRock Presents Vines & VibesNapa, CA, - BottleRock Napa Valley presents Vines & Vibes, the fourth annual Do It For The Love Benefit Dinner and Concert on Thursday, May 24, 2018, on the rooftop of the Archer Hotel
2018 Lexus GX570 remains luxurious SUVRoseville, CA,- What most drivers will like about the 2018 Lexus LX570 is the combination of gracious around-town capability and its ability to go off-road in rugged winter conditions
Tree Harvest Cannabis Festival Cancelled, Fall Dates PossibleWoodland, CA- The cannabis themed Tree Harvest Festival scheduled for April 20- 22, 2018 has been cancelled due to a municipality withdrawing authorization
Roseville Gas Prices Ease SlightlyRoseville, CA- Gas prices in Roseville have eased slightly this past week despite the strong upward trend and anticipation of prices pushing toward the $4 gallon mark
Roseville City School District to Share $400,000 Grant(Roseville, CA) - Roseville City School District (RCSD) is poised to be the recipient of $400,000, all aimed to benefit its middle school students through
Kay U. Brooks presented with Don Poole AwardSacramento, CA,- Attorney Kay U. Brooks of Weintraub Tobin was recently awarded the Sacramento Region Community Foundation's prestigious Don Poole Award for her significant contributions
Arson Damage at Margaret Azevedo Park in RocklinRocklin, CA,- On February 17th 2018 at about 10:38 PM, Rocklin Police Officers responded to Margret Azevedo Park in the report of a play structure on fire
Roseville City School District Honors Teachers of the Year(Roseville, CA) - The Roseville City School District (RCSD) recently announced their Teachers of the Year. Heidi Polewaczyk and Michael Larsen have been selected
Roseville Gas Prices Throttling HigherRoseville, CA- A quick look around Roseville had motorists noticing gas prices trending upward. Prices in Roseville have pushed past the $3 mark
IHOP Pancake Drive-thru Benefits UC Davis Children's Hospital(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - On Monday, Feb. 26, pancake lovers can drive through, eat their fill of short-stack pancakes and make a donation to support sick and injured children at UC Davis Children's Hospital