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A Woman of Many Titles....

by Casey
(Greenbrier, WV)

I went to College to major in Volleyball and Softball-Full ride actually. Then I was informed that my degree was actually an Associate in Occupational Therapy-haha. It worked out after all. =) After grad from college in 2006 I worked in Geriatrics until 2011.

I used to be so proud and my parents found great joy in saying "Oh-my daughter is a college athlete" and then, "Oh my daughter is an OT!" Now, not much is said and I find myself in less and less pictures with my family. Family stating I had changed so much??

I was beginning to be late for work more and more often, tired all the time. When you are a therapist and you work with other therapists; Speech therapists-Physical Therapists, they begin to analyze you. So during my last year of work my co-workers as well as myself noticed my short term memory was "struggling". Later I began to tear up..., cry for no reason.

We made fun of it for the most part... I had pain but thought it was from all those years of playing ball. Then one day I was working with a patient and I thought she was about to fall-she didn't, but where I flinched so quickly I struck something in my back-electric shock!

So with everything in place I got MRI's. All with and without contrast - together there was 8 total - from my brain>cervical>thoracic>lumbar. I picked up the records not expecting to read what I read -knowing the medical terminology - I read Multiple Sclerosis on EVERY SINGLE ONE! Counting 7 lesions on my brain along with herniated/bulging discs,and spinal cord compression.

This began a 4 month leave from work to be sure of this diagnosis - I am so grateful that my eyes were and have not been effected. I took Physical Therapy-passed all the requirements - But upon my return to work where I had been for 4 years - this huge "therapy" Company had me back for 32 days and gave me no option but to move immediately to another facility where I could work 32 hr/wk verses 40/wk - I never realized 8 hours less a week was that terrible-when they were making us go home for lack of work already.

I am fighting for my rights-my letter of determination comes from the

Supreme Court this week and I pray that Justice is declared on my behalf. It has been almost 2 years, which my attorney had told me it would take. You see friends, this Company has said I was fired for Gross misconduct. Further, in that same script of Firing me it stated I was basically unable to retain new information like I was mentally challenged! - in reality the Supervisor felt that it was not "fair" to the patients that I be "sick" when the focus should be on patients.

In all honesty, that was "MY" greatest focus and the company's was $$. Making $50 off me every 2 min I spent with a patient. But it was easy to replace me because they interviewed another girl during my time off - who actually showed the day I returned. Since 2011 I have been on Unemployment-finding it impossible to be a therapist again.

Has anyone had this kind of problem? I love being a therapist - but has this MS became my new title.. Does an educated, well rounded-funny (well I think so) person need to suck it up and find another title-because MS is all the "new potential employer hears? I have no insurance after I lost my job-Medicaid says I make too much $ at 21,000/yr.

You and I both know the shots run ~$4,000/month so I cannot afford the medications that are needed. And I'm not being prescribed ones I need due to all the Drug abuse in the world. I'm forced to go without pain medicine and spend way too many days in the bed. Rarely seeing my family..

Friends-well seems like most of the ones I truly have left, have serious issues themselves - which is nice to relate, as it is said that misery loves company.

If anyone has opinions--or much needed advice-hit me. Because I'm losing it all before my eyes and I'm only 30 and I know God has something else out there for me. My one piece of advice is don't give in to the Big Companies-or small ones.

I am not the type to take up for myself under the extremely intimidating circumstance. But there are Advocates that are there to help-it may take awhile but in the end I know it is worth it-I am worth it and so are you!

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Cir & Akrista

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