The past few weeks have been unbelievably busy for me. As you are probably aware, I write this blog for many reasons, but one is to advocate for the Dystonia community. I have been sharing my journey via this blog for nearly five years. In the beginning I thought, I hope I reach 50 hits at some point! Little did I know that I would get nearly 4,000 hits in ONE DAY, which would then lead to an interview on The Today Show!!!! Many of you have asked, How did this happen?
A couple months ago, The Mighty shared a couple of my blog posts to their website. To my surprise, they asked if they could write a feature story about my journey for their website http://themighty.com/tag/jean-abbott/. Of course, I said yes, knowing that they work closely with bloggers to bring awareness for many disabilities out there. The day after that posted, I received an e-mail from an editor from The UK Daily Mail asking the same thing. A few days later, their story posted(http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3047729/Woman-spent-30-YEARS-fighting-debilitating-cerebral-palsy-discovers-misdiagnosed-symptoms-cured-just-one-pill.html) and my phone began ringing off the hook. A week later, The Today Show was interviewing my family!
I know all of this is very exciting, but it has also been extremely stressful. My Dopa Responsive Dystonia requires me to get plenty of sleep, exercise and keep my stress levels low in order to keep my symptoms at bay. This has been a challenge these past couple weeks. I've had to rest more, stretch more and remind myself to ask others for help in order to keep my stress levels lower. Even with the extra effort my balance has been off, I've noticed more tremors in my hands, cramping in my muscles, my walk hasn't been as smooth and I drop more items than usual. With all that said, I am still very grateful for this wonderful opportunity and I could not do it without the support from my amazing husband, Steve. In fact, I don't think I could have done this without him. Scratch that...I KNOW that I couldn't have done this without him!
I must give a heartfelt thank you to The Mighty and the UK Daily Mail for finding interest in my story, so I can have the privilege of helping others. I am incredibly blessed knowing that by sharing my journey, many people will learn more about Dopa Responsive Dystonia and potentially speak to their physician about their own diagnosis.
Side note: It looks like our story should air Thursday May 7th on the Today Show. I will be sure to post a link to the segment after NBC links it to their website. Thanks so much!!
After living the first 33 years of my life thinking I had Spastic Diplegia, a form of Cerebal Palsey, I was correctly diagnosed with Dopa Responsive Dystonia (DRD). I am on new medication and doing things that I never imagined possible. This has changed the lives of my husband and two daughters. I truly believe that I am living a miracle each and every day. Life can't get any better than this!