3 years ago today, I was hooded at Saint Xavier University! I received a dual MBA in Marketing & Internet & Social Media Marketing. It has always been a dream to receive my MBA, but achieving that dream meant everything to not only me but my family as well as it was one of the most grueling chapters in my story of life.
Many do not know, but during my last year at SXU I feel very ill. In September of 2013 I was at work and started to feel very off balance. I left that day and headed straight to Urgent Care. Diagnosed with a sinus infection and given some meds, I was sent home to follow up with my primary care doctor.
But as weeks went pass my health declined. My ability to balance got worse, I had constant headaches, my ears continuously rang, and I started losing my appetite. Grad school stress is crazy, but not that impactful. I visited my PCP and she too agreed I just had a lingering sinus infection along with stress. As fate would have it things continued to get worse and we all knew something was seriously wrong.
I refused to give up so I still attended class feeling absolutely life-less. Eventually, doctors agreed I had a virus and needed a Z-pack; that damn near took me out. The vomiting was insane and almost unbearable. My vision started causing me issues, as I suffered from nystagmus (involuntary movement or shaking of the eyes). I could no longer drive at this point and had to be dropped off at work & school.
During this time I developed severe anxiety as my body was changing in ways I could not control. After rapidly losing almost 30 pounds and nearly passing out at my Mother’s house one night she rushed me to the ER, where a doctor was so kind and patient. She throughly researched my symptoms and concluded I had a virus or a neurological issue. In desperate need of seeing a Neurologist, my Mother basically threatened my PCP, as she still insisted I was “fine, and just stressed from work, school, and motherhood.” My mother knew better and thanks to her persistence I finally saw a Neurologist and and ENT. I underwent an ear & throat procedure as well as an MRI, as they feared I may have MS.
I was on literally on edge as we waited for the results. My personal life had fallen completely apart, as I was just a shell of the woman I was 6 months prior. I needed help with almost everything. And my parents, along with my fiancé stepped up to help in EVERY way they could. From taking care of my son, to helping me meet project deadlines, to driving me where I needed to be.
After a six week leave of absence from work and teetering on the edge of dropping out with 1 semester left to finish, I finally received the news that I DID NOT have MS, but rather a very bad inner ear virus that affected my balance as my sight & hearing; seeing that it is all a connected system. THANK YOU JESUS! Finally an answer and solution: more meds and physical therapy.
With the help of a weekly therapy sessions and encouragement from my family as well as the director of the MBA program I pushed forward. Determined to finish strong and I did, graduating with HIGH HONORS! So every year I will celebrate, because I climbed a mountain that at the time seemed impossible! It took me years to get my health back on track, and I may never be the same, but this is my new normal and I am grateful for how far I have come!
Momma I MADE IT! And she could not have been happier!