Nyasia’s guest post is the 44th post in the segment on my blog, called “The Reality Of…” which gives others the ability to share their story and raise awareness of the disabilities, illnesses, impairments and invisible illnesses that they have.
Hi, my name is Nyasia Williams. I am 27 years old from Camden, New Jersey and I am diagnosed with having Cerebellar Ataxia.
I was not born with Cerebellar Ataxia. I was having symptoms that no doctor could pinpoint because some of my symptoms related to other diseases. But moreover, the summer of my sophomore year of college, going into my junior year, making me 20 years old, I had awakened for work (I worked at a clothing store, folding clothes, packing and unpacking clothes, as well as cleaning and organizing the store), with a slight headache.
I felt my ears ringing, I felt a little shaky and unsteady but I still wanted to appear for work. It was a bad idea going to work that morning because I had to leave work early and head straight to the emergency room.
My head was pounding so badly that I thought my head was going to bust open or something. Luckily, I was able to make it to the bathroom, I was nauseous and vomited. I did not clock out of work or inform anyone of my departure… I just left. I jumped in my Jeep, hopped on the highway and that’s when my vision became kind of blurry. I prayed that I would make it. I prayed for my safety. I made it safely to the hospital.
I started getting emotional walking up to the hospital. I was alone. The condition of my health was unknown and I just knew everything would not be OK. This was not a little headache; this was something serious.
Fast forward to about 23 years old and I was officially diagnosed with Cerebellar Ataxia. 24 years old and people were becoming more knowledgeable about Ataxia and it was categorized as a traumatic brain injury or TBI.
Ataxia is somewhat of a balance disorder. I said “somewhat” because Ataxia affects everyone differently. Ataxia affects my balance, co-ordination, vision, and my strength. I am shaky a lot when I walk, as I walk with a walker but I prefer a wheelchair. I love my wheelchair! My wheelchair is my life and I do not know what I would do without it.
I can push myself but because Ataxia affects my strength, I tend to move slower and I get tired fast… So, someone else pushes me. I can push myself in my wheelchair, slowly and at my own pace the entire day taking frequent breaks in between.
But I do suffer from Arthritis as well, so frequently resting here and there is gladly needed. Although I am battling multiple disabilities, I do not allow them to change me as a person. I am still a great, motivating, inspirational person.
I volunteer at the ‘Cathedral Kitchen’, a place that helps the homeless. I help by making centrepieces and little baggies, containing napkins, forks, salt and pepper. I prepare those things while at ‘Moss Rehab’ with my occupational therapist, Laura. Moss Rehab is a brain institute. Moss Rehab works with those who sadly suffered some type of brain injury. The rehab works with its clients to modify things at home or outside of the home to make living with a brain injury easier. To gain back our independence.
I try to help and encourage people through my writings on my blog, Seven Says Lyfe Does Get Better, I didn’t always have a positive attitude towards my disability. I was diagnosed at such a young age and so unexpectedly that I didn’t really get a chance to live life. I couldn’t finish college, I had to quit working, I couldn’t afford to get my first house. I just didn’t think I could live the life I believed a person at my age should have been living.
I was sad, depressed, and I felt ugly and alone. I try to remember that although I may not have a large audience right now, at least one person heard it. At least one person understands and is listening to me. So, I continued to do and say what I felt was needed to make this world a better place.
Continue doing whatever it is that you are doing, stay focused, stay positive, and continue giving it your all.
My Favourite Superhero
Oh, and my favorite superhero is, of course, Black Lightning!
Thanks Nyasia for raising awareness and sharing your story with my readers and me!
If you would like to stay up to date with Nyasia, then you can find her on her blog (link provided above)!