Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local News

February 2, 2013

Virginia woman pieces together 17 years lost to amnesia

(Continued)

Shawnda hadn't divulged the symptoms to many people, or even to her husband, but Cindy insisted that Shawnda get help to prevent losing control of a car with Shaylin in it.

Shawnda went to optometrist David Tufts, who diagnosed retrobulbar optic neuritis and referred her to Winchester Neurological Consultants to be evaluated for multiple sclerosis. The next day, Scott Shulman informed her she probably did have MS, and had her admitted to the hospital for an MRI and to begin steroids. She went to Winchester Medical Center over Fourth of July weekend, still not grasping the diagnosis.

"She was even more upset, at times, because she was missing her favorite holiday," Cindy said. "So I planned a party at her house because of her condition, and I got everybody at work together, and they ended up getting her family together."

Shawnda steadily deteriorated. She was prescribed more than 10 medications, but her symptoms grew and became more varied. Once lean and athletic, she was gaining weight and losing mobility, all the while stricken with bouts of pain and numbness. Her vision got so poor that, at times, she could see objects only directly in front of her face and, often, nothing at all with her left eye.

"It was really hard on Shaylin, 'cause she'd go to her mom, pull herself up on the couch, and she wanted Mom to pick her up," Marsha said. "She would start crying, and Shawnda would do all she could just to pick her up, and then she would start crying because she couldn't."

Shawnda endured hallucinations and nightmares, and made nonsensical exclamations. Her mother, who came by the house every weekday to care for Shawnda and the baby, once noticed Shawnda sniffing the curtains intently. Shawnda told her she'd dreamed the curtains were on fire and could now smell smoke. Another time, Marsha followed Shawnda onto the roof in search of another phantom fire.

Text Only
Local News
Business Marquee
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Does it bother you that the Thomasville-Thomas County Central football game won't be played for at least the next two years?

Yes
No
     View Results
Video
Sports Pulse
Must Read
Must Read