“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”- MLK
In January of 2019, my life seemed perfect. I was recently married, enjoying life, planning for a wholesome future but then, my life started to change. I was training for a half marathon and started having trouble balancing on a treadmill. Shortly thereafter, my gut was acting up and I ended up with an infection that took me downhill. I was sick as can be and started having terrible vestibular migraines (VM) along with imbalance issues. At that time, I had no idea what was going on. Over the course of the next year, I saw countless doctors, specialists and had a number of tests done which amounted to nothing. Yet, I knew something was wrong. I was in a bad place and desperate for answers. In the summer of 2020, I started feeling a little better and pushing myself to move around and get back to a semi-normal life, even though my VMs and PPPD persisted. In September of 2020, I went downhill again and had a horrible VM which made me feel like I was regressing and there was no hope. I finally found a neurologist that diagnosed me with PPPD and VM. Even though I had answers, I was mortified. How could this happen to me? I never expected to live with a chronic condition where I’d have to fight for the rest of my life. Over the course of the next few months, I worked with my physical therapist and rehab psychologist to learn how to move again, cope with my symptoms and find some normalcy. I started to virtually attend a local support group and before I knew it, I started to get better. Today, I am able to walk without assistance, drive and even run! If you would have asked me if this was possible a few months ago, I would have laughed. Yet, here I am. My journey has been tiresome but it has given me hope. I know that I will have to keep fighting forever but with the life I’ve been given, I’d be damned if I didn’t give it my all. My appreciation for my life, my family and health has increased tenfold. I hope to encourage people to never stop fighting, to keep searching for answers and to keep working on yourself. Most importantly, keep moving forward and NEVER give up.