My name is Rosanna Shepherd. I developed MdDS on a 5-day cruise in October of 2010. While on the cruise, I experienced one episode of migraine with aura. It was about a week later that I realized I didn’t feel quite “right”. My balance was off and I started to feel anxiety and a foggy feeling in my head.
Thinking it was an inner ear problem, I visited my ENT and explained these strange symptoms. He asked me if I had been on a cruise lately and I confirmed that I was. He diagnosed me immediately. I also went to a neurologist for various brain scans and everything was, of course, normal.
I had been working in flooring sales for 20 years, but I no longer could get out of bed without feeling my world was collapsing around me. I was late for work often, couldn’t concentrate. The anxiety was starting to control me as I didn’t know what to expect from one day to the next. I sought the help of a psychiatrist who prescribed a low dose Clonazepam twice daily, increasing it soon after to three x daily. He also increased Zoloft which I was already taking for mild depression to the maximum dose. My company fired me three months into my illness. After 12 years with them, I was no longer a productive and dependable employee. Luckily, I have a supportive husband and family or I may have considered ending it all. There just seemed no hope as I was sure I would not go into remission.
Gradually, I began to accept the dramatic change in my life and realized I would never be the person I was before MdDS. The rocking motion, anxiety and overall feeling of despair began to subside. It was over a year before I ventured out to social gatherings and reconnected with my friends who patiently waited for me and prayed for my recovery.
There are still hurdles to jump every day but they are shorter and not as scary. My husband and I both acquired our tour guide licenses and have a fledgling tour company. I just want those of you who have been recently diagnosed, or are still struggling to get a diagnosis, to know that things DO get better and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
5-day cruise 2010