The Unpredictable Life of Tia Brooks
Last updated: June 2023
Hello, my name is Tia Brooks I’m 50 years old, I was diagnosed with NMO October 2009. I guess my stubbornness and need to pay bills I ignored all the symptoms. Until one day I couldn’t button or zip up my pants couldn’t barely walk or control my bladder. I went to the emergency room and they thought it was a Lupus flare which I was diagnosed with September 2001. I’ve never experienced such pain threw my body! A burning itching sensation just made me scratch and tear my skin just bruised in misery.
My two-month experience in the hospital
I received so many different medications in the hospital to try to get the pain uncontrolled so they could basically transfer me to rehab where I relearn to walk. It was an unpleasant experience of having to wear adult diapers, waiting to be wheeled to shower... how degrading. I tried my best to feed myself with my good right hand. My left side was basically non existent. I felt defeated and depressed. My relationship basically went sour and in addition, I also dealt with weight gain from the high dose of Prednisone. Time passed, and I was released after 2 months.
My home life was difficult. I was walking different and being dependent on others broke my self esteem. In about 4 months I actually returned to work and 6 months later had another attack having repeat everything I went through. Gosh! I think back to the yells and screams from those body spasms. I wouldn’t wish them on my worse enemy. I have a excellent Neurologist at NYU Hospital in NY who he refers to me as his miracle. We tried to many medications to get me relief but it definitely took some time.
A brighter future
I’ve been getting Rituxan treatments which have done wonders for me. My days are better now, I'm managing my pains these days I have an emotional support dog. Her name is Tiffany and she’s my miracle. I was so lost during this time. But through believing in my faith I was looking for something to help heal the scars left from being in a toxic relationship left me wanting to rebuild my confidence. I looked into kickboxing with the idea of "how hard could it be since I was a trained dancer for years." WRONG! My first time on the mat I was ready to run out. But it was all so worth it.
After 5 years, here I am!
Fast forward to 5 years later and here I am sitting behind the desk now. I've since returned back to work and am loving kickboxing!
Has NMO impacted your ability to keep a job?