Bonjour, I’m Arlette Nelson.
Several years ago, 7 exactly, I move from San Jose, northern California, to Hermosa . My daughter became single mom and needed my help. Up to now, my days were filled with sharing my mother tongue French, with my eager student at the Hermosa Beach community center. A place filled with people that I can call friends.
Also having started in 2015, you could always find me every third Saturday of the month teaching French at the Redondo Beach public library.
As of 2016, having still a lot of energy, I became a crossing guard protecting the kids in the city of Manhattan Beach, my station is 2nd and Ardmore. Suddenly at the end of August,, just as the kid were starting school, I noticed that my walks became more difficult for me.. From 7th court, where we live, I usually walked my dog up to the 14th street park and within two short weeks, I realized I could go no further that 8th street. Holding the sign at the crosswalk to protect the kids became unbearable. Soon, I could hardly walk my 20 feet of the street to keep them safe. I was forced to resign from my job.
Now, losing the ability to do my daily activities is very difficult, especially mentally.
Here is the history of this inexplicable illness, my body is experiencing:
I feel extremely tired. Not a great deal of pain really, just weakness. I visited UCLA doctor’s offices to get a physical. Up to this point, my life has been healthy, pain free. The doctor, after doing the routine check decided that there was nothing wrong with me. I insisted to have an X Ray. She told me that I did not need one based on my symptoms, but after hearing me, she ordered one.
And so began this journey of deterioration over the last three almost four month of my life. A seven centimeter calcified fibroid was found, no big deal, that happens to 50% of matured women. At the same time my entire right side became extremely weak. I now have to use my left hand to move my right arm. Imagine.
Three fingers of my right hand no longer move well. My gynecologist ordered the first set of MRI’s to look at possible damage to my brain. The second one, in the pelvic area was, to locate the fibroid. The MRI came back with no urgency to operate or even a need to remove the fibroid, but, it showed my lower spine was severely damaged. I still needed the fibroid out. Surgery was scheduled for November 12th. But, in reviewing both MRI’s, my gynecologist wanted me to consult with an orthopedic surgeon.
As per the Orthopedist review, the surgery was called off. As of mid-November up to now, I am in deep pain. . This doctor suggested to me and my daughter, that I might have MS. Multiple Sclerosis.
In the meantime, my primary doctor requested that I visit a neurologist. The first appointment was mid-December. The consensus is that I had muscular dystrophy.
With every doctor there is an association of countless blood test, all to come back negative. They have no answer; none of them have come to a conclusive decision. Until they do, I am homebound.
You see, I live on the second floor of an apartment building. Going up and down is a very difficult task. The Hermosa PD, told me that they would come and help me, if needed but for how long and how often can I ask. To lose your mobility is to losing a big part of your life. Watching the days pass from a window.
I don’t know which way to turn to regain my life. It was only 4 months ago. It feels like a lifetime already. Pain has a way of making the days very long. Whatever I have is moving quickly and ferociously through my body.
At this point, it may be a virus, bacteria, I don’t know. I just want to regain my fife, again as I did. I miss my students, my little kids crossing the street to school. Walking my dog. Being with my daughter and granddaughter. Nothing fancy. The simplest and best parts of what makes a life.
I cannot drive, I cannot get up or down the stairs safely that lead to our front door alone, I cannot cook for myself as the dishes are too heavy, I have a hard time doing even the simple things in life like washing and dressing. Thank God for my daughter who has been helping me.
So many doctor visits, and more scheduled. Recently we found something that gave me a small bit of relief, slowed the progression it seemed. IV infusion treatments. 9 more are scheduled. Medicare insurance does not cover these treatments. Please help me to keep this burden from my family.
I need help with my 11 years old dog. I have been using a local beach life guard who has walked Shilo for very few dollars. But now, that he has to go back to work and the replacements are very expensive. Thank you
Thank you so much for reading and having interest in my life and me.
- Dottie Lee
- Kirsten Cole
- Sally Shannon
- Heather Mason
Organizer and beneficiary
Hermosa Beach, CA