"Straight From the Heart" Interview Series: Shelley Lemieux
Shelley Lemieux goes to Circle Creek Therapy for speech, occupational, and physical therapy because she has MS. MS stands for "multiple sclerosis", & it is a chronic disease that attacks your central nervous system. Individuals with MS will experience symptoms such as double vision, fatigue, numbness, paralysis, slurred speech, and much more.
We adore Shelley, and we believe that her experience with MS is very insightful! Follow along to read more about what it's like to live with this condition, and how Shelley combats it.
(Left to Right: Courtni, Shelley, Kristen & Cindy. The sweet little boy is Courtni's son, Noah. Isn't Noah's smile adorable?!)
What are some things that you like to do?
"I like to garden. I like making cards because people really enjoy them. I am an avid reader. My husband and I go target practice shooting. I really like spending time with family, or the “littles”. Photography is another passion of mine!"
2. As someone who has MS, what does your typical day look like?
"It’s different depending if I work or not. But when I do work, I start by getting ready, and eating breakfast. I eat whatever is easiest to open. MS makes it hard for me to open certain things. Then after I work for a little bit on my computer, I eat lunch with my husband who cooks for me. MS makes it hard to cook, but my husband cooked before I was diagnosed with MS, so it works out great anyways! Then, my husband takes a nap since he works the graveyard shift, and I will usually nap with him. I get tired very easily, so napping is very helpful."
"Then he helps me shower. Since I have MS, I don’t always know if I have rinsed off all of the soap, or if I still have water in my hair. But husband helps me with things like that. After that, I try to work some more. My boss allowed me to work online and at home full-time; I have an amazing company. After working, I eat a prepackaged dinner that my husband usually makes. I am lucky, my husband takes care of me very well. At night I usually read, watch TV, or play games on my phone before bed."
"When I am not working, like on the weekends, my husband and I usually get some coffee in the mornings. From there, we get a massage, and we go to the chiropractor. While I’m getting my massage, Rick (her husband), will run to Wal-Mart to get our weekly groceries. We have a great system! Sundays are our lazy days. On those days, we visit family, or I am getting my hair done! I love my colorful hair."
3. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience with MS?
“It’s been frustrating. At the beginning it was scary. I woke up one Saturday morning and I couldn’t feel my right leg, it felt like it was amputated. By Monday, it was better, because it was getting less floppy. I have always been struggled with anemia, so I thought that something was wrong with that. But after I got my infusions, it wasn’t getting better. I decided to take some time off of work because I was also getting double vision.”
“Another time, I was driving my car down a hill, and my car was suddenly braking. But I thought to myself, "Aren't I stepping on the gas?" It turns out that I was actually stepping on the brakes, and I didn’t realize it. I knew that I shouldn’t have driven into work, but I did it anyways because I’m stubborn. I finally got to work and as I was walking in, my legs buckled and I fell straight down. I got up, & walked into my building. But then I fell again and this time, I fell face down a flight of stairs. I have known most of the people at my work for over 20 years, and they are good friends of mine. Six of my close guy friends carried me to a car, and then we went to the hospital."
"I first got diagnosed with tarsal tunnel syndrome, but it seemed to be more than that. After the doctors did a bunch of tests, and after getting cortisol injections, I found out a month later that I have MS. The doctors worked really hard and they found it out early. I got my diagnosis in February of 2018.”
4. And what are some of the activities that you do, that help you with your MS?
"Sweeping. The sweeping motion normally throws my balance off. But lately I have been doing much better at doing it myself. I work on my arm-strength mobility. My previous goal was to be able to hold babies, like my nephew. I work on some cognitive exercises with Courtni too, like word-finding exercises."
5. How would you describe your experience at Circle Creek Therapy?
“The staff are so knowledgeable. If I wasn’t here I couldn’t drive or walk. I couldn’t feel if I was pushing too hard or too soft on the brakes, or on the gas pedal. I can now click on my seat belt. I wouldn’t be able to type without Cindy (our occupational therapist). I can actually hold an intelligible conversation. I sometimes still have a hard time, but I can still talk to people."
“It’s like a family. Even the people that aren’t family, are family. This is one of my happy places. I love coming here. I recommend other people to come here all of the time.”
Interested in becoming a patient at Circle Creek Therapy? Just give us a call at 253.237.3405! We would love to help you!