Michelle Reid got diagnosed with SCA3 after a five-year search to find out what caused her symptoms. There are some things she is not able to do anymore like before, but she still works successfully as an IT Project Manager. Michelle and her husband make the most out of life by incorporating laughter into their lives.
My name is Michelle Reid. I am 35 years old and on March 8, 2021, I was officially diagnosed with Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3.
My journey to get diagnosed took 5 years, and I didn’t know I was on the journey until the end. At 30 years old, I noticed that I was experiencing double vision. It was bad enough that I was referred to a neuro-ophthalmologist and then finally to an eye surgeon who did 2 strabismus surgeries over 3 years. I did notice, that during this time, I was experiencing poor balance issues. I had associated this with my ongoing eye double vision problems. With the encouragement of my husband, I mentioned this symptom to my eye surgeon who took my comments a lot more seriously than I did. She referred me back to my neuro-ophthalmologist who also took my comments of having imbalance issues equally as serious (I am extremely lucky in my doctors). I did some blood work which returned normal, had an MRI which showed no atrophy of the cerebellum, and then finally a genetics test for SCA, which came back positive for SCA3.
I am lucky to be working as a Project Manager in the IT field and thus have been able to continue working full time. I have noticed there are a few things such as jumping down a landing, or just balancing on a small walkway, that I was able to do when I was younger and that I am not able to do anymore. Finding out about my diagnosis has really influenced how I prioritize my time and has made me and my husband make some tough decisions regarding our life. One element we have always incorporated in our lives is laughter and trying to find the silver lining in everything. That is something we will be doing as this disease affects more and more of our lives.
I realize that this disease is very rare in the population of the world and currently there is no cure for it. I am hopeful that eventually there will be a treatment that will help improve our lives but until then I will do my part to raise awareness for this disease.
Thank you Michelle Reid for sharing your story with us. We are hoping with you for a future where there is a cure for Ataxia!
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