My name is Kimberly and my story begins in 1978. I woke up one morning, unable to move my legs or left arm and unable to get out of bed. At the time, I was only 18 years old. I went to the hospital, was admitted for a week, and aside from my psoriasis, was discharged without a diagnosis.

As weeks went by, I continued to worsen. I developed red raised nodules on the shins of my legs. They were warm to the touch and very painful. The doctors were baffled and again sent me home without a diagnosis.

After a few weeks of horrific pain, my father carried me into a different hospital, where I was admitted with concern from the doctors there may have been fluid build-up in my ankles and I would never walk again.  Fortunately, there was no fluid. I spent a week in the hospital only to have them discharge me with a diagnosis of Sarcoidosis and Erthema nodosum. They thought it could have also been polio or rheumatic fever, and so I spent six months in a wheelchair. I was given a final diagnoses of psoriasis, sarcoidosis, Erthema nodosum, and lupus. Along with receiving steroid injections in my ankles, I took liquid painkillers just to be able to walk and function.

In May 1995, I gave birth to my second son by C-section. During this three day experience, I started having severe tremors and headache. The nurse said it was normal after a C-section. I didn’t agree, as they were involuntary and uncontrollable.

Finally, my husband and I left the hospital and took our baby home. Two nights later, I went back to the E.R. with severe headaches and raised blood pressure. The doctors gave me a CT scan, a shot of Demerol, and sent me home. They said I was fine. I knew I was not.

The next day, I literally woke up feeling like I only had my head in the bed!  I could not feel my body parts from my neck down to my toes, with no control of any movements.  I was numb and unable to walk.  Later, I came to learn the name of this experience as “proprioception,” something we all need to learn about.

When my speech started to slur, my husband drove me back to the hospital. By the time I entered the emergency room, I had no vision, and within hours, I became paralyzed. I was unable to respond to any of the doctor’s commands; I could hear every word, but simply  did not know how to respond.

After being admitted for weeks and undergoing many, many tests and countless procedures, along with the occasional Nitroglycerin put under my tongue every few hours, the only diagnosis that I received was that I had postpartum psychosis and needed to see a psychiatrist. I remember a neurologist checking my balance, and because I had a slight responding reflex, he said I was fine.  Mind you, I still could not see or walk correctly, nor could I drive a car as I didn’t know how.

After quite some time, my vision finally returned as tunnel and “mirror like” vision. I was discharged with 1mg of prescription Ativan 3x a day, as it calmed the tremors. I did see a psychiatrist and had a neuropsychological evaluation. It was my psychiatrist who said I had every symptom of Multiple sclerosis and suggested that I see an MS specialist. So I made an appointment to see an MS specialist who finally diagnosed me with Multiple sclerosis.  He deemed me to have a host of other autoimmune related diseases as well, and was very upset that no other physician recognized the MS on all four past MRIs I had brought him to read.

In June of 2001, it was confirmed, I had a secondary disease diagnosis called Multiple Sclerosis. I had to undergo speech and cognitive therapy for almost 3 years and I had to be detoxed from a medication that I was now addicted too for the tremors as it was shutting down my digestive system.  All of this was a result of being misdiagnosed. I have had unnecessary surgeries, physician appointments, and countless diagnoses from so-called professionals telling me it was all in my head. One doctor wrote a letter to my psychiatrist that he spent over an hour counseling me on my symptoms and complaints.

I am hoping that telling my story here would be of great knowledge to bringing awareness to overlapping autoimmune-related diseases such as MS. My hope is that my experience can help all of the newly diagnosed MS patients with overlapping diseases as well as their family & friends.  My being a patient for example, as well as a testimonial to all of the above experiences, it is my wish to let others know that the complaints and symptoms are real, not all in our heads and that no patient should ever have to go through any of the trials I mentioned.

I am now a self-educated support group leader for Scleroderma & Autoimmune-Related Diseases located in Warren, Michigan, at 12000 St John Hospital Education Center.

10 thoughts on “Mom Misdiagnosed With Postpartum Psychosis After Childbirth When She Really Had Autoimmune Diseases and Multiple Sclerosis”

  1. Once again it seems the go to answer as our bodies breakdown… It’s all in your head. Thank you Kimberly, for your courage and strength, as you continue to work hard to raise awareness on health issues. You are a hero to us all…

  2. HashiGal55 says:

    My son is in Med School and just finishing up his first year of clinical rotations. We had a discussion on autoimmunity and what he told me was disturbing. In his classroom studies, the students were only taught a minimum of a day on autoimmunity diseases. How can the medical field do this to new and upcoming physicians, the future doctors? The medical community has been shot down with all the political programs, but they need to pick themselves up and do what they were trained to do, help the people. After my second child was born 22yrs ago, I immediately had joint pain, fatigue, swelling in my ankles, and a yo-yo effect on my weight. I was told that it was because I was Italian and liked to eat. It was after years of fighting with doctors that I grew into this demanding woman and took charge of me. When I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis 7 years ago, I was then told to just take a pill and you’ll be fine. I truly believe that there are many doctors out there who truly do not know enough of autoimmunity. Truly pathetic and very scary.

  3. Mary Honor says:

    These doctor’s don’t care about us…..It’s all about making money. you can try to talk with them but they only have death ear’s. they keep you in the room for only 15mins. and get 250 to 300 dollars. you still have no results. they send you here and their to difference doctor’s when your Internist Doctor could do everything! but to make more money you have to go to certain doctor, who don’t want to hear you complain about your problems. These doctor’s needs to wake up and smell the coffee. they are killing people and having you sign the paper’s before the do any procedure lil or big. they just experiment on people. same with medications….Kim, I’m glad you told your story. I wish you luck! God Bless….

  4. Thank you Mary. I am now an advocate for http://www.aarda.org. I start a new support group in March of 2014. I live in Michigan and I look forward to bringing education and awareness to all health professionals as most of them have no idea what they are looking for. Thank you again. xoxo
    Kim

  5. Thank you Hashi as I am now in the process of opening my own support group through advocating http://www.aarda.org. I have been with this association for 13 yrs now and growing. Your son is an inspiration and you must be so very proud of him. I live in Clinton Twp Mich, and my goal is to educate, collaberate and bring awareness to all Autoimmune Related Diseases and bring them to the forefront. Please contact me if you like at snugs1@wowway.com and we can talk more if you like. Thank you again for your kind words. xoxo
    Kim

  6. Thank you so very very much, I am currently an advocate with http://www.aarda.org. There is a lot of diseases out there and I plan on educating the health care professionals as most of them today have no idea what they are looking for. Thank you so much for your encouragement!!
    xoxo
    Kim

  7. Stacy says:

    Hi I am a mom who had a c section an became very ill after the birth I was so healthy I am in desperate need for help I live in hb California if anyone can email me I would appreciate it from the bottom of my heart

  8. kimberly Radomski says:

    Please feel free to call me at anytime, anyone who needs help! Im always here for all fo you!
    I now host an Educational Support Group:
    Where: 16151 Henry Ford Medical Pavilion, 19 & Hayes, Clinton Twp, Michigan for http://www.aarda.org (Nonprofit Organization for Autoimmune Related Diseases) once a month, every second Saturday of the month from the Months of March -November only, for the comfort of our members. 4th Floor. Conference Room 3.
    Times: 11:am to 1:pm (includes professional speakers at every meeting-FREE to the Public & Community. Please feel free to contact http://www.aarda.org for more information about our support group.
    Thank you so very much!
    Kimberly Radomski-(Christy Pottenger from AARDA)

  9. You can always contact AARDA atContact AARDA
    National Office
    22100 Gratiot Ave.
    Eastpointe, MI 48021
    586.776.3900
    586.776.3903 (fax)

    Washington Office
    750 17th Street, N.W.
    Suite 1100
    Washington DC 20006
    202.466.8511
    We are always proud to wear that we care Global Jean Ribbons at our AARDA meetings. Every new member recieves a wear that you care ribbon apon arrival from AARDA.

  10. Chelsea C says:

    I’m not sure if you still check this but I am also located in Michigan and I am having a really hard time getting help. I have been diagnosed with hashimotos autoimmune disease and I have a plethora of symptoms that are leading doctors to believe something else is going on but It’s constantly a wait and see approach. I am getting frustrated as some days I cannot function very well. I have 3 children and after each child I’ve had severe issues a few months after their birth. My obgyn just told me I need to get my primary care physician to send me to a neurologist or for an mri since I seem to be having a lot of symptoms of ms (which is how I found this feed). I’d love to connect and attend your support group if it is still going. Hope to hear back and thank you for sharing your story.

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