Orillia OPP detective remains baffled by her disease

By Sara Carson, Orillia Packet & Times

Kathleen Menard is a detective at the Orillia OPP Headquarters and for three months was stumped by her own mystery.

In December 2013, Menard, 39, started to feel strange. Her feet tingled, she experienced bouts of dizziness and had a hard time concentrating at work.

“It started becoming noticeable even to my (work) partner at Christmastime,” Menard said.

In late December, a dull headache developed that could not be defeated by painkillers.

“Medicine wouldn’t make it go away,” she said.

After eight days, the headache had worsened and Menard visited her doctor. She was told to wait and see if it got better.

“It got worse and worse,” Menard said.

She realized the headache pain was less intense if she stayed in the dark.

She ended up spending half the day in bed one week and three-quarters of the day in bed the next.

“It got to the point where I was pretty much in my room, in the dark, all the time,” she said.

On Jan. 2, Menard called in sick. At the time, she couldn’t have known she would not return to work until June. She had no energy, was always dizzy and was experiencing muscle twitches and hiccups.

Her doctor sent her for a CT scan and an MRI.

“All the tests were turning out normal. Everyone was perplexed (about) what was going on with me because I had multiple symptoms …” Menard said.

She was sent to a neurologist in Toronto, who said the cognitive issues were caused by a lack of blood flow to her brain.

An angiogram was booked for May 9.

“There was nothing they could do until then,” she said.

Meanwhile, Menard got worse.

“I started having a hard time following conversations,” she said.

The single mom could no longer take care of her four children.

“Their dad had to take the children full-time and they were only able to visit me for a couple hours every few days. I couldn’t handle them either. And they didn’t understand,” she said.

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