GRANBY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A local woman is battling two rare medical conditions that require her to be bedridden 24 hours a day.
Kathy Charland of Granby is battling two rare conditions that prevent her from sitting up right.
“One is dysautonomia and the second is called spontaneous intracranial hypotension…That is lower pressure within my brain because of a spinal leak, so the cerebral spinal fluid is leaking out of my spinal cord and that means that there is not enough of that fluid and it just creates a lower pressure inside my head,” Charland explained.
While it took some time to be diagnosed, Charland told Western Mass News she started feeling symptoms as early as 2012 and they significantly got worse in 2018.
“I started getting these episodes of just real lightheadedness and shakiness, weakness that would kind of come out of nowhere and were significant enough to certainly be concerning and then really didn’t have an explanation,” Charland added.
Charland has to lay down for the entirety her day in fear of what could happen if she stands up.
“So when I'm upright, my heart rate increases dramatically, my blood pressure will drop, I lose blood flow to my organs including my heart and my brain,” Charland said.
While there are moments of discouragement, she is optimistic for the future.
“I am hopeful that things will improve and I don’t know to what extent they will, but I'm hopeful that in the future, I will be more functional,” Charland noted.
In hopes of being able to move around more, her friends and family have created a website to help with medical and personal living expenses.
“The big one is the accessible vehicle because that would give me a lot of assistance in getting out of the house,” Charland added.