Name: Erin Wooten
Age: 26 years old
Where do you call home: Carthage, Mississippi
How long have you known you are living with FA? I started having early onset problems when I was about 12 years old but I didn't get a correct diagnosis until I was 19 years old. I started off thinking I was just a clumsy kid. About age twelve, I couldn't even walk a semi-straight line. I went from one side of the hallway at school to the other like a ping pong ball. I also could no longer walk up or down stairs without help. My legs just felt unexplainably funny. I started seeing doctors shortly after. With those symptoms, I was diagnosed with inner ear problems.
My legs continued to be unexplainably funny. I had leg cramps, back pain, swollen ankles, balance issues, and numbness. I saw several different doctors with no explanation. One even suggested my mom should take me to seek mental help because there was no way all my symptoms added up. She didn't listen to him though. I got told so many times by health professionals that it was just all in my head that I started to believe it and that maybe I was just crazy. I continued to see different doctors and five years later got sent to a neurologist. My neurologist listened to me and ran a bunch of tests; MRI, EKG, etc. Through blood work, he found out I had FA (which was new to my neurologist and me).
Are there any others with FA in your family? I have no other family members with FA.
Do you have any hobbies or special interests? My special interest includes my goats and making soap from their milk. My goats are Nigerian Dwarfs and a Pygmy. Their names are: Tink, Milky Way, Frosty, Fancy, Twix, and Snickers.
What is a good trick to make daily life easier? The trick I like to use to handle daily life is to just keep going and not stay down too long.
When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? When FA gets me down, I like to think 'at least I can still do what I can for now and I am thankful for what I can do. I could be worse.'
What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? FA has positively affected my life by humbling me and making me more thankful for the small things in life.
What is a favorite motivational quote of yours: "Broken crayons still color."
What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? The advice I would give to someone newly diagnosed with FA would be to never give up. God gives the toughest battles to his strongest soldiers.
What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? When a cure/treatment is found the first thing I want to do is dance, jump, and run. I can't remember what it feels like to dance, jump, or run.