After twenty-two physicians and months of pain, no one could figure out why this perfectly healthy 13 year old athlete couldn’t walk. They couldn’t figure out why her legs had tremors for 80% of the day. No one could tell her why she wanted to scratch her eyes out because she thought there were bugs in them.
Castleton University’s athletic trainer Ellie Goldense was 13 years-old when she got two concussions within a week of each other. Due to the head injury she was later diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, CRPS, and for unknown reasons suffers from a central nervous system dysfunction.
CRPS is extremely rare and cannot be cured. With CRPS pain is felt at a higher sensation.
She shared her emotional story with the Castleton community on March 1 during the Women’s History Month’s “Every Woman Has A Story” event.
“My body and brain shut down. I lost most of my memory, not just short and long term. I didn’t know who I was or my family. I woke up screaming one morning because I didn’t know where I was or why my body wouldn’t move.” Goldense said.
Goldense was not the only woman who shared their story at this event. Monica McEnerny, head of Castleton University's Education Department, read passages from the book she wrote about her life.
While living in Virginia attending university, she became pregnant and dropped out of college. Her husband Harry stayed in school while McEnerny stayed at home to raise their son.
This was not the end for McEnerny to pursue her bachelor's degree. A few years after her son was born, she attended community college and graduated. She eventually earned a Masters at the Castleton University and a Doctorate from the University of Vermont.
Along with her untraditional pursuit of higher education, McEnerny had an untraditional childhood. From the age of 12 to 13 her family lived in Leningrad, Russia. She explained how lonely she was living there and how she desperately wanted to go home.
When she finally came home, she was changed.
“I can remember walking into a grocery store and bursting into tears.” McEnerny said.
She described living in Russia, and watching people stand in line for hours waiting to get a potato, but how here in America, we live in a place where everything is at our fingertips.
One of McErney’s many achievements was in the summer of 2016 she was awarded the Fulbright award to teach in Kazahstan.
Next week Chidinma Ezugwu and Livia Vastag will be sharing their stories. Every Woman Has a Story occurs every Wednesday during the month of March at 12:00pm in Huden.