Classic MSUD, Age 30
My name is Amber Raye and I have classic MSUD. I am currently working towards my master’s degree in Forensic Psychology at Southern New Hampshire University with a current GPA of 3.8. I hope to graduate in the summer of 2017.
Having MSUD, though challenging, has not by any means discouraged me from my hopes to obtain my dream of working in forensics. I obtained an opportunity to intern for a few days at a county morgue in New York beside my best friend, in order to gain a better understanding of the human body and forensics in the area of forensic medicine. After I graduate I hope to attend Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine to obtain a second master’s in forensic medicine.
As a child with MSUD I went through extensive trauma when I was given the wrong medicine at the age of seven years old. I spent a year in the hospital with high leucine levels and fluid in my frontal lobes, which is exceptionally dangerous for anyone. During my time in the hospital I experienced horrific hallucinations which resulted in a lengthy list of phobias upon my discharge from the hospital. This proved to be disabling for a young girl at such age. So along with the struggles of MSUD and learning to cope with food restrictions, I was diagnosed with non-military related Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). Despite being advised to take multiple anti-anxiety medications to help curb the symptoms of PTSD however, I refused to take them. I spent the better half of 23 years overcoming my phobias and conditioning myself to utilize my experiences to better myself and make it a goal to fully understand them. It is because of my drive and creativity that I can say with a smile that 95% of my phobias are now manageable to deal with. I still struggle when triggered and still have symptoms that do create challenges, but I continue to strive to understand the mechanics of them. The most important and incredible aspect of my experience is that I managed to not sustain extensive damage to my frontal lobes during my trauma.
I have learned that as an individual with MSUD I do have limitations but also have realized that creativity to adapt and overcome makes the worse days manageable. I do not settle for impossibilities. I strive to better my health by walking everyday and eating healthy foods. I watch my diet and learned from my trauma the warning signs that my levels are escalating. I also learned to be my own advocate when it comes to seeing my specialist. I continue to educate myself and keep myself up to date by reading various journals regarding my disease and I couple that with my experiences to avoid falling into a similar experience.