Walking was becoming increasingly difficult and so was urinating. 24 hours after my initial ER visit, I collapsed onto the floor – my legs had given out. I could no longer walk without serious help/support because my legs were numb. When I went back to the ER the next morning, I was taken very seriously. At that point I was completely numb from the chest down, could not urinate, and was losing sensation in my hands. After an MRI and a consult with neurology, I was admitted to the hospital and told I had Transverse Myelitis. I was put on high dose IV steroids for 5 days. Several blood tests were run as well as tests on my cerebral spinal fluid (I had to get my head shaved for that one, it’s a long story). Everything came back normal.
After treatment, I spent a week in an in-hospital rehabilitation center. There, I learned how to cope with my numb legs and how to catheterize myself so I could urinate. After being home a few days, I noticed that the vision in my right eye was blurry. These symptoms were difficult to ignore and my husband convinced me to seek medical help. I could see little out of my right eye and could only see out of half of my left eye. I went back to the ER, and after another MRI, was diagnosed with Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) and admitted to the hospital. On my previous hospital stay I had been tested for NMO, but I did not have the AQP4 antibody. I received another round of high dose IV steroids for 5 days.