Diagnosis: Acute Flaccid Myelitis
Wisconsin, United States
On May 3rd, 2016, I was at school, in the 2nd grade, and I went to use the bathroom before lunch. My fingers kept sliding off the bathroom door. My dad came to get me, and I was taken to the hospital where my mom works. That was very scary because I didn’t know what was happening and why I couldn’t move my arms very well.
I took an ambulance to University of Wisconsin Children’s Hospital and they still didn’t know what was going on with me. I couldn’t walk or move my arms. They wouldn’t let me eat anything, and I was starving! They put me to sleep for the MRI, and when I woke up in my hospital room, I could only move my shoulders and it was very hard to breathe. They took me to the PICU where I was on a ventilator for a few days.
I ended up staying in the hospital for two months. I had to learn to sit up and swallow. I basically had to learn how to do everything again. Physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) were hard, and it hurt a lot to do all the things they made me do. I finally got to go home on July 1st, but I still had trouble walking and used a power wheelchair at school. I had a nerve transfer surgery on my right hand because acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) made me lose the ability to move my fingers.
Today is my 12th birthday, and I’m doing pretty good. I can move my right fingers a little and my right leg is still weaker than my left which makes walking and running a little hard. But the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that it takes a lot of hard work to get over AFM, and I have to do my exercises and PT every day in order to get stronger.
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