I went to a rehabilitation facility where I spent the next two months. Nothing moved below my waist. After a month, I was finally able to move the big toe on my left foot. Very slowly and in amazingly small increments, I began to experience a return in nerve and motor function. I received intensive out-patient physical therapy for two years. I went from a wheelchair to a walker to being able to walk with canes over those two years. My long term symptoms have been bowel and bladder problems, motor weakness, neuropathic pain, fatigue, depression and cognitive dysfunction.
I had been a kindergarten teacher for three years when I had my attack. Six months after onset, I was back in my classroom teaching a morning and an afternoon kindergarten class. I was an elementary school teacher for another 22 years.
In many ways, my story is also the history of The Siegel Rare Neuroimmune Association. Shortly after I was diagnosed, Sandy and I found the Gilmurs from Tacoma and we established our organization. Along with Jim, Debbie and many dedicated and selfless volunteers, we worked to create SRNA.