Recently, Gloria has been diagnosed with Neuromyelitis Optica. For 13+ years, Gloria believed she was living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and being treated and cared for as such. Unfortunately, we learned this year that is not the case.
Early November of last year (2017), she began experiencing paralysis in her lower extremities sending her to the hospital. After much testing and treatment for MS, she was released with the intent of following up with her neurologist afterwards. Not long after, Gloria began losing feeling and function of her right arm and no improvement in her lower body. Once again came another hospital visit where she was initially treated as a MS patient. However this time around, the attending Neurologist questioned her MS diagnosis based on his findings from additional tests and prepared the family we may be dealing with something other than MS.
After her release, we scheduled to follow-up with the neurologist she’d seen during her recent hospital visit. During the doctor visit without a confirmed diagnosis from blood test results, the doctor was convinced she has NMO rather than MS based on his experience working with NMO patients from missionary studies. He orders blood testing for NMO and we are to wait two weeks until the results are back - and so we do. Two days later, Gloria began feeling her condition worsening and now losing feeling in her left arm. We call the neurologist and he tells us to take her “downtown” to the Medical Center where that is the only local place that can treat NMO patients.
Now she’s admitted to Methodist hospital for more testing and treatment as an NMO patient - still without a diagnosis confirmation. By the time she is released for the third time, a few days later the neurologist confirms the blood work shows an antibody in her blood indicating Neuromyelitis Optica.
Many questions begin to flood our thoughts, but now we can begin to get Gloria the right care. However as we’re trying to find a NMO specialists and options, she finds herself in the hospital two additional times.
Currently, Gloria is still in the hospital and will be released in two days. This time around, we’re very blessed and grateful she is able to see a team of NMO specialists who are researching and treating the disease. The doctors are also willing to continue treating her and offered an opportunity to enroll in a research study for a new medication to treat NMO patients.
Also during the multiple hospitalizations, Gloria was in physical and occupational therapy to help gain her strength and mobility back and will continue to need many sessions.
Through this journey family and friends have been a tremendous help and support not only to Gloria, but to the family as well! We are beyond grateful for everyone and THANK YOU all!
⭐️ If you would like to learn more about NMO, here is a link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/neuromyelitis-optica/symptoms-causes/syc-20375652
⭐️ Updates: if you’d like to receive updates on Gloria’s journey, subscribe and we’ll keep the page up to date.
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