Transverse Myelitis is a neurological disorder that is caused by inflammation on the spinal cord. In my case specifically, the inflammation is in a couple spots, in the Cervical and Thoracic levels on my spine. The inflammation is the Thoracic level itself is causing problems with my legs and the movement of them, as well as bowel and bladder control issues. The severity of my cause has in fact caused permanent issues with urinary retention and the loss of bowel control.
There is no cure for Transverse Myelitis. I have gone through intense corticosteroid therapy for five days while in the hospital to help decrease the inflammation. After that, it is all about keeping my body functioning, it’s the most critical part of the treatment for this disorder. While hoping that we can have a full recovery, all we can really do is hope for partial recovery of the nervous system. Physical therapy helps improve some of the lost muscle strength, coordination, and my range of motion. Occupational therapy helps me learn how to do normal daily activities while having this disorder. However, if I do not have any improvement within the first 3-6 months of my diagnosis, a complete recovery is highly unlikely. I am currently in my 4th month of my disorder.
Being 20 years old and having to put my life on pause is really hard. I see and hear about my friends going to school, studying abroad, working and starting families, and it all makes me upset. I am currently trying to find a way to start school in the Fall Semester of 2015 at the University of Missouri- Columbia to go into the Occupational Therapy program. I am also trying to figure out how to do life in a wheelchair as well as learning how to walk again and using a walker to help keep me standing up. I also have to learn how to drive with hand controls, as trying using my legs is very difficult. Learning how to do a lot of things over again is very difficult.
I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this time. You all are wonderful and I am blessed to have the help that I have been getting. You guys are helping me start my life again. Everything that is being donated is going towards paying back all medical bills as well as helping to pay for a handicap accessible car. Again, thank you so much. I really appreicate it.
- Haylee Rethman
- Sara Castle
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