Monday, August 5, 2013

Transverse Myelitis

Transverse Myelitis is the second diagnosis I received from the doctors.  This is a neurological condition caused by inflammation of the spinal cord.   Whether my body did this to itself, or if it was a virus, will probably never be answered.

In an earlier post, i questioned whether the Herpes-Zoster (the virus that causes chicken pox and  shingles) flared up in me again because of my extreme skin sensitivity.  As I research this condition, I just found out transverse myelitis does develop following a herpes-zoster infection.  I am now wondering if the menigitis weakened my immune system enough for the herpes-zoster virus to manifest itself and cause the damage to my spinal cord.

TM is also associated with loss of leg movement, loss of blader and bowel control, and  sensitivity to heat, cold or touch - all of which I experienced.  I mean, it was 90 degrees outdoors, and during my "lunch break" between therapy sessions, i'd go outside with a windbreaker, and be comfortable temperature-wise.

The prognosis is actually worse for TM than Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) - for only 1/3 of patients recover "good or better," 1/3 recover fairly, and 1/3 show no improvement.  Whereas, with GBS, most people are able to recover "well enough."  The time length for recovery seem to be the same as GBS, that is it will take two years.

Another thing to keep in mind, I was reading that in about 2% of the cases, another "attack" is possible, and among those with multiple attacks, the first time, which could have been years previous, was a first sign of multiple sclerosis.

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