The Kim Harrison Story
live in Atlanta, GA and was 45 when I got TM. I was on a business trip to
Dallas, TX when I was stricken with this disease. I went out Sept 4th, 2004 and
was to only be there a week. I used to live 5 miles from the facility I was helping
at so every week I volunteered to stay another week to help out. I was
scheduled to come home to GA on Oct 8th, almost made it home.
I got up that morning October 6th and my right foot was asleep, I keep taping
my foot on the floor to wake it up. I figured I slept wrong and pinched a nerve
by 9:00am I could not walk at all the tingling had move up past my knee cap and
when I tried to walk I kept walking into walls and falling down. The crew there
keep telling me to go to ER, and I just laughed at them, for my foot being
asleep, please!, well my 10:00 I can't walk at all and was carried to a car and
off to the ready care. Doctor there did a few quick tests and sent me straight
to the ER. (He thought I was having a stroke). When we got to the ER 5 miles
away they were waiting outside for me. I kept laughing that they offered curb
side service. They rushed me to a room and there started the "Barrage of
Test" by 3:00pm and 2 MRI’s, 3 CAT scans ER Doctors are totally baffled
can quote from the ER Doctor was “We cannot figure out what is wrong with you
and have never seen anyone present in the ER with such rapid case of paralysis.
Now the "tingling" and paralysis has moved up past my thigh, and I
can no longer move my right leg at all, not even wiggle my toe!
I was admitted to the hospital, by now my husband back in Atlanta is totally
freaking out and I am still making light of the whole situation. Lucky for me I
had family close by and someone was with me until my company few my husband
Brian out. When I woke up the next day my left foot started to tingle and I
knew at that point something was really wrong. It took the neurologist until
Monday 5 days latter to finally tell me I have Transverse Myelitis. After all
the test it was the doctors labeled my onset of TM as Idiopathic, to this day
they cannot tell me how I got this.
I was in the hospital a little over a week and then moved to a rehab faculty
next to the hospital (more like old folks home) I was the young kid there at 45
years old, I was in patient rehab for a week and finally sent back home to GA.
I went back to work a month after getting out of the hospital. My boss Wayne
has been very supportive and made my return back to work much easier than I
ever thought it would be.
I use my walker around the house and wheel chair in public. My right leg still
drags like I've had a stroke; the "banding" pain around my waist and
the burning in my feet would be my two primary issues with this. I cannot wear
pants unless they have elastic so I can pull them up over my belly button due
to the banding pain, I also can no longer wear shoes, socks even hurt my feet
due to the burning and stinging in my feet. This makes it hard to use my AFO's
because I can't take shoes on my feet.
It is so hard to explain to people that I in no way saw this coming. That I got
up one morning and within 8 hours I was paralyzed. But life does go on and it’s
just the adjustment we all have to learn to deal with daily regardless if you
have TM or any other medical condition. You work and live life with has been
dealt to you in the most positive way you can.