|Attachment Theory Challenging Cases Narcissistic Clients William Doherty Mary Jo Barrett Mindfulness David Schnarch Great Attachment Debate Future of Psychotherapy Ethics Community of Excellence CE Comments Brain Science Men in Therapy Etienne Wenger Alan Sroufe Couples Linda Bacon Mind/Body Trauma Diets Clinical Mastery Clinical Excellence Wendy Behary Anxiety The Future of Psychotherapy Couples Therapy Symposium 2012 Attachment Gender Issues|
|Blindsided - Page 3|
I recovered sufficiently to be discharged on August 8, able once again to get about on a walker. My symptoms were presumed to be part of a severe peripheral neuropathy involving my legs, bladder, rectum, and anal spincter that would resolve itself with recovery from the treatment. Faye and I hoped that walking with a walker was the foundation from which we'd build toward a return to normal functioning.
I awakened on August 16 unable to feel any sensations in my buttocks. I was so used to setbacks that I didn't panic at first. But as the morning progressed, I lost movement and sensation in my feet, legs, and torso. Whatever was happening, it was beyond anything I'd experienced, and I was terrified. I was rushed by ambulance to the ER and admitted to the ICU. The events of the next 24 hours were the most surreal and frightening of my life. Myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord at one level that blocks neurological function everywhere at that level and below, was ascending up my spine with the lethal potential to reach my brain stem. With megadoses of intravenous steroids the doctors eventually were able to halt the myelitis and even gain a little ground. However, when the dust cleared, I was paralyzed from the sternum (T7) down. The explanation that eventually emerged was that my spinal cord had probably been injured at multiple levels by the methotrexate injections.
Initially, Faye and I simply couldn't accept that I'd never walk again. I was told that failure to have any sensation or movement below my chest after six weeks would be conclusive that the paralysis was permanent, so each day included tests of sensation by pinprick, a finger, or a pen at various points of my body. I often had dreams in which I discovered that I could walk. Others in the dream didn't seem to notice the significance of my walking, and I had to call their attention to it. Then we'd all rejoice. These dreams stopped when the six weeks were over and my hopes of walking were extinguished forever.