Four years ago, I was beginning my college career at Indiana University, enjoying life as a college student training to run a half-marathon. Everything was going well, until the week before midterms when I began to have a sore throat and high fever. A few days passed, but I still couldn’t break my fever. I was forced to skip midterms and drive home to Chicago to see my doctor. I got tested for the usual viruses, which all came back negative. To play it safe, they put me on an oral steroid, prednisone. Luckily, my body responded well to the steroid, and I started to feel better.
I felt strong enough to go on spring break to Florida with my family. However, I finished my steroid pack on the third day of the trip. Soon after, I began to have pain and a tingling sensation in my feet. Within hours, the tingling turned into lower extremity paralysis, and I could no longer walk without being held up. While I didn’t know it at the time, transverse myelitis (TM) was beginning to take over my body.