January 18, 2009 is a day that I will never forget. Prior to this day I was a wife, a violist in the symphony, a K-12 music teacher, private strings instructor, and a composer. I ran marathons and loved to swim. Then, my life changed forever. I began having numbness and tingling in my hands and feet in the Fall of 2008. I had muscle spasms and even started having seizures. My doctor could not figure out what was going on. My symptoms escalated on January 18, 2009. While helping in a children’s outreach ministry that afternoon, I suddenly became paralyzed from the chest down.
From January 2009 to July 2013, the only firm diagnosis I had was transverse myelitis. I had seven major attacks, lost my hair twice, learned how to walk three times, went blind in my left eye, and have been on a ventilator twice. Then, in June 2013, after splitting with my husband and going home to Montana for the summer, I was finally diagnosed with Neuromyelitis Optica.