In the past five years, I’ve led a hectic life. I’ve worked for a large multinational company in positions that required frequent global travel. I have stood in the Amazon jungle, at the bottom of the still-under construction Panama Canal expansion, in the mines of South Africa, and in the streets of Moscow, London, Hiroshima, and Johannesburg. At home, I’ve been a husband to a wonderful woman, father of two amazing teenagers, officer in our local masonic lodge, and scoutmaster of my son’s scout troop.
But, on March 27, 2015, I suddenly found my hectic life slipping into overdrive. I was part of a major project at work, and had just returned from a trip to Asia, where I averaged about four hours of sleep a night for eight days. What started as a sore throat and a headache over a couple of days, quickly turned to burning feet and a non-functioning bladder. I rushed to the ER where I was given medication for the pain and a battery of tests. I was admitted and gradually became weaker until, at 3 am I woke up and found that I couldn’t move my legs. My first reaction was, “Wow! That’s some pretty powerful stuff they gave me.” It wasn’t the medication. It was Transverse Myelitis. I had gone from creating presentations at work on Friday morning to being paralyzed from the chest down on Sunday morning.