Medical Diagnosis and how the mind can take you on a scary roller coaster ride…

by RB, massage therapist, mother, artist, business owner, Goonellabah, NSW

I recently had my first hospital experience and since then I have been on a roller coast ride that I created myself in my mind.

I had severe swelling around my spinal cord that was causing nerve damage to my left leg, digestive system and urinary system, so that I could not walk or pee properly. I left the hospital with a wheelie walker and was taught how to use intermittent catheters each time my bladder was full.

When the doctors first told me I had transverse myelitis I researched all about it, and I got so into it, the fear of it all and the “what ifs”. Then I went to see a Neurologist 3 hours drive away, the next step in the process, and she was certain that I have what is known as Neuromyelitis optica (NMO). I then research this, join Facebook pages and really investigate it. I get so into it, that I become it. I am no longer me. I have suddenly allowed myself to be NMO. I am planning what will happen with my 10 year old daughter when I am in a wheel chair and who will take care of her when I die.

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My First Hospital Experience

by RB, massage therapist, mother, artist, business owner.

Recently I was away from home, studying and training for a week. I developed a pain in my back which got worse by the day, but because I am always so tough on myself, I just continued on regardless. It was compulsory work training, after all!

I have never taken much medication – instead I have been the hippy herbalist who would avoid doctors and medications at all costs – but this time the pain was getting too intense. I started taking off-the-shelf pain killers to the maximum dose and was still not getting any relief. I tried hot showers, sleeping on the floor, walking, moving, whatever, to just get relief from the pain, but it kept increasing.

By the end of the week, the pain was crazy, so I asked my trainer if I could leave early and drove home. I tried to play with the kids when I got home, but was really struggling with the pain, and the next morning my flat mate tried to convince me to go to the hospital or at least to see a doctor. I kept saying I would be okay, but when I realised that I couldn’t urinate anymore, I finally admitted something was wrong.

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