- CASE FILE
23 year old college athlete who gets paralyzed once a year or so after any illness. Muscle weakness, cramps, doctor has given up. Help!
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
College Athlete in softball I am tall, athletic and very strong until second week into college became ill with what we thought was the flu. I kept getting weaker until barley able to walk and went to 2 different Emergency rooms and told I had a bad flu bug. Started feeling more myself but after a nap woke up paralyzed from hips down. Spent a week in the hospital various tests but no conclusion. After 6 months of testing the doctors said it was not Guillen Barre syndrome, not MS or fibromyalgia or anything neurological they could find. In hospital I was given immunoglobulin, steroids,and antibiotics. I walked out of hospital only to start getting weaker again. I had to take a semester off and return home because I was in a wheelchair and using a walker to get around. I have been to neurologists at U of M, endocrinologists, rheumatoid specialists and have had years of testing done. The muscle weakness eventually even went to my hands and as a softball pitcher that is horrifying. One day 61/2 months in and at home I was having cramping throughout my whole body. It was so intense I thought I might pass out. I went into a hot bath hoping for some relief when I had a sharp, horrible shooting pain down my body and just like that I could walk again! I spent the next 5 months working on regaining my muscle strength to be able to return to college and my softball scholarship. I returned the following fall as a pitcher and hitter for the team. I played and practiced with the team through the fall season. In February the team and I were on our way to our first matches of the year on a bus to Chicago. I had been ill a couple weeks prior with a respiratory illness but felt fully recovered. I took a nap on the bus and woke up at the softball complex paralyzed again but this time from knees down. I spent the next 4 days in Chicago hospital again with no answers after a battery of testing. They sent me home. I went back to college this time in a wheelchair determined not to miss any more school. I went to doctor appointments hours away and teachers worked with me to help me keep going. Again after many doctor visits and much testing no answers but they put me on prednisone which was the only thing that seemed to help at all. Eventually after months I was again able to start walking and worked my way again back to being able to participate on my team if in a limited capacity. I played in the fall again and pitched a whole game for a win! However in December I had a small cold. I thought I was in the clear and all was well until one day sitting in class my feet started to feel weird and my legs felt week again. As to not disrupt the class I waited until it was done but could not walk out. I was paralyzed yet again but from ankles down. I spent only a week paralyzed this time after several rounds of prednisone I was able to wal again. I was never able to fully go back to softball after this point unfortunately. I continue to have muscle weakness and cramping in my body and i just recently got off prednisone again because my legs were feeling weak and I feared the paralyzing effects. I did not go paralyzed this time but my doctor said he has no more tests or even suggestions as to what to do at this point. I carry around a script for prednisone ,in case ,at all times. Mayo Clinic said they didn’t know what they could do for me as I have already been through so much testing. I was a college all-American athlete and now I’m living with the inability to do things like open a jar for myself . I know there are so many people out there that need help so much more than me and I try to live everyday to its fullest and count my blessings for sure but if anyone may have an idea of what this might be or can suggest any more testing that might be done I would be forever grateful. Prayers and blessings to you all !