Patient Stories

My Heros are my Family

My heroes are my family. May 22nd 2011 I started to feel pins and needles on the palms of my hands and bottom of my feet. Woke up on Monday the 23rd starting to get weakness in my legs. After work went to the doctor who sent me home with if your not better my Wednesday go to the ER. Tuesday was getting worse hardly walking. Went to the ER after numerous test was at a lose was going to send me home. I asked what about my legs he walked me down the hall he could see my struggles. He still sent me home however, he called hours later to come back to the ER. Went to get up and my legs were gone. I had to have the paramedics get me in the van. At the hospital I was then admitted to the Neuro ICU. By the next day I was paralyzed from the eyes down. I was eventually given a trach. I spent close to a month in the ICU. They first tried IVIG I continued to get worse. They then tried Plasma Exchange which started my recovery. After ICU I was transferred to a Specialty Hospital until I got my trach out. I was then returned to the hospital for rehab. I have never worked so hard in my life. It was great to see progress even if it came in small amounts. The therapist knew how far they could push me. It was painful but rewarding. I had to learn everything all over again from dressing, eating, even just sitting on the edge of the bed. The reason I chose my family as my heroes is because someone was always with ,me. Even in the ICU my wife were their for me. They created an letter chart they would go across the letters and I would rise one eye brow. Then they would tell the nurse or doctor what I said. I guess the hard part is knowing what was happening to me. Even the doctors didn’t know what it was at first. During morning rounds not just one doctor would come by but several doctors would come by picking up a leg or an arm not knowing how painful it was. My family would tell the nurses if my trach needed to be cleaned out. But the biggest thing was the kind words and support. My one son came by and brought his two kids. The little girl sat on the bed with me. Even when I couldn’t move or speak she sat as if nothing was wrong. It was a Kodiak moment. I had a great support system having my family around for me. I left the hospital with a cane and wheelchair. I had several steps into the house eventually sold the house of 34 years to bye a condo. I still have several residuals like fatigue, muscle weakness and shortness. My family was my support system.

-Darold Rowley, Patient