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My husband was diagnosed with transverse militis 3 weeks ago. One day he started complaining about back pain in the lower back area, started having strange sensations in his legs and toes, he then gradually lost bowel movement and urination control. When we went to the doctor they said that there is nothing or little they can do and that the disease has to go away by itself, when it does they will know what damage was caused. What exactly is transverse militis and is there really no cure for it?

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Transverse militis is a disease that affects the spinal cord. It is called transverse because it affects both sides of one or more segments of the spinal cord. It is caused by inflammation of the segments of the spinal cord which causes the damage to the neural pathways that are found in the spinal cord thus damaging the functions of the parts of the body which are dependant on the particular segment and those segments that are underneath the affected segment. There are many types of transverse militis, acute, subacute or chronic, and there are idiopathic TM – TM whose cause is unknown, and transverse militis which is secondary to some other disease like a bacterial or viral infection. In some cases transverse militis is caused by autoimmune response that destroys the nerve tissue. Because the nerves don’t regenerate like most of other cells in the body the damage caused to them is irepairable. There can be a certain degree of return of functions but total recovery almost never happens. In case of this disease there is no treatment for the disease itself, the doctors can only try to alleviate and control the symptoms until the inflammation is over. The sufferers are often left with a permanent physical disability. The inflammation should pass within 2 – 12 weeks and total recovery could take up to 2 years. If there is no improvement within first 3 – 6 months there is little chance for any kind of a recovery. I hope your husband will recover fully. Good luck.
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I have been diagnosed with a combination of transverse militis, spinal meningitis, and brain encephalitis twice in my life, when i was 5 before my 6th birthday, and also again before i turned 11. The doctors said that i would never get this again, and that it was a billion to 1 chance that it would happen, but i did. When i got it, they said i would never walk again, that i would be paralyzed from the waist down, but again, i did. They clai m that i am 1 of only two cases in recorded medical history to survive this. I know what your husband is going through, and, if you are still reading this board, i want you to know that my heart goes out to him and you. I remember waking up every night seeing my mother crying, so i know what you are going through, or were going through. This is like a viral infection, and you can only treat the symptoms. The best thing you can do is be there for him. That helped me better than anything.
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Hi,

My dad was diagonised to have Acute TM a few months ago, he first suffered with fever, UTI and then the numbness and then bowl functioning problem. However we showed him to Dr. Nayak (Nayak Hospital, Bangalore) and Dr.Paneer(Apollo,Chennai) and today my dad is almost independent with respect to his movements, however he still has a cathedral to pass the urine.

I know how it feels to see a loved one who was perfectly normal to being bed ridden all of a sudden. Doctors dont asure or promise, everyone losses trust and hope after a certain period. But trust me, anything is possible. Just make sure ur hubby gets right medicine and keep saying he will be fine and believe that.

Good Luck.God Bless.
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I see this thread is a few years old, and we can only hope for the best for your husband, but i still thought that i should post my experience with this disease.

I have been diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, along with bacterial Meningitis (more specifically, Streptococcus pneumoniae), and Encephalitis. As a side note, i was born with 4 arachnoid Cysts in my brain, which, as i am aware of (haven't had an MRI in a few years), have either dissappeared or shrunk in size. I was first diagnosed with those when i was five, just before i turned six, and agains when i was 11, before i turned 12 (i actually believe i came home from the hospital when on my 12th birthday). I have survived these with little ill effect. I retain full function of my body, wheras the feared i would be paralyzed from the waist down and would require a catheter (i did have one of those in me, and let me tell you: IT HURTS when they remove it). But i don't have any after effects. I did lose function of the lower half of my body for a while, and had to go to regular physical therapy for a few weeks after each incident. I have to say that it was the most HORRIBLE experience in my life. I know exactly what your husband went through, and i feel sorry for you having to witness that (my mom had a HUGE breakdown when the doctor told her, family history of these, you see), and seeing her like that was probably the worst part of the whole ordeal, but is what most likely made me hang on.

The best that can be done for people suffering from this is to be there for them. It helped me through it more than anything else.
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My father was diagnosed. He was paralyzed from the waist down in two days. They treated him for a few things, but then decided this was the diagnosis. It has been nearly ten years. He in his late fifties now. He is able to walk stiffly and says he can feel the outside of one leg. He says there is strong painful tingling elsewhere and is hooked on pain killers. I saw improvement in his health in the first two years, but after that there has been nothing regained.

He is not able to pee without thinking about it and has accidents if he does not try regularly. He is constantly returning for care due to urinary infections and he drinks cranberry juice non stop to cope. I have wondered if he will die of a urinary infection or whether a bag is the trick. Any other folks with experience?
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My mother is suffering from Acute TM too. Can you please provide your email id. I'd like to know what treatement was given to your father. PLEASE HELP.

Regards,
Kunal
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My mum has just been diagnosed with transverse militis. She went from struggling to walk with many bad falls to not being able to walk at all. She has been in hospital for 4 weeks and is now in a wheelchair. Now in rehab they are hoping to help her gain strength in her upper body but they don't think she will walk again. She needs constant care 24/7. It's so sad to see this happen to her. She has very bad inflammation on her spinal cord. Reading what u have wrote sounds exactly the same thing. How is your husband now?
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My daughter also has it and suffers from severe shakes and loss of feeling in her legs but can walk but with great concentration. Afraid of falling down and is a wheel chair most of the time. My heart goes out to all who have terrible disease. Little is really known about it but says its some sort of infection and no cure for it. God bless from Okla.
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