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One in a million: dancing with transverse myelitis

I’m Jim Herron Zamora. I used to swagger through life to warp speed. Then one day I woke up and couldn’t walk anymore because of transverse myelitis. I still have a warped sense of humor. I still plan on getting good at dancing salsa, blues and West Coast Swing. I need to learn to walk first though. This blog will tell that story.

On April 15, I lost the ability to walk — or do much of anything — with my left leg. The next morning the right leg turned totally numb too. I was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a rare neurological condition affecting only one in a million people worldwide. Now I am staying at the Kaiser Spinal Rehabilitation Center in Vallejo, CA, where some of the best physical therapists in the world are teaching my brain and my legs to talk to each other again.

I used to be a crazy news reporter who was as comfortable chasing stories in the toughest neighborhoods of San Francisco and Oakland, as I was jogging on the steep fire trails behind UC Berkeley. I thought I was pretty cool. A little goofy; but cool.

A few years ago I found myself a fat, divorced, middle-aged dad living in Davis, CA, and doing political and labor PR in California’s Capitol. I started learning to dance, met an awesome woman, began enjoying Sacramento, met new friends and re-connected with many longtime pals. I even lost 20 pounds and 35 points on my blood pressure. Life was still stressful but it sure was getting good again.

I sit in a wheelchair as I write this, praying I will walk again and rethinking what really matters in life. I plan to lose the wheels, but come along for the ride.

via One in a million: dancing with transverse myelitis.

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