What to Know About NMO
Last updated: April 2023
I remember when I was first diagnosed with NMO after I got over the initial devastation, the first thing I did was look up what it was and its symptoms. Knowing that this was a disease that I would live with for the rest of my life, naturally, I needed to know how this disease was going to affect me. Needless to say, I was shocked by what I found. It's been more than 2 years since I was diagnosed, and I've learned so much since then. NMO is rare. This isn't a disease that comes with a manual. Let's talk about what they won't tell you living with NMO.
Outdated NMO research
Before I go any further, I have to say that the lifespan of NMO is not 5 years! It's quite surprising that after all these years that this information is still outdated on the web. You ask anyone living with NMO that they were likely terrified when they initially saw this, and we’ve ALL experienced this feeling. It's scary! Most of us living with this disease have a long life span. Not saying that the quality of life is great, but we certainly have more than 5 years. Some attacks hit harder for some people, causing many underlying health issues. While there is a protocol to treat us after an attack, the outlook doesn’t look great in those cases. Ultimately if you think you have an attack seek immediate treatment to avoid severe and permanent disability. Thus, increasing your chances of a long, fruitful life.
Expect to put in some work
As I'm sure you have heard many times before, we all have similarities, but no 2 people living with NMO are the same. The internet tells you all the basic information but let me tell you; it’s complicated. After living with this disease for over 2 years, I have experienced so many symptoms that are nowhere to be found in my research. You can certainly expect to feel like a medical professional living with NMO. I personally find myself doing so much research on my symptoms to figure out what could be going on. Most of the time, it feels like a wild goose chase! Even worse, most doctors don't know anything either but will almost never admit it. Find you a doctor that specializes in MS and in NMO, otherwise, you'll be spending a lot of time frustrated and untreated. If you ever need to go to the ER, be prepared! Access to NMO materials will help you better advocate for yourself to ensure you receive the appropriate treatment.
NMO symptoms and issues
This may not be the complete list of symptoms you can experience living within NMO however you can expect some of the following:
|Muscle Weakness||Fatigue||Bowel dysfunction|
|Neuropathy||Bladder dysfunction||Appetite issues|
|GI issues||Vision Issues||Headache|
|Food intolerances||Risk of other autoimmune diseases||“MS Hug”|
|Gait and mobility issues||Temperature sensitivity||Swelling|
|Mental illness||Sleep apnea||Lhermitte sign|
|Brain Fog||Cognitive dysfunction||Chronic Pain|
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