Living Obliquely

Approximately 1400 people are diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis (TM) annually.
Similar to Multiple Sclerosis, it attacks your myelin, leading to painful and debilitating side effects.
About 33,000 Americans are currently disabled as a result of this rare neurological disorder.
Not one person with TM will ever know their prognosis.
I happen to be one of them.

I am a neurological soup. Since my TM diagnosis, I have developed encephalitis, MS, RSD/CRPS, Osteoporosis (I am 34, no 35, eek), and Chronic Anemia. sucks, but I still rock.


Surgical Symmetry - Prepping for #3

This morning I feel it is appropriate to talk about myself in the third person.

Melanie is not in the mood for another surgery.

Last night, Melanie saw the advantages: She was gifted with a three-hour race before NPO to drink two vodka & oj cocktails, try to eat something (Amy's Indian Palak Paneer frozen dinner), finish up a copy doc for a 12/3 deadline so she could enjoy the aftermath of anesthesia without having to drink a pot of coffee to regain her writerly sobriety, stressing through another deadline.

But today is her third surgery in one month, her last day of assymetrical sternal scarring and extrusions, and her first day of quatro-boob (def: woman or man with two catheters, one just above each breast.)

So in her morning haste to capture her before and after before leaving for her 6AM hospital registration appointment, she sat in front of her computer, resent the latest version of her copy doc to the copy director, and photographed the last morning of her sternum as it's evolved, she'll load the three photos, and race off to the hospital...late as usual.

She'll probably have more to say later. And she'll probably find grammatical and spelling errors and phrasing that doesn't suit her or anyone.


  1. Hi Mel, just wanted you to know "you" and "your third person personna" are my heros. I'm always thinking about you, asking your mom about you and reading your blog. I'm with you, girl!


  2. wish you all the best melanie; in your next operation.
    pls be in the mood for it as sure doctors are saying it is for your benefit.
    i understand what it feels to do it, but one day we'll know what all this means, let us be the watchers, only watchers, watchers of our body.
    we are the observers, observers of reality, we are above this reality, cos what we are into is called 'sacrifice'.
    why is the old catherer doing to your skin, bumping skin? why? this is tough, this is difficult! why there is still no cure for transverse myelitis! why should we go through all this! why still clinical trials! we went to mars and still have no cure for transverse myelitis!
    your symptoms are minor, ppl are left paralyzed cos of TM! even though who are only paraplegic are still grateful cos they could be quadriplegic, and who are quadriplegic are still faithful cos they would be tetra and who are tetra they could be in coma!

  3. Not sure I actually figured this out but here it goes. I am off today amd I was thinking about you so I sat down to read the blog. Now I find myself trying to figure out how to communicate with you on it. We'll see if it works. I hope all goes well today. I'll keep reading to follow along. When you are up to it send me an email. I will definitely have to send more bubble bath, be looking for it. I know you will need that luxurious bath when you are home and settled again. Maybe some other spa treatment might be good.
    Love, Lisa

  4. Looks like I figured it out. Not so computer illiterate afterall. I am sure the kids will be surpassing me any day now.
    Love Ya,


Thanks for sharing your comments on my blog. Please stop back soon or subscribe by clicking

If you're a Philly-region person with TM, please consider joining the Transverse Myelitis Philadelphia network (, a new social networking group that I started for people with TM so that we can meet and chat casually. It's only on Facebook for now, so, if you haven't already, join. It's easy.


In Pictures

Please Note: Some photos may contain partial nudity or depictions of medical procedures. Though I am in many of these photos, my reason for sharing these personal photos is to promote awareness, understanding, and advocacy for people with TM and other rare diseases.
To play the slide show, click the big play button in the center of the screen, then the small one in the bottom left corner. Click here for more advanced viewing instructions, and select "Help."

Twittering Mel

    follow me on Twitter

    Neuro Art Latest

    See My Art Published in Monkey Puzzle Issue #7

    See My Art Published in Monkey Puzzle Issue #7
    Representing TM through Art and Dialogue...Locally, Nationally, Virtually.