Holy shit. You won't believe this...
#1
Hey guys. It's been a crazy year. I have a pretty unbelievable story to tell. 

After quitting my job last March (you can see my original post here: https://www.swooptheworld.com/forum/show...hp?tid=503), I went to Asia for 3 months last year from March to June. I came back to the US and sold all my belongings and had a flight booked for August 15, 2018 to move to Thailand permanently. On July 20, 2018 I started to get some leg pains that lasted 7 days. It sort of felt like  the pain you get after going to the gym. On the 7th day I got a bad cough and a headache that would not go away even with Tylenol. The next day I could no longer take a piss anymore and I got a consistent pins and needles type feeling in my hands and feet. I went to the hospital immediately and with in 12 hours I was paralyzed from my chest down to my toes! 

I spent the next 2 months in the hospital. After literally hundreds of tests I was diagnosed with an extremely rare disease (1 in a million chance) called Transverse Myelitus. The doctors don't know much about it but basically what they think caused it is that while I was in Bangkok I got a sinus infection about 1.5 months before I ended up in the hospital. This infection was caused by something called Mycoplasma Pneumonia which is commonly referred to as walking Pneumonia. It's called this because people get it and don't even realize they have it. The unique thing about this is that the infection actually was able to infect my central nervous system and in particular cause inflammation in my spine. This resulted in a different disease called Neuro Myelitus Optica Spectrum Disorder (also extremely rare) which was a result of an autoimmune response where the body creates an antibody called Anti-MOG attacks your nervous system in both the spine, the brain and the optic nerve. At one point during my time in the hospital I woke up with double vision because of inflammation in my eyes.

Due to the paralysis I spent 4 months in a wheel chair unable to walk. I had to undergo hundreds of hours of physical therapy and miraculously after 4 months I was able to train my body to walk again. During this time I had some of the worst pain of my life. So bad I wanted to jump out the window of my hospital room but thankfully I was paralyzed so I couldn't move. 

11 months after this horrible event I have 99% of my strength in my legs back. Unfortunately the inflation caused nerve damage in my spine which most likely will be permanent. Because of this my bladder and bowels don't work properly anymore. My life is now centered around being near a toilet. My sex drive is gone because the connection between my brain and my junk was severed. On top of this I still have muscular pain in my back and I have something called peripheral nephropathy in 85% of my body which causes a perpetual burning feeling (like a severe sunburn) and pins and needs in my feet.

I guess you could say my life is now over in a way, however it didn't stop me from spending the last two months in Vietnam. I never actually thought I was going to walk again so this was a nice surprise. Unfortunately I had to return to the US to take a chemo treatment soon (in order to hopefully prevent another attack of this disease) and I will have to do this every 6 months for the rest of my life. This medicine costs $33k a year or about $12k cash a year if I were to take it outside the US in a place like Bangkok.

My reason for writing this is mostly to bring attention to two issues. For people out there that don't want to pay for health insurance (both from your own country or travel/expat insurance) you really should think again. My hospital bill was $130,000 + another $10k in other medical bills over the last year. I never in a million years expected this to happen because I was healthy and a really physically fit person. The second thing is I have now found out about two other people who were also paralyzed overnight while traveling in Thailand in the last year. One was a 22 year old American women and another was a 35 year old guy from the UK. To me this is pretty scary since this is a 1 in a million disease so for those in Thailand or planning to go, try to be careful and if by chance you ever experience any of the symptoms I mentioned, make sure to go to the hospital immediately. Also be very careful to wash your hands and use hand sanitize frequently because I believe the initial infection may have occurred due to the cold that I got by not washing my hands one time and touching some food after riding the sky train. If I had gone earlier and received ultra high dose steroids (1000 mgs of Prednisone) sooner, there is a good chance I would not have nerve damage right now but the fact that I didn't go for 8 days may have caused permanent damage.
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#2
Anything I type as a reaction will be an understatement.

I hate to be so crass as to even ask a question, but here goes: Would you recommend both US health insurance AND expat insurance, or just one or the other, depending on how long you're in the US or abroad? The reason I ask is that I'm almost always abroad, so I only have expat insurance (details in the link in my signature).

Edit: Glad you're with us & went to Vietnam after.
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#3
Thanks for sharing your story.

Hearing about experiences like this make me grateful for everything I have.
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#4
thank you for sharing your story OP. I will vape an extra bowl to your honor tonight for the Blues game. 

-=PSA WARNING=-

Folks typically have zero ideas what you are getting yourself into when you travel. Pollution, shitty food quality that they add white sugar to everything, lack of basic sanitation practices, not to mention overcrowded places like the BTS and dirty black smog from vehicles. Did I mention 2nd hand disgusting Cig smoke yet in Asia/ EE/ LA? Scientists say even if you are 6 feet away there could still be an effect. Before traveling I load up on probiotics, make sure I am cleansed and 1000% ready to go mentally and physically. Traveling away from your home where the air and water are clean takes an extraordinary toll on our bodies even though the human body has the ability to act as a machine sometimes. These factors wreak havoc on our intricate immune system. 


OP, don't fault yourself so much.. it could happen to any one of us. 


added note not directly related to the OP but - "insta travel" is so trendy now and lots of n00bs traveling far and wide to distant lands only adds to the "petri dish"...but of course this is only one small factor. 

best of luck, OP hang in there. Hopefully, we will have really hot VR GFs soon so you can allow the time to gently melt away like the rest of us
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#5
I think it is important to have both primary insurance, for example Obama care in the US and also have either travel insurance when traveling for a short period of time to several months or expat insurance when staying an extended period of time. It certainly sucks but at least in terms of travel and expat insurance, it's usually not expensive, like $75 to $125 a month for somebody in their 30's even with a pre-existing condition like I have. Obamacare isn't cheap but if you don't earn much income you can get big tax credits which helps out.
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#6
I usually don't click on threads with click bait titles, but this story was worth reading. Thanks for sharing and wish you best of luck going forwards.

One thing to keep in mind is that people's happiness tends to be independent of actual circumstances. Hedonic homeostasis, or some such psychological term. That is, when you suffer a big loss (money, love, health), at first you are sad, then after a few months or maybe a year the mind adapts to the new circumstances and your natural happiness returns. We can become adapted to and be happy in just about any circumstances, in other words. So while you didn't mention your current mood, if it is down now, just hang in there and it should change for the better eventually.

I don't have health insurance myself, and haven't since I quit a corporate job back in 1995. Fortunately, no health problems since then. In fact, only time I saw a doctor in last 35+ years (I'm 58) was to get a vasectomy a few years ago. I'm less concerned about paying for medical care than avoiding sickness to begin with. Do you think your immune system was depressed in some way, which allowed the infection to penetrate so deeply?
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#7
Damn man. I'm sorry to hear that. The one positive is that we live in a time where science can figure stuff out, and luckily there isn't just one good way to live (traveling the world and banging women is great but so much more to do in the world). I would sometimes imagine what I would do if something really bad happened (in a fire had my face burned or something) and all of a sudden gaming women because very difficult. I thought about what I would do, but I think there are so many other good aspects of life, that I think I would feel fortunate just to be alive. Sometimes happiness comes in watching a great tv show or movie or completing a work project. I wish you well, let us know how things turn out for you.
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#8
I'm sorry to hear, brother. And thank you for sharing your story. That all may go well with the process.
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#9
Well my immune system was more or less fine at the time. I was pretty healthy but I was prone to sinus infections.

Doctors know very little about this disease but it used to be mistaken for Multiple Sclerosis before the Mayo Clinic invented some test just 2 years ago that differentiates between the two diseases.

MS is a degenerative disease where the body has these recurrent attacks and your brain and nervous system degrade until you body just shuts down and dies.

The disease I have causes the same sort of issues as MS but its not degenerative, however the recurrent attacks result in paralysis and blindness and the damage to the nerves each time, make it more and more difficult for the body to recover. That is why my bladder, bowels and junk don't work well and I have neuropathy.

Doctor's don't know if this is a disease where a person may be born with a genetic prediposition. They believe this is the case with MS so there is a good chance it is the same for the disease I have, however the chance of getting MS is 1 in 100k, so quite a bit more common.

From my research a lot of people that get this generally get it in their mid 30's and I was 35 when this happened so to me that says I may have had a mutation in a gene that was a ticking time bomb and this infection that I got in Thailand mostly likely triggered it. There are a couple facebook groups with 3500 people in them that have this disease or a variation of it. Considering the odds of getting it are 1 in a million and theres about 6.5 billion people on earth, that means about 6500 people have it and half are in this FB group.

The thing is not every one gets it from an infection. Some people have gotta flu or HPV shot and then ended up paralyzed a few days later. Others have gotten certain disease like west nile virus, lyme disease, HIV or even Syphilis has been know to cause this disease. Others have no idea how they got it. Essentially is just inflammation of the nervous system due to an autoimmune response by the body.

Right now, on ther hand, my immune system is fucked up from the chemo treatments but I am still managing to get by. I just gotta wear masks in crowded places and use a bunch of hand sanitizer. Crowded Hong Kong fucked me a bit last week as I got another sinus infection that I am battling right now.
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#10
Stay strong bro, that is some intense shit. Don't underestimate the advances in the medical industry though, there is no guarantee, but things will change that much in coming 10-20 years that perhaps you will look back at this one day and feel lucky that you were born in the right time and were able to push through the hard times at the onset of it all.
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#11
(06-10-2019, 12:20 PM)Traveltothemax Wrote: Well my immune system was more or less fine at the time. I was pretty healthy but I was prone to sinus infections.

Doctors know very little about this disease but it used to be mistaken for Multiple Sclerosis before the Mayo Clinic invented some test just 2 years ago that differentiates between the two diseases.

MS is a degenerative disease where the body has these recurrent attacks and your brain and nervous system degrade until you body just shuts down and dies.

The disease I have causes the same sort of issues as MS but its not degenerative, however the recurrent attacks result in paralysis and blindness and the damage to the nerves each time, make it more and more difficult for the body to recover. That is why my bladder, bowels and junk don't work well and I have neuropathy.

Doctor's don't know if this is a disease where a person may be born with a genetic prediposition. They believe this is the case with MS so there is a good chance it is the same for the disease I have, however the chance of getting MS is 1 in 100k, so quite a bit more common.

From my research a lot of people that get this generally get it in their mid 30's and I was 35 when this happened so to me that says I may have had a mutation in a gene that was a ticking time bomb and this infection that I got in Thailand mostly likely triggered it. There are a couple facebook groups with 3500 people in them that have this disease or a variation of it. Considering the odds of getting it are 1 in a million and theres about 6.5 billion people on earth, that means about 6500 people have it and half are in this FB group.

The thing is not every one gets it from an infection. Some people have gotta flu or HPV shot and then ended up paralyzed a few days later. Others have gotten certain disease like west nile virus, lyme disease, HIV or even Syphilis has been know to cause this disease. Others have no idea how they got it. Essentially is just inflammation of the nervous system due to an autoimmune response by the body.

Right now, on ther hand, my immune system is fucked up from the chemo treatments but I am still managing to get by. I just gotta wear masks in crowded places and use a bunch of hand sanitizer. Crowded Hong Kong fucked me a bit last week as I got another sinus infection that I am battling right now.


just an FYI- it can take up to 3 years to rebuild your gut lining and repair a badly damaged system.... so I would be no where near dirty HK. Not that you asked, but I would be hugging America for a while taking targeted health suppliments (like 500 billion probiotics combined with bone broth for example) until I felt comfortable again. Getting antoher sinus infrection esp. while you are there in the 1,000,000 man march in hong kong sounds like a recipe for disaster but I digres 
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#12
God, this is astonishing. I don't know what to say.

But I think the mods should change the thread title to do justice to the content...
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#13
I left prior to the march in HK. Regardless, you normally only live once and technically I'm on my second life, so I'm not gonna worry to much. I'm going back to live in Vietnam in August.
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#14
Hi Tttm.

That was an intense and sobering read. I can only imagine the horror of uncertainty while being bedridden, in declining health, and not knowing what's causing the debilitating sickness. I'm happy you've made a partial recovery, but the fallout from this ordeal sucks, and you're in my thoughts this morning.

Your advice and warning to have health insurance is a good one, and I'll second it. At the very least, a "catastrophic plan".

I hope you're able to make the best of your situation and I admire the matter-of-fact perspective from which you wrote all this. Anyone who's experienced a sudden decline in health or seen a loved one suffer one knows how fragile life and well-being can be.

It's difficult to find adequate words for your misfortune but it feels appropriate to echo what 20Nation said: luckily there isn't just one good way to live.

Godspeed to you.
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#15
(06-09-2019, 08:22 PM)Manufactured_doubt Wrote: thank you for sharing your story OP. I will vape an extra bowl to your honor tonight for the Blues game. 

-=PSA WARNING=-

Folks typically have zero ideas what you are getting yourself into when you travel. Pollution, shitty food quality that they add white sugar to everything, lack of basic sanitation practices, not to mention overcrowded places like the BTS and dirty black smog from vehicles. Did I mention 2nd hand disgusting Cig smoke yet in Asia/ EE/ LA? Scientists say even if you are 6 feet away there could still be an effect. Before traveling I load up on probiotics, make sure I am cleansed and 1000% ready to go mentally and physically. Traveling away from your home where the air and water are clean takes an extraordinary toll on our bodies even though the human body has the ability to act as a machine sometimes. These factors wreak havoc on our intricate immune system. 


OP, don't fault yourself so much.. it could happen to any one of us. 


added note not directly related to the OP but - "insta travel" is so trendy now and lots of n00bs traveling far and wide to distant lands only adds to the "petri dish"...but of course this is only one small factor. 

best of luck, OP hang in there. Hopefully, we will have really hot VR GFs soon so you can allow the time to gently melt away like the rest of us
You sound fun.
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#16
(06-10-2019, 10:05 PM)Swordfish1010 Wrote:
(06-09-2019, 08:22 PM)Manufactured_doubt Wrote: thank you for sharing your story OP. I will vape an extra bowl to your honor tonight for the Blues game. 

-=PSA WARNING=-

Folks typically have zero ideas what you are getting yourself into when you travel. Pollution, shitty food quality that they add white sugar to everything, lack of basic sanitation practices, not to mention overcrowded places like the BTS and dirty black smog from vehicles. Did I mention 2nd hand disgusting Cig smoke yet in Asia/ EE/ LA? Scientists say even if you are 6 feet away there could still be an effect. Before traveling I load up on probiotics, make sure I am cleansed and 1000% ready to go mentally and physically. Traveling away from your home where the air and water are clean takes an extraordinary toll on our bodies even though the human body has the ability to act as a machine sometimes. These factors wreak havoc on our intricate immune system. 


OP, don't fault yourself so much.. it could happen to any one of us. 


added note not directly related to the OP but - "insta travel" is so trendy now and lots of n00bs traveling far and wide to distant lands only adds to the "petri dish"...but of course this is only one small factor. 

best of luck, OP hang in there. Hopefully, we will have really hot VR GFs soon so you can allow the time to gently melt away like the rest of us
You sound fun.
Math
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#17
Hey OP I'm really sorry this happened to you.
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#18
(06-10-2019, 12:20 PM)Traveltothemax Wrote: Well my immune system was more or less fine at the time. I was pretty healthy but I was prone to sinus infections.

You're my hero, for being such a fighter. I wish you the best.  I'm glad to hear you are better and enjoying life again.   I have the utmost respect for you!
   
I  know what you mean about the sinus infections in Asia.  I tend to get them frequently when I'm over there.  The cities there are so polluted.  If I lived there long term, I would have to live in some rural town to stay well.  A friend of mine who lived and worked in Asia for many years got a lung infection that is probably for life.  He had to come back to the West to live and work, so as not to be around the pollution.   So never underestimate the pollution in these Asian cities.  In addition those long haul flights to Asia and other third world countries are so full of sick people with germs. I know I sound crazy, but be careful.
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#19
I've been crossing my fingers for VR gf like in the Arnold Swartzenager movie the 6th day from back in the day.
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#20
(06-11-2019, 05:50 AM)brianmark Wrote:
(06-10-2019, 12:20 PM)Traveltothemax Wrote: Well my immune system was more or less fine at the time. I was pretty healthy but I was prone to sinus infections.

You're my hero, for being such a fighter.  I wish you the best.  I'm glad to hear you are better and enjoying life again.   I have the utmost respect for you!
   
I  know what you mean about the sinus infections in Asia.  I tend to get them frequently  when I'm over there.  The cities there are so polluted.  If I lived there long term, I would have to live in some rural town to stay well.  A  friend of mine who lived and worked in Asia for many years got a lung infection that is probably for life.  He had to come back to the West to live and work, so as not to be around the pollution.   So never underestimate the pollution in these Asian cities.  In addition those long haul flights to Asia and other third world countries are so full of sick people with germs.  I know I sound crazy, but be careful.

you don't sound crazy at all. its facts the "manosphere" doesn't want to hear so they call us "un-fun". I know from 1st hand experience of living in Asia for 2+ years. Luckily I was in a smaller city but man those vehicles belching black smoke and burning plastic sure make me weary for even my future
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