Shirley Anderson

Freelance Writer

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Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) Got Me

Posted by shirleyanderson on December 12, 2012 at 9:40 PM

It's been a long time since I've been on here. First I was busy writing for clients then I was struck by something I'd never heard of - Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS).

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GBS is a very efficient three-in-one condition:

  • auto-immune
  • neurological
  • muscular

Very basically speaking, I got a cold that wouldn't go away, which set my immune system into overdrive. Crazed with the idea of zapping out all those nasty cold bugs, it saw my central nervous system as the enemy and attacked, stripping my nerves of their protective myelin coating.

Myelin not only protects nerves, it also facilitates communication between them and the brain. So, with communications cut, there was nobody to tell the muscles what to do. Apparently, they aren't good at figuring it out on their own.

All of this resulted in enormously painful hypersensitivity, paralysis and a lengthy recovery. Oh yes, and I lost a third of my body weight within two or three days, thanks to the loss of muscle mass. I weighed 68 pounds.

I was hospitalized from January 28, 2012 until June 12th. After getting home, I had six weeks of in-home therapy then elected for self care rather than going for yet more therapy. I'd learned a lot while in hospital, about how to progress on my own and I'm told by medical people that I'm doing a fantastic job.

It is now December of '12. I am walking pretty well again, my hands, face and eyes are coming along, the brain fog is clearing and the fatigue and pain has lessened.

This is the first writing that I've posted anywhere, as I am still not working. However, I am puttering (s-l-o-w-l-y) away at a project and I hope it won't be many more months before I'm back to normal.

I plan to write a hub or two to help others who find themselves suddenly immobile with this strange condition known as GBS. I'm also considering creating an app so friends and family can take the information in a hospital room for the patient. In all honesty, I don't want to.

I want to forget about GBS and never think of it again. That's the truth. Yet, I feel a strong need to share anything helpful that I learned, practical stuff that might make someone's recovery easier or more successful.

My hope is that once I've finished recovering and have gotten the information out of my head and down on paper (so to speak), I can let it go forever.

Fingers crossed!


Categories: Miscellaneous Sundry, My Writing Life

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