8 Years Later :)

I remember when I contracted GBS - was in the ICU for days, had to rehab back into walking, doing things for myself, etc.  The worst part was I'd go online and read stories and the outlook always seemed bleak.

I was 18 when I contracted it, and it took at least a year to truly fully recover - blinking was one of the last things to come back.  I do recommend getting mental health therapy afterwards, because I think it took much more of a mental/emotional toll than I recognized at the time.

That being said, I finished college, worked, am succeeding in law school now.  I've hiked the grand canyon a couple of times, travelled, dated, got married and am a more grateful version of my old self.

Few people have the chance to have a temporary experience of being without the most simple abilities - makes you appreciate life at a different level.  Also REALLY increases your pain tolerance.  It also freaks you out when your leg falls asleep in the future ;)

Will yourself to put up with the pain and stress of physical therapy, if you give it your all and put a positive spin on it - it'll (after many many years) turn into an interesting story to tell people...  

caveat - not for your parents - parents never get the GBS jokes :)
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4 Responses Nov 21, 2010

This was said perfectly the mental health aspect of surviving GBS is just as important as the physical...also glad to hear I am not the only one who freaks when their hands or legs fall asleep- :) Thank you for sharing.

"Freaks you out when your leg falls asleep in the future"
I am laughing at that. This is first time I have read/ commented/interacted with anything online to do with GBS or ITU. Funny. An "insider-joke" Thanks for sharing, I'm almost 2 years on from the onset and have ventured online tonight as feeling a little low. Good to read something funny :)
(I was diagnosed Miller Fisher: A rare strain of GBS anyone else?)

I coldn't agree more. I contracted GBS in 1985 and treatment was crude to absent. I too have been graced with appreciating my life in a way very few people can imagine. You hit the nail on the head (no pun intended) with needing counseling. I'm sure I've been all the way to crazy and back a few times. I did not have a supportive family which really makes a difference. They acted like it was my fault. Even worse, my father was a physician in the hospital I was at. Awesome. Anyway, you made me laugh with the comment regarding your leg falling asleep. I panic every time. Didn't know anyone else in the world goes through that panic. Thanks for sharing. It's a lonely world when nobody understands.

may I use your story in a book I'm writing?<br />
Thanks,<br />
Linda Tygenhof