Disabled Vet At 19

I was in the first year as a Marine when my hands and feet started burning real bad and I couldn't feel them. That day my legs gave out after a PFT and the doc put me on rack rest. The next morning I woke up, rolled out of my rack and hit the floor. I went to chow with a couple of my buddies and as I ate the spoon got harder and harder to lift. By the time I saw the doc at the med center I could not walk anymore. He thought I was a malingerer and wanted me to send me back to the barracks, lucky for me a corpsman was in nursing school and got them to send me to the hospital. By the time I got there I could not move and by the time I got to ICU I had to be intubated. It took 18 months to learn to walk again and I still have lasting problems, chronic migraines, chronic fatigue, chronic neuropathy, photosensitivity, asymetrical weakness on my right side, numb spots and an autonomic heart dysfunction. I have a good life though, for me it is about setting goals. I need the motivation to get out of bed in the morning. I am 31 now and as I have gotten older it has gotten harder to push through my symptoms. I feel lucky to have the life I have but it is hard because I cannot see my disability, it is hard because others cannot see it either and sometimes expectations are set too high but what can you do but push on for as long as I can,
jsn0311 jsn0311
2 Responses Sep 14, 2012

I have learned...
slowly but surely
to learn how to embrace and
be as kind and compassionate with
my ever increasing physical challenges
as i would be with a good friend...
All of us have our strengths...which we build on
our weaknesses which require patienc, kindness, and
creativity to minimize the impact...
Without the 34 years of struggle, grief of loss,
and just sheer anger as a result of GBS, i do not
believe i would have the qualities of gentleness
empathy, andstrength i have developed over time
joyinthejourney, clg

I can relate because I too became a Vet(at age 31) because of GBS. I was serving in Lahr Germany with the Canadian Forces and like you I was accused by the medical people of exaggeration. I went to the base hospital six times over five days when finally they called the local civilian hospital for a consult. Only then did they send me to the German hospital where I was diagnosed quickly but the clock had run out for me and the ICU became my home for the next 4.5 months . That was 25 years ago and to this day I still feel some bitterness toward the people who should have at least taken me serious and run tests....