Guillain-Barre Syndrome -Four Years Later
Today is the fourth anniversary of the day I had my first symptoms of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. It now seems like a very long time ago. A lot has happened.
For many months I blogged frequently about everything I went through in my battle, and to this day, those entries are still among the most popular on my blog. There’s good and bad in that. The bad is that people still need to read about GBS because they, or a family member, are going through their own battle with GBS, or maybe something that presents like GBS, but has yet to be given a name. The good is that those same people can (hopefully) gain some solace from the fact that my story is one of recovery and a resumption of my normal life.
That’s where I am now. Living a normal life. Sometimes a few days goes by without even considering GBS and all the trouble it caused. I don’t have much in the way of numbness or discomfort left that I haven’t grown used to. My eyes aren’t the same as they were pre-GBS, but the last four years has also seen me stumble through my early-forties, where even a healthy person’s eyes go to crap, so it’s hard to tell if it the GBS, or just old age affecting them.
As for my endurance, I think I’m back to being in pretty good shape now. At its worst, I wasn’t able to walk at all. I then spent a few weeks using a walker, and a few months unable to walk farther than the mailbox and back. Now, I routinely do two or three mile walks around the neighborhood on weekends and weeknights, and sometimes do longer hikes in the woods. A few weekends ago, we took the kids to Snoqualmie Pass for some inner tubing on the snow, and my Microsoft Band said I did the equivalent of 74 flights of stairs that day and over 11,000 steps. I barely even felt it the next day. I’m hoping to do some significant hikes and paddles this summer, if my schedule lets me. At the very least, GBS no longer factors into my daily life, nor my weekend plans, or my life goals. That feels pretty amazing.
So, four years on, I’m feeling pretty good. I take fewer things for granted than I used to, and I try to stay strong and healthy as best I can. Hopefully, those of you who are still tightly in its web of pain and numbness, will soon be able to reach the same milestone. I remember saying to myself, and to my family and friends, while I was sick, that I just wanted my life back. I have to tell you, it’s a wonderful thing to get back, and I think only those of us who have come so close to losing it all can really, and truly, appreciate that.