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Celebrating One Year of Healing From Guillain-Barre Syndrome

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Just over a year ago, I found myself laying in the Intensive Care Unit surrounded by beeping machines with a constant stream of different neurologists coming in and out of the room. After receiving another dreaded spinal tap, I was diagnosed with “Guillain-Barre syndrome“…again. In my drug-addled haze, I found it hard to communicate all the questions that were echoing inside my head.

I kept thinking:

“What? My doctors told me this couldn’t happen again!”

“Am I going to have to start all over? Oh man, a wheelchair… again!”

“Why? How? This makes no sense!”

It was a long nine days of feeling completely helpless and locked up. I didn’t have a window in my room, and they kept telling me I had to stay longer. On the eighth day of my stay, my parents were finally given permission to wheel me down the hall to a window. I have never been so happy to see outside!

Once I was released, the real work began. I received in-home physical and occupational therapy three days a week until I was strong enough to start outpatient therapy. I was incredibly blessed with all of the therapists and assistants that worked with me.

I have been thinking a lot about how thankful I am to have come so far in one year. I prayed more in this past year than I have ever prayed before. Looking back on this year, I can see my progress and believe that God was there the entire time, placing the proper people within my path. I’ve been lucky to have an amazing support system and great team of doctors.

This year I have:

  • Had so many medical appointments I’ve lost track.
  • Spent so much time at physical therapy that the staff became my friends!
  • Spent hours researching anything that could promote healing.
  • Ate lots of clean food.
  • Wore leggings or mesh shorts nearly every day of the year — real clothes hurt!
  • Became a smoothie queen!
  • Watched my family and friends show me a massive amount of love and support.
  • Molded play-doh, stacked coins and perfected nuts and bolts until I wanted to scream!
  • Built multiple “obstacle courses” in our living room for practice.
  • Cried in a waiting room knowing everyone could see and didn’t care.
  • Learned to walk, jump, tie my shoes and write my name all over again.
  • Received five rounds (three transfusions per round) of new plasma… and counting.
  • Been so bruised that I looked as though I had been hit by a truck.
  • Quit getting anxious about needles — any needle, any size!
  • Learned to embrace the chaos and be thankful for this season, even if I want it to be over!

It has been a life-changing, hard, happy, frustrating, wild year! I will never quit thanking and praising my friends and family for their support and encouragement. Here’s to the next 365 days of continued healing!

Getty image by Manop1984.

Follow this journey on Strength to Walk Again.

Originally published: December 3, 2018
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