I’ve been wondering whether or not to write this piece for quite a while now. I wondered if it was too much information for my readers, if my real life friends that read this would roll their eyes at having to hear this story again. But then I thought, if I had been able to read this when I was going through the same thing, it would help put things into perspective. When I was going through this, hearing the nurses’ stories and internet research were the only things that kept me from sinking into a deep depression.
So now I bet you’re wondering, what the hell is she talking about? This is the start of my story about my experience with Guillain-Barre Syndrome ($10 says you have no clue what this is.) Anyway, it was the scariest experience of my life, and I’ve decided to tell the detail-heavy story about my 4 months (and somewhat the rest of my life) dealing with this attack.
Let’s start at the beginning. It was during the exam period of my 3rd year in university. I had the worst stomach flu/food poisoning (from jellybeans or so I’m convinced) case ever. I was so sick, I had to write my last exam with my head on the desk trying to avoid throwing up. A few days before, I’d gotten my first (and only ever) tattoo. I’m telling you these details because these are the potential things that triggered my GBS. This is all I will ever know about why it happened. Okay, let me continue, following these events, I got the worst headache of my life. It lasted almost a week and I couldn’t stop crying because of the pain. Next, my feet started to feel funny, almost like they were asleep all the time. One night, after a few days of headaches and sleeping feet, I had a bath. A few minutes into my bath, I couldn’t feel anything from the waist down, it was like my legs were just dead weight. I drained the tub, hoisted myself out of the tub and called my friend to take me to the hospital (at this time, I was living with only my stepdad because my mom was serving in Afghanistan, and I didn’t want to wake him up since he worked so early.) She took me to the hospital, at this point I was walking like I was drunk, I couldn’t feel anything from my knees down. We get to the hospital, the nurse tells me I’m fine, I can wait till the morning to see a doctor, and if I decide to stay and wait it will be hours because I’m not high on the triage.
We decided to go home, my friend brought me home and helped me get to bed. The next day, my stepdad stayed home with me. He dropped me off at the clinic. I was seen fairly quickly, and the doctor had no clue what was going on with my body. He told me he’d monitor me and that he’d see me tomorrow for another check up. So the next day, I head down to the doctor, he looks at my face and says, “does your face normally look like this?” I probably blanched at this statement, I looked in the mirror and realized half of my face had drooped and I couldn’t move my eyebrow on the right side. I told him it didn’t, and he wrote me a referral to the hospital. My stepdad and I then headed to the hospital. He had groceries in the car so he dropped me off and told me he’d be right back. By the time he returned, I was admitted and they were beginning the first of many tests they would run in order to diagnose me.
I hope I didn’t bore you with this story. Stay tuned tomorrow.