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Is
 

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How is GBS Diagnosed?

Quite often, the patient's symptoms and physical exam are sufficient to indicate the diagnosis. The rapid onset of (ascending) weakness, frequently accompanied by abnormal sensations that affect both sides of the body similarly, is a common presenting picture. Loss of reflexes, such as the knee jerk, are usually found. To confirm the diagnosis, a lumbar puncture to find elevated fluid protein and electrical test of nerve and muscle function may be performed.
Because progression of the disease in its early stages is unpredictable, most newly diagnosed patients are hospitalized, and usually placed in an intensive care unit to monitor breathing and other body functions.

How is GBS Treated?
Care involves use of general supportive measures for the paralyzed patient, and also methods specifically designed to speed recovery, especially for those patients with major problems, such as inability to walk. Plasma exchange (a blood "cleansing" procedure) and high dose intravenous immune globulins are often helpful to shorten the course of GBS. Most patients, after their early hospital stay and when medically stable, are candidates for a rehabilitation program to help learn optimal use of muscles as nerve supply returns.

What causes GBS?

The cause is not known. Perhaps 50% of cases occur shortly after a viral infection such as a sore throat or diarrhea. Many cases developed in people who received the 1976 swine flu vaccine. Some theories suggest an autoimmune mechanism, in which the patients defense system of antibodies and white blood cells are triggered into damaging the nerve covering or insulation, leading to weakness and abnormal sensation.

My Experience:  


I was a healthy 17 year old that was into all kinds of sports and was very active. I enjoyed track and field. I ran the anchor for my High School. I was on the girls basketball team, cross country and volleyball team. Anything athletic was what I enjoyed participating in. It was nothing to run 10-12 miles a day. I loved the adrenaline rush.


I quit school and move to Texas where my future and present husband Chuck was stationed. Well just a month or so after I moved to Texas I started to feel weird. I have never been sick with anything major besides the normal cold and flu stuff. Boy was in in for something new.

I was getting really tired all of the sudden. I had no idea what was happening. I would take a walk into town, which was just little less than a mile. That was easy, no sweat at all. Well as I got into town, my legs felt very heavy and tired. I could barely get enough energy to cross the street. I managed to get home, which to this day I have clue how I made it that far. I made it to the step and had to rest a few to make it up but eventually I did. I was under 18 so it was hard to get to see a Dr. I wasn't about to tell my parents I wasn't feeling good, especially since I ran away from home.


Well as a day or so passed by , I noticed that my feet was becoming numb and that they tingled really bad. I couldn't even lift them anymore and it was slowly going up my body. Things just didn't look too good. Well Chuck and I decided to go to the ER and we tried to lie about my age. That didn't work. I guess I'm not that good at that, lol.

We were sent home and still not knowing what was happening. I knew that somehow I had to get some help. It got to the point when there was no choice. We went to a different hospital. By this time I couldn't walk at all. I was having a lot of problems breathing. I couldn't move my eyes or any muscles on my face. I couldn't move period. After we got to the hospital the Drs in the ER automatically assumed that I was on drugs. I guess it was that 70's thing. Every teen was suppose to be strung out on drugs. I knew I wasn't but they ran tests anyhow. They came back negative.


They admitted me into the hospital and put me in ICU. My breathing by this time has been worse than when I went in . They ended up doing a spinal tap and found out that I had Guillian Barre Syndrome. I was totally clueless on what this was and what it meant for me. I was rushed to a hospital that had a top notch Neuro Unit and was placed on a vent  and was basically a vegetable.


You may wonder what it was that I caught this from. I was around a little girl that had strep throat. I also recently had the flu vaccine. Normally this wouldn't bother anyone beyond getting the strep virus that was passed on. But thousands of people carry an antibody that isn't normal. When there are viruses or other things going around for some odd reason it does something with this antibody and then its like your body is fighting itself and your body thinks that there are foreign cells so it destroys your body and muscles. I would also like to add that my Drs at the time I first got this said that once you get better you don't have to worry about getting it or worry about problems. It can happen in a few cases but not many.  I would also like to thank the Shiners Hospital for their assistance. I was under 18 and had no insurance and they paid every single medical bill I had. True angels on earth I must say. I am going to give you some information on GBS so you can better understand it from a medical perspective. The information below is from the Guillian Barre Foundation and the link to the website and other important information is found below. God Bless and thank you for taking the time to better understand GBS.

Post GBS: 

I still have many residual effects from GBS and have been diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis on top of that. How they figured that out, I have no clue.  My Dr's told me that it is common for people that have auto-immune diseases to have more than one since the the body is fighting itself. I was pretty shocked to hear how common it is to have Guillian Barre Syndrome and Myashtenia Gravis. But it is what it is.  I will put together a page for Myasthenia Gravis and how they found out I had that.

For me I think my faith in Christ is the biggest thing that helped me deal with all the medical things like GBS and MG. I don't know how people can get through things like this without Christ.