Guillain-Barre Syndrome

My Progress and Recovery

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In an effort to keep many people informed of my progress and to provide a progress sheet for others to see, I am adding this page.  As progress is often slow this page may be a while in the making.

updated February 27, 2005



May 22, 2003 - Today was a pretty big day for me, one day past the 23 month post GBS mark!  Today I mowed my yard with a push mower!  Don't get me wrong, it was a difficult task that required frequent rest breaks, but I got 'er done!  This time last year I was just barely out of my wheel chair and ambling around like a drunken fool.  When I was finished I was very ready to take a shower and climb into bed... I didn't quite over do it, but close.  I think that in the future the yard will be a 2 day project.

May 23, 2003 - This isn't really anything new, but since I have just started this I will include it as well.  I have begun to melt off these extra pounds I have gained since being released from the hospital.  At the YMCA I tried to spend 15-20 minutes on a recumbent bicycle before and after my work out, three times a week.  Recently I just took my mountain bike in to a bike shop and had it tuned up.  My intentions are to try and ride it every day and see if I can't keep the pounds retreating!

May 29, 2003 - I've had my new AFO's for about a month now, and recently bought a cheap pair of sandals from Wal-Mart that have the straps over the toes and in front of the ankle.  Getting them on is much easier than with a pair of shoes, and have found that my feet don't ache as bad at the end of the day when I wear them instead of my shoes.  I've had to take them back once to get readjusted because they were rubbing, but every thing is great now!  I am able to walk easier with these than with the old ones.  Look out world, I am mobile!!

June 3, 2003 - My recent visit to the see my rehab doctor showed partial return of the reflexes in my arms!  Its been 2 years in coming, but it is a good sign none the less.  Now I am keeping my fingers crossed and waiting to see something move in my toes!

June 26, 2003 - Well folks, what I have been waiting a very long time to see has finally happened!  I got the big toe on my left foot to move a bit.  Every few weeks I have been sitting down on the edge of the bed after my shower and try and move those muscles that hadn't budged since before the onset of GBS.  At first I thought I was seeing things and had to try again to make sure I wasn't see things.  Imagine excitement when I saw that my left big toe really was moving.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that by the end of this year I can burn these blasted AFO's!

July 18, 2003 - I am able to move toes on both feet now!  You really have to look to catch it, but it is there!

July 26, 2003 - Today is a huge event in my life that I want to share with you.  All through this horrible experience with GBS I have had a wonderful woman who has stuck by me.  She has seen me at my absolute lowest point and still she stuck by me.  Today I am going to make this wonderful woman my wife!

We had the ceremony performed at my parents farm in rural Missouri.  I am a country bumpkin so we had a western theme for the wedding.  We placed square bales covered with cloth for the seats and myself, my best man, and my father who was giving my wife away were all dressed alike.  We had just a few friends and family there to share in our big day.  It's a work in progress, but you can see our wedding picturesSee our new daughter's photos!


August 3, 2003 - Finally I have seen enough return of the function in my hands to start tinkering with my old truck again.  There still isn't a lot of meat on my hands so using wrenches proved to be a bit painful.  I broke down and went and purchased an air impact set.  That air tool set has made working on the truck so much easier!  I am sure my therapist would be glad to see me twisting all those nuts and bolts with my fingers.  It is such a great feeling to be back to doing something that I enjoy again!  I will attach a picture of the truck for all the old Chevy fans who visit.  It is a 1967 Chevy 1/2 ton short bed 4x4.

September 9, 2003 - I have had several small things happen that I am happy to share with you!  I have recently gained enough back in my hands that I am able to write again.  If I get in a hurry it gets pretty sloppy, but if I take my time it is very close to my penmanship before GBS.  I have also finally been able to trim my own toe and fingernails!  (It is such a small thing, but every step I take back towards independence is a wonderful thing!)  I had to buy a pair of the large clippers which I believe are intended for toe nails.  Because they are longer I am able to get enough leverage to trim those nails.

I have been watching closely over the past few weeks waiting to make sure I wasn't seeing anything before mentioning it.  I believe that some of the muscles in my upper lip are beginning to work now.  If I REALLY try hard I can show just a little bit of teeth on the right side of my face.  Also, I believe that I can actually feel the muscle there trying to do something.  So, I am going to try and exercise it each day and see if I can't get more return.


January 15, 2004 - Well, I have been a busy boy since I posted on this page last.  There isn't much new to share other than what I have been up to lately.  In July of 2003 I married a wonderful woman who I met while I was in the service stationed in Washington (State).  She is also in the service and deployed a week after our wedding.  She is stationed in California and I was living in Missouri at the time, and I elected to stay in Missouri near my parents who could still lend a hand when I needed help.  Right before my wife, DaV'elle, returned from deployment I packed up all my earthly possessions and moved out here to California.  I am now officially moved in and we've nearly sorted through our combined things to decide what goes and what stays.

February 27, 2004 - In just a little less than three months it will be three years since I had my crash course in GBS.  Since my last posting on this page I've had a few more toes begin to move on both feet.  The three middle toes on my right foot will now slightly lift upwards, as will the two toes next to the big toe on my left.  It is just a little that they will move but hopefully it will continue and eventually return to normal.

Now that I am in California I've changed VA hospitals and had my first appointment today.  The Dr was impressed with the progress that I have made to date and is ordering more therapy to be done there at the VA  I've not met any of the therapists yet, but he couldn't say enough about one of the OT's and says she's great with hands.  Hopefully she can help me to get my hands to fill out and not look so atrophied.

I still haven't seen my new neurologist, but hopefully a spot at the VA should open up between now and June!

October 13, 2004 - My daughter Sidney is here!  You can see her pictures!!



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This page was last modified: July 18, 2006