Guillain-Barre Syndrome


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There are numerous tools and pieces of equipment that are involved during the process of treating those with GBS, and then during the recovery phase.  Here I will provide photo's and description of equipment you might expect to see, and other you might consider asking about!  If you have suggestions or others to contribute to this page please Contact Me!


This first group of pictures was sent to me by Marc.  All of the narrative was sent to me along with the photos.  Thanks for sharing!

Click the photo to see it full size.

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Bath chair.

Bath chair. This is a rechargeable battery set up. Put at one end of the
tub then push button on controller and it lowers you in the water. Roll up in
wheelchair, slide board over onto tub edge then slide board right onto chair.
Same procedure when getting out. Covered on insurance.

Eating utensils modified for use.

Eating utensils. Good old foam tubing. Slip over utensil and go. Kennedy
cup. Screw on top with straw opening in the middle. Plain old thick handled
knife with wide blade. Keeps you from it twisting in your hand as you try to
spread something.

Computer keyboard stand.

Computer keyboard stand. Easily and cheaply made. Most computer stations or
tables are about an inch thick. The stand would then slip onto the table and
hold the keyboard up where you can access it with mouth stick or whatever.
Keeps you looking more straight at the computer screen instead of hunching
over and keeping your head down to type. More for people who don't have use of
their hands yet. So why wait for things to come around when you can get active

Sip and puff device.

Sip&Puff. This device clamps on to my computer table next to the keyboard
stand. It controls the mouse functions. Clamp onto the mouthpiece and move the
arrow around to where you want it, then puff for a left click and sip for
right click functions. This allowed me to drive right up to my computer in my
power chair and get to the outside world when there wasn't any other way.
Again, this one wasn't covered on insurance and cost $1800 used but is
deductible on the fed side.

Extemely useful utility stick.

Utility stick. Wide diameter foam covered stick, as I call it, with shoe
horn at one end and hooks at the other. This can be used for a variety of uses
throughout a day. Let the tool and your imagination do the work.

A pair of modified AFO's.

AFO's. This is when I first started to try walking. Because of my foot
drop issues, I couldn't get my heels to touch the ground no matter what the
therapists tried. Still too early in the game to do corrective surgery so
what's a person supposed to do in the mean time? This is when I had the ortho
guys really earn their money. Everyone involved wanted me to wait on walking
until I could get my heels on the ground for obvious reasons. I sat there
thinking this could be a long time waiting so I asked a question to the
orthotics guy. If women can walk down hill in hi heel shoes, then why can't we
apply that principal to me and my heel issue? As you see in the pic, each
bottom of the AFO's are built up to match the space between each heel and the
floor. Now I have a flat surface on which to walk on. Could even put shoes
over them after this was done. This bit of creative thinking let me start the
walking process much earlier instead of being chair bound completely for
months to come. All I had to do was ask. I started with solid ones then had
them articulated as time went by. Note the spacer just above the ankle area
where the break is. This keeps the knee from hyper extending and is adjustable.
Also note the interior padding to address comfort. There is no excuse for not
getting these things to fit and feel properly. Just take the time to do so.
These people will work with you on almost anything if you ask for it. For
those that remember the Seinfeld episode where George finds those tennis shoes
that make you jump higher (real wide at the front) , I had the ortho guys make
me a set similar to those. Had this idea long before I saw the show too.
Thought it would give me better stabilization but they didn't work. The point
is, that's pretty far for a prosthetic business to go for a patients whim. Yet
they did and it cost me nothing. Don't really know if they billed insurance or
not for all the work they did.

Modified chair to allow easy transfer.

Chair riser. Simple 2 by 8 boards built into a box and chair placed on
top. Have 8 foot couch and lounge chair done the same way also. This allows me
to use the range my body works in at the moment. My wife doesn't have to help
boost me out of a regular height chairs anymore at home.

The real impact for me with all these devises and stuff were the caregiver
aspect of things and our own well being. By taking these actions I was able to
function on my own while my wife went to work for 8 hours. Still wheelchair
bound, no hands or leg functions. My aunt would come by for an hour to feed me
lunch but that was it. Pretty minimal impact on everyone involved and we could
keep from having everything go upside down in life. The patient has to be a
willing participant along with the caregiver to make everything work and
smooth out. If I can do it, everyone can.


Here is a link to a great site with all sorts of adaptive equipment ideas! 


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This page was last modified: March 27, 2005