On June 16th, 2016, a day after spending a great evening cruising my favorite motorcycle route with my son, I woke up feeling very weak, had little use of my left hand and my speech was mildly slurred. Fearing a stroke, I went to the Doc, who told me I was fine and sent me home to rest. I woke up the next morning in worse shape and rushed to the ER with stroke-like symptoms.
Numerous tests were run to determine if I had a stroke or if it may be something else, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. As it stood, I had lost use of my hands and my speech was severely impacted. I had a CAT scan and MRI in conjunction with a lumbar puncture, all of which came back negative for a stroke, and nerve conduction testing eventually confirmed Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Weakness spread throughout my body, I could no longer walk, talk, eat and had no use of my arms or hands. I was moved to the ICU from step-down, had a port installed in my jugular vein for plasmapheresis treatments.
Within 48 hours of being admitted, my life was fundamentally altered.
Since that time, I’ve had 10 plasmapheresis treatments, spent a month in inpatient rehab, got discharged home, was readmitted to acute care and received 5 IVIG treatments, discharged home again and I’m currently going through outpatient rehab. I’ve lost 50 pounds of muscle mass, I can now walk although I’m weak and tire easily. My speech and facial function is returning and I have minimal use of my hands. Full recovery is expected to take a year. I began month 4 last week.
I am supremely blessed with the most amazing family and friends who have supported me through thick and thin, good times and bad. My wife Cindy and son Sam have been at my side every moment and i owe them more than I can ever repay. Thank you all!