Eric’s Story:  Overcoming the Mysterious Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Eric’s Story: Overcoming the Mysterious Guillain-Barré Syndrome

August 18, 2019 3 By Bertrand Dibbert


I was walking down the steps and all of
a sudden I couldn’t breathe… and I mean I just I couldn’t get any oxygen, I just
couldn’t breathe! So immediately I dialed 9-1-1. I went in and they said I had pneumonia
along with it. They couldn’t get rid of the pneumonia, it kept coming back and they
kept trying and it kept trying different antibiotics to try and get rid of the
pneumonia and then finally they realized that I was paralyzed. He was diagnosed with
a syndrome called Guillain-Barre and Guillain-Barre is a paralytic problem of unknown
cause and it can render the person absolutely bed bound which it did for
him. So after he improved regarding his heart and lung function, he was then
transferred to us for more aggressive care, longer term care, and hopefully
marked improvement especially for his Guillain-Barre paralysis. I didn’t know what was going to happen
to me. I had doctors telling me that I possibility I wouldn’t walk for 6
months or even a year, you know, or I would have limited use of my arms. When
he got here there was no study that we found that tried to come up with a
reason for his Guillain-Barre so we took a look at all the possibilities, which were
multiple and what we decided to do was to discontinue any medications that
could potentially be involved in this paralysis. Between the Guillain-Barre’s problem, weakness, between the depressive problem because of his illness and multi organ
failure, because of his hypercholesterolemia, and because of his
heart condition, all of that group of medications were potentially involved in
fall problems, muscular problems, whatever. So when these were changed, as time
progressed, he too progressed. Well, when they got the medication sorted out,
I was doing a lot better. I was able to recover and finally I was able to get
some rehabilitation. We worked some on activities of daily living, but just
general strength because he was somebody who worked with cars and was very
hands-on with things at home and very active, so those kind of things are very
important to him. They work with me really well over there to try and get up
and walking. PT, OT and speech, we all 3 work on safety awareness and fall
precautions. He was watched carefully and he did not
go to ground. From the organ stand points, his behavior stand points — that is,
improvement regarding his Guillain-Barre — did very well and that was not only
important, but very satisfying. I could walk out of Kindred. Most happy to be back too that I can
actually work in the shop. He just looks like a different person. He looks happy
and it, you know, it makes me feel good that I was just a small part of that. It would have been a rough road, you know. It was much
better now.