The Faces of Guillain Barre 2017: Day 21- Allie

Sunday, May 21, 2017 0 Comments


My name is Allie Daly and I'm from a small town outside of Annapolis, Maryland. I was officially diagnosed with GBS on February 4, 2013. I was 23 years old. About 10 days prior I was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection, so I was feeling unwell. By Friday the 1st, I was having trouble walking and my entire body felt sore. My mom took me to the ER, doctors told me it was just muscle spasms and sent me home. Super Bowl was that Sunday the 3rd and since I still wasn't feeling great, I was going to go over to my moms house and we'd stay in to watch. I called her that afternoon and told her that I couldn't make it- I barely had the strength to lift myself out of bed. She rushed me to the ER once again, but the doctors still couldn't find an answer and wanted to send me home. At this point I couldn't even lift my legs. I remember my mom standing in the door way saying we are not leaving this hospital until she can get up and walk out on her own. I was admitted that night. 

The next day I had a consult with the neurologist who performed a spinal tap. He later said I was a "textbook" case and if it wasn't for my mom demanding answers, I would have been less than 24 hours away from needing a ventilator. By the time I started treatment with IVIG, the paralysis had begun to set into my face. I did get physical therapy in the hospital and I used a walker. After 10 days, I was release and PT suggest an inpatient rehab, but I refused, I just wanted to go home. I did physical and occupational therapy for about 6 months. 

I have recovered extremely well. My balance still isn't quite the same, but I am able to walk the same and don't have any lingering nerve problems. I am currently seeing a rheumatologist. I was diagnosed last week with lupus but am seeing another rheumatologist for a second opinion in a few weeks to see if it is really lupus or other auto-immune disease. 

Numerous auto-immune diseases run in my family, but nobody had GBS until I did- until 2015, when my great aunt was diagnosed following a flu shot. She is in Pennsylvania and received plasmapheresis. 

I had the best support from my family and friends and know that had a huge impact on my recovery. I was by far the youngest person on the floor and my nurses (none of whom had seen a case of GBS) joked that my room was 7-11 with all of the snacks. 

This was towards a couple of days into my IVIG treatment. This was as far as I could smile. 

And here's a picture of me celebrating my 27th birthday this past August

Thank you for sharing everyone's stories! I'm extremely blessed with how I have recovered and hope reading these stories gives those currently suffering some hope that it does get better!

Allie Daly