The Faces of Guillain Barre 2017: Day 5- Tammy

Friday, May 5, 2017 0 Comments

On November 17,  2016, I was in the hills riding my horse, as I did a couple times a week. This time I came off and ended up in the ER with broken ribs. Though I do not usually get a flu shot, the hospital insisted. 

Before GBS 

At home I was doing quite well. Then about a week later I became very naseated and was not keeping food down. A terrible pain in my upper back sent me back to the hospital. They gave me more pain meds and was sent home. Due to continuous extreme pain and throwing up and weakness, I was back to the hospital. More meds and back home.

The next day the pain was unbearable and I could no longer walk and collapsed to the floor. My husband called an ambulance. They admitted me and gave me more medication for pain. This went on for a week.

Finally my face drooped and they called in a neurologist who sent me for a spinal tap. The diagnosis of GBS was made. My blood pressure was very high and I had developed PRES, swelling of the brain. I was hallucinating and do not remember the next 4 days in ICU. My right eye would not close and my vision was blurry, I couldn't swallow well, my arms and hands were very weak and my legs were paralyzed. I still couldn't eat and was throwing up. My intestines were not functioning well. They gave me IVIG treatment. This turned things around for me. 

In about two weeks my hallucinations were gone (no more bugs on the ceiling). My face and vision returned to normal. I could eat and use my arms and hands. I then went to acute rehab and over three weeks was starting to walk with a walker. At home I had in home PT. Over the course of four weeks I was walking with a cane and slowly going up and down stairs. 


I continue with outpatient PT to improve my strength and balance, ability to drive, and frankly, my confidence. I hope to ride again in the future. The one thing I don't want to neglect to mention is the support of family and friends. They have done so much for me that it is overwhelming. I thank God for them and the courage to get through this. I have a long way to go. But I'm getting there!