In fact exactly, to the day, six years ago, this little chickie had a problem. Her legs went funny, very funny, she was having trouble walking, so she went to the local NHS walk-in centre. They sent her to the A&E (ER). To the finest hopsital for neurological problems that exists in Europe, to say the least, King's College Hospital (interesting that, I thought, as I got my PhD from King's College London).
So I rocked up in a taxi, from the NHS centre in New Cross to Camberwell, since I was having some serious problems making my legs work, and they said, "Oh. Looks like Guillain Barre Syndrome. We'd better check you in."
Really? Really?? I don't do sick. I certainly don't do hospitals. "Are you kidding me? I have things to do!!"??
Two days after that, I couldn't walk at all. The next day after that I couldn't move, arms or legs. Oh, it's a bugger, that GBS. But the very worst part was telling those I love "um, sorry, I seem to be in hospital ..."
It's especially difficut when you have to call your husband, who just flew to LA the day before, that you're in A&E with something weird and inexplicable. It gets worse, when you realise after a few days, you have to finally tell your beloved family, "ummmmmmmm ... actually I'm now in the HDU (high dependency unit) and I have no idea WTF is wrong with me", because you realise you're not coming out any time soon, and you might just possibly be suffering intense pain, too. And then you go into Intensive Care and lose three days out on a resiprator. Which for me was a relief because I thought, "sleep!" but which really sucks for those loved ones having to watch by your bedside.
However! Of course I came out the other side two months later, to the day. After learning to walk again, I left hospital with a cane, and ditched that soon after.
But it weighs on my mind at this time of year, and in this year, on this particular day. I was wondering why I was having dreams about it. Because it was a Monday, and I guess with six years gone by, and a leap year in between, this day would be a milestone. Tonight I just made, ate and shared a lovely meal. Six years ago I had just eaten some hospital *ack* food and was waiting in the hallway, waiting to be given a bed. I had a good friend by my side for part of it for which I will always, always be grateful. Thanks, Caroline.
Wishing everyone who has had it, who is having it now, who has lost a loved one to it (can happen, sadly), the very best of all my love.
We're a rare breed. Wish we could get rid of it completely, so no one would have to suffer it again.
Down with GBS.