“I’ll listen to your unreasonable demands if you’ll consider my unacceptable offer.” – Ashleigh Brilliant.
There are exactly 6 months left to the end of the 2-3 years period I was given as the (one and only) benchmark for my recovery from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and we now have to accept that I am one of the 15% who do not make a full recovery in the 3-year period. This is unacceptable to me and I feel sad, disappointed and angry. Anger being the strongest emotion.
This isn’t how I’d planned to experience my last few working years until retirement. As someone once said: Life happens while we’re making plans. So. What to do? Giving up is unacceptable. Disappointing my family is unacceptable. I am channeling my anger into pushing myself to achieve the best recovery possible, both during the next six months and the years thereafter.
But I have to learn to control the push so that I don’t over-exert my muscles and do more harm than good. I have pushed my body too far twice and both episodes set my recovery back, the first episode being the worst as I fell onto my knees while trying to turn a corner, which caused one avulsion fracture on each tibia. That set me back 3 months and, after the fractures healed, I was too afraid to walk on dry land for another four weeks even though I could walk in a hydrotherapy pool. I have to temper my temper.
Maybe I’ll never climb Cathedral Peak or hike to Machu Picchu. There are other things to do. Maybe it’ll take another 12 months before I can drive a stick-shift again and go back to work (if there is a position for me, of course). Time will tell.
And that’s the thing with GBS. Time. I takes time – and dogged perseverance – to recover from a severe case. The higher the level of paralysis + the longer the ventilation period + the slower the improvement = a longer recovery time.
You have to persevere with exercising EVEN IF NOTHING SEEMS TO BE HAPPENING! It will eventually pay off as I have found. I lay in bed for months in ICU, sending messages from my brain to all parts of my quadriplegic body four times a day, willing the muscles to move. After three months I was able to start rolling my shoulders backwards and forwards. That’s when I started believing that I was recovering.
Even with my current weak grasp, I started and completed a 100-piece jigsaw puzzle yesterday. It took 2,5 hours but the sense of achievement is great. My next task is decoupage – someone will have to cut out the pictures but I should be able to do the rest myself.
Life has made it’s unreasonable demand and it’s unacceptable offer. Only I am she boss of me!