The Unreasonable Demand

“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!


About louisehasgbs

Still an optimist! Recovering from severe Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
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One Response to The Unreasonable Demand

  1. You are one strong, determined, amazing and inspiring woman and I know you have come a long way from where you began this terrifying long journey. Your frustration and anger is understandable and I believe that you and in the power of prayer and God. From not being able to move even a finger, you have now progressed to slowly walking up a ramp aided, holding a cup and picking up a light item. You will get through this and I feel sure that you will walk again and be able to wash your own hair and do all the basic things you really long to do. Never ever, ever give up my friend.

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