Before I came down with GBS/CIDP I thought I was a fairly positive, productive, reasonably successfully person.
On Jan 23rd of 2012 I woke up with numb toes.I scheduled a visit to my family doctor and went to work. I found the feeling to be annoying. The next day when I woke up the bottom of my feet were numb as well. The third day I began to lose my balance. I saw my family doctor on day 4 and he perscribed neurontin and scheduled me for an emg. On day 4 I fell climbing up the stairs into my house. I scheduled a visit with a neuro for the day after that.
The rest is history -- hospital (5 weeks), home rehab (6 weeks), outpatient rehab (6 weeks). Self rehab at home (4 weeks).
After almost five months out of the mainstream of life, I went to my neuro and said, "I want to go back to work". He said ok, but remember your GBS has now become CIDP and you will fight the battle daily.
With that "positive" diagnosis, I finally went back to work.
When I rejoined the world, I felt apprehensive - what if I fall? What if I can't really make it through my shift due to exhaustion? What if my driving is impaired? What if, what if, what if?
One day I said to myself, "You just came through a storm and now you can see the sun shining.
Smile, grab your cane and be strong."
What I realized was -- life is precious, life is beautiful, if you want it to be, life needs to be confronted, consumed, used, and enjoyed no matter what happens, how you feel, or what your diagnosis.
I have managed to go to Mazatlan for a lovely week sitting in the sun, sightseeing, and tequila drinking.
I also went to my 55th High School reunion and saw one of my old girlfriends who now is in a wheelchair suffering from MS. She looked radiant and we shared a knowing few minutes while her husband went to refill her wine glass. I missed the 50th reunion because I was too busy. In the 5 years between the two, 30 people had passed and were not present. We made plans for year 60 and decided to get a smaller venue.
I am going to visit my wife's mom in Las Vegas next week. It is her 86th birthday. Can't get more special than that.
My point -- life is wonderful -- live it -- don't worry about how you look, how you feel, or what anyone thinks of your disability.
Have fun with what you have -- because any other option leads to dispair.