Cheryl's GBS

I was diagnosed with GBS in Jan 2014. Luckily when I was admitted this syndrome had only affected my hands, lower arms, feet and lower legs. I was unable to walk. It did not get a chance to affect my breathing. They gave me the recommended 5 days of IV high-dose immunoglobulin therapy. I was hospitalized from 1/8-1/16/14 and the spinal tap (4 punctures) was horrendous.

I went home from the hospital using a walker. Dr. recheck on 2/12/14 was great. My neurologist was very pleased with my progress. I have walked unaided (without the walker) now since 2/13/14. I walk (husband calls it a waddle) as much as I can inside the house and yesterday finally went to the beach.

My questions are:

1. When are my feet going to feel normal?

2. When will my hands and feet become unnumb?

3. What more can I do to speed up my recovery?

I am currently us to 6 minutes a day on my Bowflex Tread Climber and using light hand weights. I do dishes now, laundry now and some very light cleaning. I can now lift myself in and out of our shower.

When will it get better? I can sleep in bed because of our new gel/foam topper for 5 hours or more.

I want to drive again and work again. How long does recovery last? I would appreciate any comments or recommendations.

Time.... it takes a lot of time... my neurologist insisted I not exercise as I wanted to rehab my way "into shape". There is a very real exhaustion that may overcome you at times. He was concerned I was overdoing things.

I have said it before, but in some cases I wish I badly broke my arm or something instead of this. My wife knows when I would start struggling and breathing hard, but others you need to tell them when you need help or can't do something simple like pick the dishes off the table that day.

It is roughly a year and half. I feel normal almost all the time, I have slight numbness in the bottom of my hand that I don't think will ever go away. I still get an exhaustion day but it is very infrequent now.

regarding expected recovery in my case my doctor recommended that I go on six month disability leave. I went back after three months but in retrospect, it was too early.

I came down with gbs in 2011 in the hospital for six weeks and rehab hospital for another two. No two cases are the same. I still have the numbness , tingling , and pain in my feet and legs . I do still get tired easy , my balance is still not the way it was for that matter a lot is not the same but I go to work everyday and I’m on my feet for 85% of the day . Hang in there. Keep working at it. Gail

I second what has been posted. The fact that you are already at home and showing improvement after such a "short" time is very good indeed. You are very fortunate to be so far so early in your recovery.

Everyone's recovery is different. But you should expect that it will take more like years than months. I'm just being realistic, not trying to discourage you. Keep up with exercise/physical therapy. It will mean the difference between recovery and stagnation. Do things to improve your balance. (I took up unicycling, and it has been amazing for my balance, leg strength, and stamina. Not everyone will want to try this, but just as an example.) Just be careful in these early stages that you don't overdo it. I was out playing a gig with my band shortly after I got home, wasn't paying attention to my energy level, and passed out on stage. (That was exciting.) So pace yourself, get good nutrition and hydration while engaged in physical activities. I can tell that you will have a good recovery.

Realistically, your hands and feet my be numb/tingly forever. Just one of those things. (Mine still are, after 2 years.) It may get better, but maybe not. It depends on how extensive the nerve damage was. Since your illness was caught pretty early on, the damage may have been light enough that the nerves will come back. Only time will tell, so be patient.

Good luck!

Wish we could give you some definite answers to your questions. However,it is not that simple. GBS is a very complicated illness and effects each of us somewhat differently. Yes you can get better. A complete recovery is another matter. I was diagnosed June 04th, 2012. I was in hospital/rehabs for 4 1/2 continuous mos. Then did 4 more mos. of out-patient PT. Then went on fitness program. I still have to use a cane when I am walking in wide open spaces. I walk albeit like a duck or a drunk. My balance is still not good. I still have tingling, tightness, and pain in lower legs and feet. Tingling is finally gone from my hands, but have it on occasion as well as other parts of my body. I can drive again, but don’t very much. I am back playing piano in church and using computer. Recovery has been very slow and I have plateaued. So far no one has been able to tell me if I will ever be any better. I surely hope so but I can live with it as I am older and retired. I thank God that I don’t have to go to work now. Best advise I have been given was to listen to your. body. Stop when you get tired and rest. Don’t push yourself too hard and too fast. Wishing you the best on your road to recovery.

Hugs & Blessings!


I had GBS in 1988 - so about 25 years ago. I was in the hospital about 6 weeks - and went back to work as a teacher about 2 months after that. I really feel I am back to normal. However, at times, I feel so very exhausted (and I had a good night's sleep) I can hardly wait to lay down - I sure hope this is not the GBS peeking through. It has been a long winter - I am just hoping it is bordom or lack of interest. For the past 25 years I have felt no effects of the GBS - one very fortunate lady. Nebretta