I was working full time at a nursing home that required I get a flu shot. I had already had one, but I couldn't find my records. I asked my oby-gyn, and he didn't see any reason a second flu shot would be a problem. Of course, I have no proof, but the timing of that second shot lines up with the other cases of GBS that are linked to the flu shot. Whatever the cause, my symptoms started 9 days after my second child was born in May. They would eventually figure out it was the Miller-Fisher variant of GBS. That starts in the face and works its way down the body. I slid downhill very rapidly. My first ER visit they told me I had a migraine. The second visit I was sent home with steroids. By the time we went to a different hospital, I couldn't even eat soup, I was losing my vision, I couldn't walk, I couldn't feel my baby latch on when we tried to nurse, and I couldn't hold her unsupported. My speech was becoming very slurred. I wrote my two daughters, one 18 months old, and one 10 days old a goodbye letter. I didn't think I had much time left, and I was rapidly losing my ability to communicate. The new hospital was everything the other hospital should have been, and they transferred me to Denver where there was a neurology ward. I spent about six days there before being discharged back home. My family scrambled to take care of my kids while my husband took me to Denver. When I came back to my parents house, I saw my little baby for about one hour before my husband took her to the pediatrician. She had RSV and they hospitalized her for a week. We had some tough decisions to make at this point as a family. My husband had just completed the long preparation coursework to be accepted into the nursing program, and started his first semester to get his RN licence when the shit hit the fan. They offered him a spot that fall and a scholarship that they couldn't hold. We spent a few days at our old apartment - me and my liquid diet and walker, my baby on her oxygen, and my toddler doing her best with everybody when my husband's mother had several medical problems, that put her in the hospital. Shortly after that she broke her hip. So our summer was spent on her ranch, trying to care for her before and after the surgery to fix her hip. My husband and mother in law had to drive to lots of appointments and since she lives in the boonies, that was usually an all day affair. So there I was, the primary care giver for my babies while I was trying to recover from GBS. They all told me I needed lots of rest. I would think about that while I made bottles in the night, and changed poopy diapers and rocked and burped her. By the time my mother in law was over her surgery, it was time for my husband to start the nursing program. I would lay on the couch and have my children trying to wake me up - crawl on me, jump on me, yell mommy. I would know they needed me, but I couldn't respond. I'm still pretty bitter about the timing of my illness. My baby just turned three. I still have days of exhaustion. All the doctor's recommendations pretty much went flying out the window due to all the crazy circumstances surrounding my GBS. The right side of my face has a deficit still, and they have me taking two different anti depressants, a stimulant and sleeping pills at night. I know I am a lot more fortunate than some because I have my mobility back, but just these last few months I have been really dwelling on the bad stuff.
Did anyone else out there have GBS and tiny children at the same time? Any moms who had children and then GBS later have any input on the exhaustion I still feel all the time? I feel like its hard for anyone to take me saying "I'm tired" as anything exceptional since I have a 4 year old and three year old now. My husband did get his degree and license, and has a night job making wonderful money that will start in a few weeks. But that leaves me holding the bag alone again for most days. My only obvious symptoms are my face, and a tendency to mumble and slur my words, especially when I am tired. But I still feel tired all the time.