My GBS Story

I was in the U.S. Army when I contracted GBS. It was 1981 and I was at ft. Sam Houston learning to be an X=ray technician. I received a flu shot approx 2 weeks before the GBS took hold , my first symptoms were my feet tingled and my energy seemed to be getting sapped. I went to the troop medical clinic and saw a reservist doctor who said I was just physically exhausted. Said I needed more exercise, wrong, worst thing I could have done, had I been able to do it. The next day I was much worse and went to Brooke Army Medical Center and saw an emergency Dr, who said I either had Cerebral meningitis or GBS. I was sent to my barracks and told to return the next day. Next day I was barely able to get myself back to BAMC and once there I was taken to Beach pavilion where the neurology ward was. I was unable to ambulate from that point for several months. In 1981 the treatment consisted of mass doses of B complex vitamins and not hing else.

I plateaued on the left side of my face, and out of the 6 of us that had it at the time I was the only one not to go to ventilator. I started to leaving the hospital in my wheelchair and eventually I became ambulatory several months later. My doctor encouraged me getting out of the hospital as she thought it had an positive effect on my recovery. I was getting stronger and before long I was ambulating without a walker, but my gait was all messed up. I did therapy OT and PT to no avail, my gait never improved, but I digress. So after I start getting a little able to walk The Army switches Doctors on me and as if having GBS were not enough he proceeded to make my life hell. I was confined to the ward and promptly became depressed. I eventually went AWOL for 32 days. Upon my return I was placed in medical holding company to await my medical board, I was being medically retired at that point. This is where it gets tricky the Army saw they could get out of paying me the rest of my life by giving me an less than honorable discharge for going AWOL and they did. So in the end the Army almost kills me then decides to make it so not only do I not get money, but also I do not get any medical help either. 30 years later my gait is still all messed up and I now have hip trouble because of it and the damn pins and needles in my feet is enough to drive you insane.

So here I am a little bitter about the Army's handling of my seperation and unable to get proper medical care. I recently applied to the VA for relief, but the same old story, bad discharge no services available to me.

My newest problem besides my hip is fiber myalgia(sp) and I was curious if this is a result of the GBS.

So that is my story in a nutshell.

Rob

Robert, I am sorry for what you have been through. Have you hired a VA disability attorney? If not, I would recommend that you do. We have a fibromyalgia community as well -- you are welcome to belong to both communities. There is a clickable link to it in the right-hand column of this page. Thank you for sharing your story,

I find it interesting - paragraph 2, "out of 6 that had it" ... you mean 6 of you had it? Now, I especially can possibly see why they say do not have a flu shot. So sorry how this all turned out for you - you have really endured a lot in your lifetime. Nebretta



Nebretta said:

I find it interesting - paragraph 2, "out of 6 that had it" ... you mean 6 of you had it? Now, I especially can possibly see why they say do not have a flu shot. So sorry how this all turned out for you - you have really endured a lot in your lifetime. Nebretta

Hi nebretta,

Tes there were 6 of us at that time that had contracted GBS. They considered it epidemic at that time as it was really rare at that time and they truly did not know much about it. I understand that these days they do a dialysis type of procedure to treat GBS. I am not sure how effective it is, but I bet it is more effective than a vitamin B regime.

Rob



dancermom said:

Robert, I am sorry for what you have been through. Have you hired a VA disability attorney? If not, I would recommend that you do. We have a fibromyalgia community as well -- you are welcome to belong to both communities. There is a clickable link to it in the right-hand column of this page. Thank you for sharing your story,

Thanks for the advice, and no I have not had any Va attorneys as I just don't have the money to retain one. I see that there is not only a fibromyalgia community but also an ADHD community here as well. This is like a one stop shop for me:)

Rob

You said you had GBS in 1981 and I had it in 1988. Yes, I can see where they possibly thought it was an epidemic. I once read you might get it after a cold or some surgery. Well, at that time I did have a cold and I also had some work done to my teeth (the surgery). We will never know how we were the ones with GBS - it is what it is. Nebretta

Robert, take a look at this website: http://www.theveteransvoice.com/m-strickland-how-to-hire-a-lawyer.html

He explains that many VA lawyers can be hired on contingency, meaning they will not get any fee unless you are awarded disability. Please look into this.



Robert said:



dancermom said:

Robert, I am sorry for what you have been through. Have you hired a VA disability attorney? If not, I would recommend that you do. We have a fibromyalgia community as well -- you are welcome to belong to both communities. There is a clickable link to it in the right-hand column of this page. Thank you for sharing your story,

Thanks for the advice, and no I have not had any Va attorneys as I just don't have the money to retain one. I see that there is not only a fibromyalgia community but also an ADHD community here as well. This is like a one stop shop for me:)

Rob

Tthank you for the link, I will look into this.

dancermom said:

Robert, take a look at this website: http://www.theveteransvoice.com/m-strickland-how-to-hire-a-lawyer.html

He explains that many VA lawyers can be hired on contingency, meaning they will not get any fee unless you are awarded disability. Please look into this.



Robert said:



dancermom said:

Robert, I am sorry for what you have been through. Have you hired a VA disability attorney? If not, I would recommend that you do. We have a fibromyalgia community as well -- you are welcome to belong to both communities. There is a clickable link to it in the right-hand column of this page. Thank you for sharing your story,

Thanks for the advice, and no I have not had any Va attorneys as I just don't have the money to retain one. I see that there is not only a fibromyalgia community but also an ADHD community here as well. This is like a one stop shop for me:)

Rob

Yes it is an struggle, but until recently I was under the impression that i was just denied benefits period having hope is almost worse than my previous state of no possible hope for the last 30 years. I know that sounds funny, but before I had hope life was pretty cut and dry. it was much easier to have a stiff upper lip when I was convinced that I was just screwed. Now i have become anxious, at least i was before my denial came down . seems like when I get my hopes up I usually just get kicked in the teeth again. So now I have put out some feelers for an attorney, and am awaiting the inevitable foot to my face, but like a crazy person stepping in the same hole in the road evweryday hoping for a different result.

Rob

I understand what you are saying, Robert. I hope all will be well. I think in the end it will feel better knowing that you left no stone unturned. Staying positive doesn't come naturally to all of us, but try your best to do so. We are rooting for you!

Whenever I start feeling sorry for myself, I stop and think about the people who have it much worse than I do, and realize how foolish my self pity is.
I just been in a winter funk lately. Seems like it is never going to end.
Rob

We all have those moments, Rob, whether we're sick or well. Spring is almost here, thank goodness.


Rob, I cam across a site today for free pro bono legal counseling for veterans about disability claims, and I thought of you. Here is the site: http://www.nvlsp.org/what-we-do/lawyers-serving-warriors/


Robert said:

Tthank you for the link, I will look into this.

dancermom said:

Robert, take a look at this website: http://www.theveteransvoice.com/m-strickland-how-to-hire-a-lawyer.html

He explains that many VA lawyers can be hired on contingency, meaning they will not get any fee unless you are awarded disability. Please look into this.



Robert said:



dancermom said:

Robert, I am sorry for what you have been through. Have you hired a VA disability attorney? If not, I would recommend that you do. We have a fibromyalgia community as well -- you are welcome to belong to both communities. There is a clickable link to it in the right-hand column of this page. Thank you for sharing your story,

Thanks for the advice, and no I have not had any Va attorneys as I just don't have the money to retain one. I see that there is not only a fibromyalgia community but also an ADHD community here as well. This is like a one stop shop for me:)

Rob

Dear Rob: My goodness, what a story you have. I do remember I was told not to get a flu shot for the rest of my life. After reading what you wrote, I especially believe it now. I hope you do ok healthwise in the future.

Nebretta

Wow. I’m so sorry. Read my story. My gait is messed up too. I say that I walk like a newborn horse. All wobbly and stuff :slight_smile: it’s ok though. I’m just glad I’m not paralyzed anymore.

Anyway, Robert, it's a good time for an update. I have seen you on Facebook a couple of times. How are you?