I am starting this blog to help me remember how bad I was and how good I am now. After reading posts for a year I realize how lucky I am, it could have been so much worse. I am so thankful.
First, let me say that I have smoked for over 40 years. I still smoke. I am struggling with quitting completely. I did not smoke for 9 months of the last 11 months aside from the problems that go with smoking,(bronchitis etc) I have never been a sickly person. I have never taken any medications regularly. I didn't even take aspirin very often.
- On 10/13/13, I was home, on my last day of vacation. I went to a clinic because my chest hurt and I was having trouble breathing.They said I had pleurisy and gave me steroids. I had to go to work so, I drove 600 miles to my next job feeling lousy (I travel with a 5th wheel camper as my jobs last @5 months)
- On 10/14/13, I went to the ER because I felt dizzy and was still having pain and trouble breathing. I was told I had bronchitis. They gave me antibiotics.
- On 10/15/13, I went again to the ER this time the pain was so great I begged to be knocked out. They gave me a shot of morphine to shut me up and stop my crying. They sent me home again, by myself.
- On 10/16/13, I had a friend fly up to drive me, my dog and my rig back home. Upon arrival, I called an ambulance as I could no longer stand up and it felt like a heart attack. they addmitted me.
- On 10/19/13, after countless blood tests, MRI's, and X-rays, they still did not know what was wrong. I paralyzed up to my ribcage. I asked for a Neurological consult and he immediately did a lumbar puncture (right in my bed and THAT was scary!) within hours he diagnosed me and started the first IVIG treatment.
- Within the 5 days I began to get better and transferred to inpatient physical therapy.
- On 11/20/13 I was released. I had no insurance so I had no further therapy. I had to do it on my own.
- On 1/2/14 I went back to work. I had no choice. I have to work to pay bills and eat. Not to mention, I had racked up almost $500,000 in medical bills.
- I have been "on the road" working ever since. Walking was very difficult in the beginning and made me so exhausted. I work 10-12 hours a day (mostly sitting). Looking back, I think it was a good thing I had to work. I was so busy/tired I didn't have time to dwell on anything or pity myself very much. I just grabbed my bootstraps and kept on keepin on.
- Now 11 months later I am still tired all the time. And, I find myself feeling lonely more often (it's a hazard of the job.) But, I am stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am ready to take the next step and get past all of this. This is what I have learned.
- I must sleep at least 8 hours every night.
- I must eat regularly and better food.
- I must exercise more.
- I must have hobbies that I enjoy.
- I must spend more time with family & friends.
- I must share the "spoon theory" I read here.
I'm so over GBS and I am determined to get the better of it. The Goals I am working on now are:
- Quit smoking by 12/31/14
- Lose 25 lbs by 12/31/14
- Increase my physical strength and flexibility
I am doing this by:
- Cutting back on cigarettes and vaping
- Tracking and Journaling my eating and exercise every day
- Beginning to practice Yoga everyday
- Beginning Weight Training
My long term goal is to feel less tired so I can continue to work for 7 more years and retire feeling stronger and healthier. I want to enjoy the rest of my life. I don't want to feel "sick".
I am betting there are many people out there that feel like me.