I come from Punjab, where I spent my childhood and completed my education. Since childhood, I used to be excited about exploring different places in India and abroad. As I started growing and stood on my feet, I became a frequent traveler, I covered 27 countries, and a few years back I moved back to India from London. In India, I planned to travel on my motorcycle, and completed several tours on a motorcycle, most recently to Kanyakumari.
But life had a challenge kept for me which I got to know earlier this year. I started feeling pain in my toes, and my doctor told me that I would be fine after a few physiotherapy sessions. Seven days were spent in physiotherapy, and by that time, I was not feeling better, so I gave up and continued with my daily routine.
After a few days, I started feeling numbness and needles pricking in my hands and feet at night. Not thinking much, I ignored this for a few more days until the numbness invaded my hands and feet. I visited a hospital that directed me to undergo a nerve conduction test (NCV).
I underwent several other tests, but nothing was diagnosed in those tests either. I continued taking care of myself with the exercises recommended by the doctor and continued my cycling regimen. A few days later, I developed pain in my legs and could not walk.
I visited the doctor in a wheelchair, where NCV was conducted again. In the result, it was found that I had Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) and immediate hospitalisation as recommended. I took some time to absorb the news as I was blank when I heard about this disease. It'sIt's a rare disorder in which your body's immune system attacks your nerves.
I had so many questions related to GBS that I asked my doctor. The doctor explained in detail what GBS is, what the stages of GBS are, and the two treatment options, IVIG and Plasma Exchange Therapy (PE). He stated that only IVIG treatment is required at this stage and should be administered as an inpatient.
Once I was admitted to a hospital, the lumber puncture test was done. The IVIG treatment also started and lasted for five days. I could sit by myself, move my body and walk within the hospital room with the help of a nurse/walker.
Another Major Shock In Life
I underwent several physiotherapy and counseling sessions, after which I was discharged from the hospital. I was still going through the whole saga with positive thoughts, and physiotherapy sessions at home before the next attack of GBS decided to paralyse me.
Five days after leaving the hospital, I woke up in the morning and could not move. My arms and legs stopped responding, I couldn't sit up or was not able to hold anything, my fingers froze, my voice diminished, and I lost the ability to swallow anything. I was rushed to the hospital in the ambulance.
The doctor informed me that the IVIG treatment didn't go as planned, and plasma exchange treatment was required. The therapy lasted nearly two weeks, and I received several physiotherapy sessions.
After the medical treatment, I was sent to a rehabilitation center, where I gained confidence and began walking a few steps with the support of a walker. I remember when I took the first two steps, my physiotherapy team clapped for me. I was sent home after thirty days in the hospital on my second stay.
Staying Positive & Determined
I have made progress over time; from being unable to stand, I managed to stand longer with support and eventually without any support. My walking and posture have improved; therapists are still working to improve my walking to get "normal".
Although now more robust, the strength of the arms, hands, and fingers still needs to be worked on. I can still not hold items firmly, and numbness in my fingertips is still quite persistent. As the physiotherapy continues, I am confident that over the next few months, the condition will improve, I will start walking without any aid and will be able to take the stairs.
I am determined to stay positive that I will be normal, I would be able to do my bike rides without any trouble, and I will be able to do the "bhangra" again. Life is amazing, and we must be thankful for what we have, stay positive, stay brave in any situation, and enjoy and appreciate everything. This is what I learned since I got diagnosed with GBS.
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