On Friday 26th March 2010 I recognised that I was suffering from some unusual symptoms – my back was aching, my muscles felt drawn and I noticed that I was dragging my feet.
On Saturday 27th I was admitted to hospital, and late into the night on the Sunday I was transferred to an Intensive Care Unit.
The diagnosis was Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS), and many of you have followed my progress over the months which have passed since then.
But what is Guillain Barre Syndrome?
- A sign of a weak immune system. Anyone can develop Guillain Barre, at any time, in response to many possible triggers (and we probably don’t know what all of them are yet).
- A life-sentence. GBS is a one-off life event. Although it is possible for the same thing to happen to me all over again, that would either mean I have a different condition (such as CIDP), or it would be a second independent event. That means, unlike conditions such as Glandular Fever, one cannot use phrasiology such as “it’s my GBS flaring up again”.
- Unpredictable. Although there are common symptoms, the extent to which these symptoms set in is variable. And because there aree a number of cousin-conditions, fiagnosis can be tricky, and never absolutely certain until after a number of weeks.
I will be updating this page from time to time, as I find more relevant facts to include.
In the meantime, if you are interested in finding out more…
- The GBS Support Group has a useful quick guide.
- Wikipedia seems to have collected a more scientific description of the syndrome.
- The GBS/CIDP Foundation International also has a useful description.