Reply To: What Is Going On With Me?

July 7, 2013 at 6:20 am

Dear Marty,

As of the date of your post, June 22nd, you stated these conditions started four weeks ago, which would have been about May 25th. You also stated your GP warned about on line diagnosis. Well, first let’s get your GP’s opinion out of the picture – If he knew anything about GBS, you would not be waiting another 5 days for a spinal tap. Let me make this as clear and understandable as possible for you: You did not mention your reflexes…such as knee jerks. Loss of reflexes are one of the first things that a GBS patient will loose. You did not mention any “pins and needle” sensations in your feet/hands – normally these sensations will appear in GBS patients. BUT, the most important thing at this time is to get a DIAGNOSIS, and if it is GBS, you have just about missed the boat on early treatment to prevent the disease from doing more damage. EARLY DIAGNOSIS, WITH FAST TREATMENT of either plasmapheresis (plasma exchange) or IVIG (IntraVeniousImmunoGloublin) will stop/slow the damage to the myelin sheath…the coating that protects the nerves. It will not repair the damage that has been done, but will usually prevent any additional damage to the nerves – That is why you should not be waiting another 5 days for a spinal tap! AND, if you do have GBS, it is well known that steroids are a useless treatment.

You stated that you had an EMR at your neurologist. EMR is electronic medical records…it helps the neurologist pick systems.
What you probably had was an EMG and a NCV test. These test are as follows:
Electromyography (EMG) is a test that checks the health of the muscles and the nerves that control the muscles.
How the Test is Performed
The health care provider will insert a very thin needle electrode through the skin into the muscle. The electrode on the needle picks up the electrical activity given off by your muscles. This activity appears on a nearby monitor, and may be heard through a speaker. After placement of the electrodes, you may be asked to contract the muscle. For example, bending your arm. The electrical activity seen on the monitor provides information about your muscle’s ability to respond when the nerves to your muscles are stimulated.

Nerve conduction velocity.
Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) is a test to see how fast electrical signals move through a nerve.
How the test is performed
Patches called surface electrodes, similar to those used for the EMG are placed on the skin over nerves at various locations. Each patch gives off a very mild electrical impulse, which stimulates the nerve. The nerve’s resulting electrical activity is recorded by the other electrodes. The distance between electrodes and the time it takes for electrical impulses to travel between electrodes are used to determine the speed of the nerve signals.

I am not a doctor, but have researched GBS/CIDP ever day for more than 8 years. AND, in my opinion, you may have CIDP, the chronic type GBS: Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy. I say this because of the length of your onset, more than a few days, one or two weeks, but FOUR WEEKS and more. However, your spinal tap still should have a higher than normal (41) protein level.

Keep us informed. And why don’t you print my link and give it to your GP and neurologist.

Warmest regards.