Fallen athlete

    • Anonymous
      August 18, 2006 at 6:31 pm

      I have played sports since I could pick up a ball. Started with soccer and baseball and then when I was 6 I played my first season of basketball, I had found my sport. Year round I would play and when I hit middle school I played on two teams (the school team and aau). I was also in band playing the flute, french horn, and percussion as well. I was so excited when I hit high school. I dropped the city league team to really focus on the school team. Freshman year when I showed up I tried out for varsity but they decided to keep the freshman together and we had a basically undefeated season. That summer I went to weight-lifting and summer work outs to be preped for varsity and played softball and even went to horse-back riding camp. When I first started feeling weak and told my dad something was wrong he shrugged it off as fatigue from weight-lifting since I had never done it before. A couple days later with me and my mom nagging him he caved and took me to a walk-in clinic. My first real sign something was wrong. I went to step up onto the curb and I couldnt lift myself so I fell. The doctor couldnt find anything wrong except I didnt have any reflexes. The next day I stayed in the house and could move around the house OK but stayed sitting. The day after that I couldnt even move between furniture. My dad became worried at this point and called the nearest hospital. The nurse told him to pack a bag and bring me in. I spent that night in the er and the next morning the doctor officially welcomed me as a patient. I couldnt eat because it made me sick so they gave me nutrients through an IV. I’m 5’10 and dropped to 125 pounds (again worrying my parents to no end). My face became paralyzed and every part of me ached. I was on neurotin for a while as well as some other medications to try and help my appetitte. It was the weirdest thing. Half of me would be freezing cold and the other half would have a fever. The Guillain Barre had hit everything except it did not have a huge effect on my respiratory system (thank god) although it did slightly weaken. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital (2 weeks in pediatric ICU where I met some unbelievable children who made what I was going through seem like the sniffles). I had a number of tests including the spinal tap and breathing tests every 15-30 minutes while I was in ICU as they became worried about my respiratory system. After the hospital I had 6 months physical therapy (as well as some occupational, speech and recreational therapy) and almost 5 months in a wheelchair/walking with the wheelchair. I didnt want to go back to school but my mother forced me to, not wanting me to stay in the house by myself depressed. I wasnt able to be in band anymore because I couldnt get to the bandroom in the wheelchair and wouldn’t have been able to play an instrument once I got there (only half of my face came back from paralyses, now most of it is back but theres still a noticeable difference). I would get bad headaches, had a worse memory, and would be completely exhausted by the end of the day. They did give me a free period and had me leave each class a little early to go to my locker and beat the rush of kids. The hardest thing is that I have never been able to REALLY play ball again. I wasnt officially cleared to play until my senior year and by that time we had a new coach who had never seen me play when I wasnt sick and had no faith in me as a player, but i dont think it would have made much of a difference. Even today its like I am moving in slow motion when I play when compared to the other girls. I know what I have to do and I see it I just cant move like I used to. When I first started playing I was so weak the slightest bump sent me flying to the ground. I saw girls who I had played with since middle school, one of which I helped teach how to play and who didn’t make the cut but got promoted to varsity because I was not there like they planned I would be. I get so frustrated when I look at where I was and how I wont ever be there again. I try to get back but after a little while I get so weak again it feels like for one step foward its two steps back… every once in a while I get the urge to try again but I get so frustrated. I had such high hopes for my future with the sport and they came tumbling down with the illness. I cried almost every night out of frustration and pain and if I get to thinking about it I still do…. Me and my pop talk about it and he thinks I still have a future in coaching because of the love I have for the game but its hard to even watch a game on t.v.. I am very happy for what I am capable of doing and I try to focus on the positive and how I am able to walk and once again take care of myself but its hard. I am now in my 2nd year of college and I’m trying to convince myself to play intermural or club basketball and be happy that while I cant play how I use to I can still play.

      My doctors didnt have much information so most of what we learned came from research from ourselves and our friends and family. I recently found this site and am so glad that I did and felt like I should share my story to. GBS changed my life and my life plan. But I know who I can count on and whos there to support me, and I know now more then ever there are obstacles in the way and I will get frustrated and held back but I will NEVER GIVE UP!!

    • Anonymous
      August 18, 2006 at 10:07 pm

      Hi Brittbratt and welcome to our family. Sorry to hear you had GBS, especially at such a young age . What we say here is that GBS stands for “getting better slowly. You will find a lot of support here. Check out our other forums, including “on the lighter side”. We all need humor in our lives, and you will find it there. If you ever need anything, just yell and many will answer……..You have come SO far and I can tell you are determined not to let those obstacles get in your way. Take care Vicki

    • Anonymous
      August 19, 2006 at 11:32 pm

      Hey Britt,

      Welcome and glad that you found us. Hang in there and never give up, healing does happen. Keep the faith.