GBS -Eyes Closed = Possum or Problem?

    • Anonymous
      September 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      I have a friend diagnosed with GBS about 4-5 months ago.  He’s now in a rehab hospital.  A recent situation has come about whereby (it appears) he closes his eyes and will not open them.  He is (can be) responsive otherwise.  He can appear to “sleep through therapy – even when elevated vertically on a table” or maintain closed eyes for a long duration, but then open them both and appear wide awake.  I have read about Miller Fisher Syndrome [(MFS) a rare variant of GBS] and  (GBS) with Ophthalmoparesis/ophthalmoplegia.  Is it possible that his “closed eyes” is truly a GBS related symptom, or is he merely playing possum?  Since attempts to “wake him” using Ice and the vertical elevation did nothing, I’m thinking “not playing possum” !

    • GH
      September 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      GBS can affect facial nerves, including those contolling eye closure, but the determination of the cause in your friend’s case would have to be made by the attending neurologist. What does the patient say about it?

    • Anonymous
      September 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      Thanks GH for your response!  Patient is unable to speak yet as he still has tracheal tube installed and is going through Speech therapy, but posing the question to neurologist is good idea.


    • Anonymous
      September 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      Can you use some other form of communication with him other than verbal speech?

      Ask the professionals about that.

      ie: ask him a question, he answers yes or no by breathing 1 puff for yes, 2 puffs for no; other methods should be available.

      He’s not playing possum; he is in the throes of this illness, and helpless to it’s attack on his system…must be very frightened as well by what is happening to him, so needs reassurance, if his hearing is not impaired by it as well; so find out what his faculties are at present, and work with that, striving for more communication, for mutual understanding.

    • Anonymous
      September 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      Hi D.U. – Yes, he was not playing possum. His eyes just may have been extremely sensitive to light !  He is able to communicate with either a yes/no head movement or 1 or 2 fingers up for yes/no.  Speech therapy is improving with a Speaking Valve being installed for up to 3 hours a day. Hopefully with improved “swollowing”, he can have a successful 2nd  “3-day blue-dye test’ in October so the Tracheal Tube can be removed and he can then be moved to a more intensive PT location.  The situation now is that PT has completely stopped working with him because he “hasn’t improved according to their guidelines”.  Some of the readings I have come across indicate GBS patient improvement/recovery occurs between 6-12 months and maybe up to 2 years.  Since my friend’s bout with GBS occurred in March 2012 but not really diagnosed until April 2012, he should be in the critical recovery period now!   We’re hoping for a significant change to occur soon.

    • Anonymous
      October 9, 2012 at 3:22 am

      Meyeless were very sensitive to light and had to ware eye mask for 3 months.  Now  my eye lips are still heavy, not sure what causes it. Anyone has any suggestion to deal with it?  Thanks,  Heidi