My neurologist says I’m in a gray area

    • Anonymous
      July 26, 2007 at 2:12 pm

      between CIDP and GBS… he says that the timing is more like CIDP because it took almost six months to get the worst but the involvement of the face and autonomic system are more like GBS. We’re going to do a lumbar puncture to see if I have any proteins left. I’m guessing that CIDP would still have proteins while GBS probably would not. Does that make sense? We’re also doing another EMG to see if there is still demyelination which I guess would also point towards CIDP vs. GBS. While it’s wonderful to finally have a diagnosis I’m a little confused about the gray area. Does anyone have any thoughts on a variant that might fit that gray area rather than just “it’s kind of like both”? :rolleyes:

    • July 26, 2007 at 3:12 pm

      We were just through the same dilema, psygh dx, cmt dx, gbsdx, cidp dx, now gbs dx. The determining factor seemed to be the latest ncv/emg. All condution blocks were gone and speeds were now nearly normal. Reflexes returned and clinically, stregnth is at close to 100%. Too much to write, if you would like to talk, I will pm you my phone #.
      Dawn Kevies mom ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    • Anonymous
      July 26, 2007 at 5:10 pm

      Oh Julie, you dont know how Dawn has battled with this question. Its horrible not knowing which one, and drives her crazy ๐Ÿ˜ฎ , which is understandable.

      Dawn, I just got home from school shopping, i’ll check your phone message and call now.

    • Anonymous
      July 26, 2007 at 7:50 pm

      Julie, not always the way it is, protein may or maynot be present in gbs or cidp. nerve test alone will not make the dx either. sorry to say it but thats what i’m dealing with also, in a way. have you gotten better since your paralysis event? if not and you are well into a recovery time, then a dx is alittle easier to make, considering all test results. if you are relapsing and not getting back to near normal or normal in between relapses then a dx can be made with results. since there isn’t a test for either disease that is a specific test, the grey area lives on. Take care.

    • Anonymous
      July 26, 2007 at 11:02 pm

      Hi Julie…

      I have not relapsed in two years… I have good and bad days, but the latest tests on my myelin shows that it is about 80 or 90% repaired… I still have all kinds of residuals but I have my strength back now…and the good and bad days…but nothing like in July, 2005 when I could barely hobble around…

      I have heard that there is a condition between GBS and CIDP… It is called SIDP… I am wondering if I had (have..???) that… Here is site with a definition [HTML][/HTML] It gets a bit technical, but what I find interesting is the time frame… I was struck by this on July 5th and was diagnosed close to the end of August… By this time I “thought” I was getting better and declined treatments… It worked out that I did get better, except for the residuals…

      Hope you find an answer… ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Anonymous
      July 27, 2007 at 4:01 am

      Hi, Julie.

      Although it’s not unknown for CIDP to affect the facial and autonomic nerves (which are a part of the peripheral nervous system), it’s not real common, so you doctor is wise to be cautious. I’ve had CIDP for eight years and started having ‘odd’ symptoms (which could be attributed to CIDP) three years ago. Earlier this year, after three years of new and exciting tests, I was diagnosed with neurosarcoidosis–another autoimmune disorder–along with the CIDP. The neurosarc covers the odd symptoms pretty well.

      The main difference between GBS, SIDP and CIDP is essentially the length of time that the patient continues to worsen. GBS is an acute disorder that runs its course in about four weeks; the patient then improves albeit slowly, and may be left with some pretty debilitating residuals. SIDP is semi-acute; it runs its course for more than four weeks but stops before eight weeks and, as with GBS, then improves. CIDP is chronic, and is characterized by continuing to worsen in either a relapsing/remitting or a progressive course for more than eight weeks (often for the rest of the patient’s life).

      Best wishes in the battle,


    • Anonymous
      July 27, 2007 at 4:57 am

      Thank you all so much for responding. I checked out SIDP and while it’s in between the two it still doesn’t fit my time frame. It took nearly 6 months from the beginning of the foot drop until I was hospitalized with breathing problems which fits more with CIDP, however, I’M BETTER! I have continued to get better with flashbacks (or Return of the Dead as I call it) every few weeks but I am not getting worse which I think is characteristic of CIDP. I do occasionally get new symptoms, or symptoms that went away a long time ago flare up and revisit for awhile. That is depressing, but aside from the constant fatigue and autonomic issues there is nothing that I can say is really worse, either better or the same. So unless I have such a mild case of CIDP that the IVIg can last for a year then I feel like I’m right back in the gray area.

      For the most part it doesn’t matter to me which one it is, I have been bounced around so many departments from Rheumatology to Infectious Diseases that I’m glad we’ve finally settled on where the problem is. I’ve been lucky in that the only person who thought it was all in my head was… ME! And I think that was just a big dose of denial. As my husband told me “You are Cleopatra, Queen of DeNile!” It’s our code word for when I try to do something he knows I can’t do … “hey Cleo, why don’t you use the gate instead of climbing over the fence…” hee hee, he’s so wonderful!

      Well I hope you all have a happy Friday. I finally slept past 2am this morning so I’m taking that as a sign it’s going to be a good day. Oh and my face isn’t numb this morning. Whooppee!

    • Anonymous
      July 27, 2007 at 5:02 am

      Hey I also just wanted to apologize to anyone offended by my gallows humor, that tends to be the way I deal with stress and while it usually keeps my husband and I from going insane with worry, it can also be offensive if you don’t find anything funny in having a medical problem.

      So – there was Dawn of the Dead, the acute hospitalization phase
      and now there is Return of the Dead, when I get flare ups. Did anybody see those movies in the 1970’s? They scared me to death as a child but now I think it’s funny (and kind of appropriate.)

      And of course there is me Cleo – queen of DeNile.;-)

    • Anonymous
      July 27, 2007 at 7:46 am

      Hi, Julie.

      Actually, your disorder sounds something like mine: I relapse every six weeks or so, then climb back to what for me is normal, then relapse again, ad nauseum. I’m sometimes left a bit worse after a relapse but generally return fairly well, most of the time without treatment (I usually end up having IVIg every nine months or so).

      BTW, keep up the gallows humour. Owing to the combination of CIDP and neurosarc (not sure which is causing what at this point), I’ve had move from a walking stick to a crutch for balance. I like to decorate my walking utensils, and for the crutch have been looking for Grim Reaper stickers, but to no avail. They would much more fit my mood at the moment than flowers.


    • July 27, 2007 at 8:26 am

      I found what I refer to as my crip shirt which reads: “Some people are like a slinky, not really good for anything but you still can’t help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.” A few people were not impressed {mainly my mom at first} but like I told her I’m the one doing the tumbling and some of my non-injury falls have been classic. You’ve got to be able to laugh or the CIDP would likely drive us all into major depression.
      The other good one is when I finially got around to entering the computer age the cableman who set up my e-mail used my first name and the first four letters of my last. My e-mail address starts as pattiefell. We all got a good laugh over that one. Keep your sense of humor, it’s what keeps us sane.

    • Anonymous
      July 27, 2007 at 8:57 am

      Well Deb that makes me feel a whole lot better that you get almost back to your normal. (what is that anyway… [I]normal[/I]?) I had to laugh about decorating your crutch – while I was in the hospital my husband and some of his friends decorated my room, my walker, my IV pole – whatever they could find with little stickers. On my walker were the monkey stickers – so I started calling them my monkey bars. It was really hilarious. Once I could get to the bathroom on my own I was finding them in VERY unlikely places and it made me laugh constantly. How silly! But I felt sorry for the cleaning staff, we tried to remember where they all were but…

      Pattie I saw that T-shirt and if I didn’t have more T-shirts than Walmart I would have bought it for the exact same reason. I’m thinking of making one with “Tripping” on it – just that – and let people wonder if it’s drugs or disability. (I’m so awful!)

      Ya’ll have a good day. So far this one has been interesting. I woke up to four mice trapped in the trash can because my husband forgot to put the liner in – THAT will get your adrenaline going in the morning! To top that off my next door neighbor let out a hair raising yell this morning and when I stumbled outside I saw that someone had completely wrapped his car in cellophane and stuck little flags in it. I almost peed in my pants it was so funny.


    • Anonymous
      July 27, 2007 at 10:41 am

      Hi, Julie.

      My most fun decoration was a couple of Christmases ago. My son (who has called me Crip for years and now, with the diagnosis of neurosarc, calls me Double-Crip) bought some battery operated lights. The result can be found on the following thread on the GBSSG (the UK support group) Web site: [url];act=ST;f=2;t=70[/url]. I can’t wait for this Christmas: I’ve got new lights.

      BTW, my normal isn’t what it once was, but I don’t compare myself with my original normal. And I’m now at the age in which I can wear a red dress with purple shoes and not care what anyone thinks–my grey area is on my head.

      Hi, Pattie. Once upon a time we had a thread on this forum in which we all told stories of our funniest disabled event–falls, getting in and out of the bath, that sort of thing. Maybe we should start another: if we can’t laugh at ourselves, who’s going to laugh at us (particularly in this pc culture)!


    • Anonymous
      July 27, 2007 at 10:51 am

      What a brilliant idea Deb! (pun intended) your lights are beautiful and beat the heck out of my dime store variety cane. I think it’s time for me to upgrade though I don’t need the cane unless I have to walk a lot.

      Well I have plenty of gray area on my head that I attempt to cover with hair dye but most of my gray area is still between my ears. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • July 27, 2007 at 11:13 am

      What a great sense of humor. I cannot believe that someone besides me actually likes those movies! Kevin loves them too! If you want a real laugh, there is a comedic version called Shaun of the Dead, it is a British version, a hilarious, pee in your pants version!

      Anyway, I agree, you probably do have cidp, a six month progression is pretty long to qualify for aidp or sidp. Our confusion I think, was due to the fact that we were measuring the distance of time from possible trigger as well as legnth of time between first symptoms and treatment. We never really paid attention to the climax of the progression, or in other words, how long it took him to get to his worst from the initial onset. Which in retrospect was about 18-21 days. Once he peaked, he never got worse, again, in retrospect. The fact that the ivig instantaneously changed everything seemed to cloud my recollection, we were all just so amazed that in a matter of 2 days he went from bareley walking or not being able to hold things, to running and doing push ups.

      From your other post, it seems as if you have only had one course of ivig, is this accurate? I was wondering why you don’t get more? Or do you? Well I hope you have a great weekend, and go rent Shaun Of The Dead if you are looking for a few good laughs!

      Dawn Kevies mom ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    • Anonymous
      July 27, 2007 at 11:45 am


      Cleo Queen of DeNile … sounds like my husbands sense of humor! Always ready with a comment like that.

      Dawn, if you liked Shawn of the Dead, im sure you will like tons of British comedy. BTW Julie, if you havent seen Shawn of the Dead, I’ll pop it by for you to watch ๐Ÿ˜‰ .

    • Anonymous
      July 27, 2007 at 12:45 pm

      Julie, Humor is the Best Medicine!!!:D Keep it up, I love to Laugh!!
      Like Deb, I too decorate my walking devices. Only I do it All The Time!!:) My Cane is decorated with yellow ribbon with an accent of Glow in The Dark necklace lacing(thanks to my daughters collection) I now glow in the dark!:) My crutches have pink ribbon with breast cancer ribbons stamped on it. and my wheelchair is decorated with glow in the dark paint on the wheel spokes and glo sticks wrapped through the spokes on all wheels.(pic on the do you have a photo thread) and last my 2nd cane has red, white and blue ribbon wrapped around it. I enjoy seeing the look on others’ faces when they notice my decorated cane-especially when grumpy old people with canes look and smile a big smile and look at their cane in a different way-One lady, who always walks at the mall, even decorated her cane after she saw mine-its contagious!:)

    • Anonymous
      July 27, 2007 at 12:56 pm

      OMG Shawn of the Dead – that’s hilarious! No I can say for certain that I never saw that.

      Dawn, I had two courses of IVIg in the hospital back to back for a total of 9 bags and $45000 (that god for insurance). I was going to have another round six weeks later but the fever put my doctor off and we went on an 8 month diversion trying to figure out what the fever was from. Everyone assumed I caught something in the hospital or that in my suppressed state I got another illness. NOW it makes total sense that it was part of the autonomic issues and I wish we’d gone ahead with the IVIg. Nevertheless I did get better on my own without a second/third round of IVIg.

      Now almost a year after Dawn of the Dead I am mostly stable but about every six weeks or so I have Return of the Dead and something gets numb or weak or droopy or I am unable to get out of Quicksand my lounge chair because I’m too tired or weak. Then just as quickly I will get better, sometimes in the same day the numbness in my face will go back to basically nothing.

      I can’t quite put my finger on what makes me get better quickly but my husband thinks it’s entirely due to how much I rest. If I do housework in that state I don’t seem to get better quickly but if I just sit around then it takes less time to recover.

      Here’s the irritating thing – both my doctor and my sister-in-law who is a doctor keep telling me to not hold back, to get on with my life and I feel like a total wimp when I say “but I’m so tired and when I do things I get worse.” I wonder if they think anxiety and depression are keeping me pinned to the chair but when I do things I get all shakey and weak and sometimes fall down. So what do you do? I mean I go until my legs turn to jello then I have to sit down for a few hours but the amount of time it takes for my legs to turn to jello hasn’t significantly increased since early March. I guess it takes about 100 feet or 15 minutes of standing, sometimes more or less but that’s about it. So they believe that doing more will increase my stamina – I believe in the logic of that since I used to work out regularly, however it really hasn’t worked for me in practice. The more I do the more run down I get and the more symptoms come back to haunt me and then I pay for them. Just one day of overdoing it can stick me in the chair, or bed, for a week or more. I’ve had that conversation with myself many times – you know the one that goes “ok, get off your lazy butt, if you don’t work to get better you will just make it worse” and I’ll increase the amount I walk daily, or throw a few situps and some weights in there and then BAM, I’m back in the chair wobbling to and from the toilet frantically. Sigh, it just doesn’t pay off but maybe the Provigil will help get me over that hump so that I can work to get my own stamina back.

      Anyway, it’s a beautiful day so I’m going to put on my Willy Wonka shades that cover most of my face and go watch the dogs play. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anonymous
      July 27, 2007 at 4:40 pm

      Julie, You need to rest when your body tells you to rest, not when someone else tells you to get up and move. Whos body is it anyways? Your sister in law dr, how many gbs/cidp patients has she told to get up and move, move, move and so on? I hope None!! The fatigue is a residual, its there for a reason, if not to tell you to slow down and rest, but to make you stand up to others for yourself, put your body’s needs first. Ask Dr Shawn, she deals with dr partners who keep her moving all the time, not the best thing for the recovery process. exercise in moderation is good, not all the time, everyday, with not enough rest in between.

    • July 28, 2007 at 8:06 am

      The Provigal will help with the fatigue but you still need to pace yourself and not over do it. I still take naps and limit myself to what I do. Having the house spotless isn’t worth having my body revolt the next day. This time of year the house is a mess but my yard is looking pretty good. The owner of the building has a kid come over and do any of the heavy work for me. Being out of doors also helps with my attitude! Who can be cranky when the sun is shining?

    • Anonymous
      July 28, 2007 at 10:57 am

      I appreciate your humor immensley. And thank you for bringing up the issue of feeling like a wimp if your not able to move. I was diagnosed with CIDP 5 years ago and it wasn’t until this past winter that I got the full scope of this condition which by the way sounds like you have. I was a massage therapist who was doing 5-6 massages a day and pushing my body to the point of immobility thinking that the more I did the stronger I would be. However, I learned that I actually exacerbated the condition and now I am on disability and every day have to pick and choose what activity I can do at a time. I also cycle through bouts of strength and then no energy to the point of being in bed for about a week and then feeling stronger. I am learning that when I feel stronger I still have to limit what I do or I will throw myself into another round of immobility. And often the biggest struggle is my mind and worrying what others think of me. It helps me so much when I hear other people report similar experiences like you did so I can see that It’s not in my head. I hope we keep hearing from you. Thanks.

    • July 28, 2007 at 5:40 pm

      Please someone correct me if I am wrong, so I am not explaining things incorrectly. Julie, this is how it was explained to us. I will use the feet as an example. The myelin, or nerves, (in our case, myelin only) are inflamed or damaged in your feet, therefore you do not get the proper signal from the brain to make the muscles in your feet work properly. So lets say the nerves in your leg assume the job (between ankle and knee) , now they have two jobs, their initial resposibilities plus the feet. If you work out or over exert, you are now putting the leg in overdrive. It cannot do the job it is supposed to or the new job it is trying to learn, hence the jelloie feeling (Kevin called it that too) Now everything is stressed out and only rest will get things back to pre exertion state. Your doctor and family relative are obviously misinformed or uninformed regarding their no pain no gain strategy. I am so sorry you have to deal with them pressuring you. Maybe you can print them out some info from this sight or ninds sight. Just because they have the degree, does not mean they know everything! You know what you can do!

      Is more ivig possible, a maintanence schedule, every 6-8 weeks? Good luck!

      Dawn Kevies mom ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    • Anonymous
      July 30, 2007 at 4:08 pm

      I don’t think you’re in a gray area at all. Your case sounds a lot like mine. I have CIDP, replapsing/remitting type. I dealt with it for over a year before treatment. I would be weak, then spontaneously get stronger. It was actually pretty predictable — for the most part, it went along with my monthly cycle! And the “jello legs” — I called them “Bambi legs” — felt like a newborn dear, likely to fall at any time. Resting, sometimes for hours, brought back at least partial strength, but the relapsing/remitting cycle was relentless, and after a year, the relapses were definitely worse than when I first started noticing symptoms. By the time I got IVIG, I couldn’t even stand up from a chair by myself.

      If the IVIG helped you, I agree with Dawn that you should talk to your doctor about a regular schedule of treatments. I started at every 4 weeks and now do every 6 weeks (a little rough the last week, but not debilitating). I still fatigue easily, but I don’t get that impossible weakness anymore. If your doctor doesn’t understand your illness and isn’t providing adequate treatment, please look for another. Life is too short!


    • Anonymous
      July 31, 2007 at 4:35 am

      Well it was a rough weekend but I think I’m coming out of it now, slowly, slowly, like you Caryn, it does seem tied to the monthly cycle – like we needed that little added bonus monthly. I also think when my allergies are acting up it makes things worse too – which totally makes sense as they are both autoimmune diseases. We finally got some rain after months of drought so that should help the sneeze factor.

      My doctor did offer IVIg and it did help – remembering back to last year I regained feeling in my foot after more than a year of not feeling it, that was amazing! I decided to hold off on it until after the lumbar puncture and new EMG because I don’t want to take a chance on messing up the results so sometime in September maybe. Although I could easily argue with myself that I don’t really need it because I get better on my own anyway and there are lots of people out there worse than me… IVIG shortage… etc etc etc. so we’ll cross that road after the chicken goes first.

      I think MOST people don’t understand this illness – I mean you have to admit it’s a little strange and I’m coming to expect that bewildered look when I explain what happened/is happening to me. And I think it was easy for me to write off some of my symptoms until I came back here and read that they are more common than I thought. I know it’s hard to understand the fatigue – I don’t know if I would understand the immense weight pressing me into the chair if I didn’t feel it myself. My husband can see it so he totally understands but I think if you are healthy and have never had a major illness it’s hard to understand that forcing myself to do more doesn’t help. I’m not lazy, I’m tired and weak.

      Part of the reason I doubted my sanity and the potential diagnosis of CIDP is because although I do have slumps I still get better on my own and I have never gotten as bad as last year when I was totally paralyzed except for my left leg. Right now they look kind of the same to me – either it was GBS and I’ve got residuals or it’s CIDP and I’ve got relapses – it feels the same to me… Return of the Dead. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m not clear on whether the facial involvement definately means Miller-Fisher or if you can have a droopy face and weak neck with CIDP but it’s reassuring that other people have had fevers. I think that has been the thing baffling us from the beginning and for some reason most doctors blew me off when I asked if it could be due to the inflammation – except this dude at Hopkins, I like him and he listens to me. Actually he interrupted every sentance but I am used to that from my husband’s family so I felt very comfortable with him – I think it shows he can multi-task thinking, you know listening to me while exploring other possibilities and ruling them out before I manage to finish a sentance. It’s efficient but I know most people think it’s rude.

      So… I’m compiling a list of advantages to my symptoms… here is my start:

      I always know the opposite color of something I look at because of the burn out. You know how you can stare at something for awhile then look at a white page and you’ll see the opposite color of what you stared at? Well that happens to me all the time and it’s actually quite handy when I attempt to do something artistic.

      My sense of taste is way off therefore I’m no longer picky about what I eat, this is nice because I’ve never been a great cook. Too bad my husband’s sense of taste is excellent.

      Because I am home all the time now my dogs are much better behaved. They are smart enough to figure out the bad days and are much more careful not to knock me over when I’m wobbly. They’ve done it once or twice and they freak out when I fall down so now they kind of work as a team to keep each other from bumping me. (on a side note – I’ve been offered a lot of dogs lately in desparate situations – what’s up with that? Are people who are home a lot natural targets for dogs headed to the shelter? Well we’d take them all if we could afford it but do you have any idea how expensive vet bills are?) (and do you know anyone that might want two yellow labs, the new baby in their house developed allergies?)

      And one last positive spin – I never have to stir my coffee anymore, just pick up the mug and by the time it gets to my mouth it’s been shaken and stirred.

      Whew! Maybe we should start a new thread on positive spins, it’s really hard to think of them sometimes but me and the hubby try to work on it and can get really bizarre in our quest for something positive. But I need it because I can get really depressed and feeling sorry for myself so it helps to have this list of silly positives to turn to when I’m really bummed.

      Have a great day ya’ll –


    • July 31, 2007 at 8:11 am

      Let’s see, positive thinking. I had to move closer to my family and my mom and I are spending alot of quality time together or we’re on the phone with no worries of long distance bills. My yard has no weeds to speak of, sitting on my hindend and weeding is something I can do. And last: Handycapped parking is the greatest!!!

    • Anonymous
      July 31, 2007 at 8:04 pm

      I’d like to add to the ‘positive’ thinking, please! My husband and I always fought over his driving skills (or lack of) but now that he’s dx’ed with CIDP I do most of the driving and we argue less!

    • Anonymous
      August 1, 2007 at 4:19 am

      That’s a good one Mackk!

      Here’s a new one: Now that my vision is blurry on and off I don’t see most of the dog hair and dust that is sitting there waiting for me to clean. Of course I freak out when it starts moving and I realize it was one of the dogs instead of just a pile of fur on the floor.


      Herself, I haven’t even thought about weeding yet because my whole yard is one big weed factory but I do periodically go outside and watch the plants grow and the squirrels play.

    • Anonymous
      August 2, 2007 at 10:21 pm

      about lots of stuff! Folks here are right about that…
      As for dust? – As long as it isn’t stirred up, no one who is a real friend should care.
      As for falling down and getting up? Next neuro visit, be SURE to ask about PT! Most docs, especially neuros simply don’t think of it-as they are ‘focusing’ on your basic ‘neuro stuff’. I have never asked for PT and been turned down for it. Finding the right PT person or place tho is a whole different issue! I amaze myself that I fall down and manage to get up! I do, but find myself THINKING furiously about how Best to to it when it needs to be done. I’m usually exhausted afterwards tho..
      As for explaining about CIDP/GBS – I tell folks that it’s a cousin of MS [which folks have heard of, but, usually have no clue about other than ‘Not Good’] Anyone who has an MS relative, friend or in-law tho probably has a ‘clue’ and that works…It’s simply that ‘demeyelination’ thing, occurring not in the brain but at the extremeties [medical definition plus] and causes the ‘short circuits’ with the pain going along.
      Blurry VISION? I have gone thru phases of that…recorded in my eyeglass lens script changes some of them significant. But by blurry do you mean they get like ‘ground fog’ rolling across your field of vision? That I’ve had, it now comes far less than before…and was checked out for vascular issues [negative] and the guess of my neuro-opth was that it was a ‘non-aura’ migraine. In other words some ‘ideopathic’ vision thingie. If it had kept up I mite have been referred to someone at NIH {good, but, not so good-as in scary?}
      SENSE OF HUMOR! Gotta have it! What we have is insanity, living with it is insane, compensating in hundreds of ways, walking, talking, thinking[those durn meds!] LIVING…well, you have to appreciate that we are at least, diagnosed [sort of-as all docs hedge their bets] and go on! Not to mention all the insane tests, doctors and whatever’s we have had to endure to get treated!
      Hugs and I surely hope not one of your dogs flomps down and deliberately trips you! I think, that they are smarter than THAT!

    • Anonymous
      August 3, 2007 at 5:59 am

      [QUOTE=homeagain]… I surely hope not one of your dogs flomps down and deliberately trips you! I think, that they are smarter than THAT![/QUOTE]

      Well I hate to disappoint you but the intelligence of my dogs varies directly with their interest in what I have in my hands to eat. At dinnertime they are the smartest dogs I’ve had, they plop their little rear ends down and sit (impatiently) until I bring their bowls. Any other time they do pretty much what they want but they have their own room with indoor/outdoor access so my house stays (mostly) cleanish. They don’t trip me on purpose and I’ve got much better balance now than I did even six months ago so I don’t go down often anymore. They just get – excited – happy – you know dogs. If they haven’t seen you in five minutes it’s been forever for them. But I love them and at times I swear they’ve kept me sane. One of the two brothers, Emmitt, had to have both his hips replaced at 3 months and I know they bother him to this day but I swear you’d never know it other than an occoasional whimper when he lands wrong from jumping around like a kangaroo. He is the happiest dog I’ve ever seen and I’ve had lots of dogs in my 42 years. I know he can’t have any clue that if he had ended up another family he wouldn’t have had that surgery and would most likely be dead but it sure seems that way. His brother Harley is just as laid back as they come aside from his fear of thunder and our third dog Blackbury came to us all the way from the streets of Tiawan. All our dogs are rescues and if you’ve ever gotten a dog from a shelter or the street you KNOW they are grateful to be with you. It’s plainly obvious. SOOOOOOO anytime I get depressed I go downstairs and hang with the dogs in their room for some puppy therapy. Heck if Emmitt can bounce around with two metal hips I can get my lazy old self up and go throw a toy for him. It’s good PT for both of us. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      As for the PT, I’ve got mixed feelings about that… I do PT here at home, I’ve got a little routine down from many years of PT … but I also know there are some things you can’t do on your own. I live outside a small village, outside a small town but if there is one thing that small town has is PT places – I think I counted 4 at one point. I’ve been going to the same person for years now (after each surgery, dislocation etc.) and she EXACTLY fits my definition of a good physical therapist and sometimes I just hate her for it. (you know what I mean) but she is incredibly smart and was the first person to recognize the foot drop and suspect GB so I have her to thank for the early warning. It took another 6 months for it to get bad enough to put me in the hospital but she was the first to suspect GB and she was the first person to actually get my right leg to move on it’s own after the paralysis spread. I was getting sessions of that electrical shocky thing where they stick the electrodes on your muscles and it periodically shocks you and contracts the muscle. (therein lie my mixed feelings) At the time I had no feeling in my right lower leg and it hadn’t moved voluntarily for a month or more. That day she cranked up the juice and shocked the living crap out of my leg – honestly I still bear a scar from one connection point – BUT it must have jolted my nerves enough to give a half hearted attempt at moving again and for the next three months I could move my lower leg voluntarily. After that all bets were off as the numbness continued to spread up my leg and then hit my face/chest etc. and I ended up in the hospital etc.

      And another positive outlook to leave you all with today: A thousand years ago when my husband I got married I made some half-thought out promise to keep my hair long and he made some vague promise to help me take care of it by brushing it etc. Well I kept up my part of the bargain as you can probably tell from my picture but alas the spouselet was SLACK on his promise… until this year! When I was in the hospital the nurses and my mother wanted to cut my hair saying it would be easier for me to take care of etc etc etc and I was adamant that they would not cut it against my wishes, and more important against my husband’s wishes. I was planning to use that threat as a crowbar to get Jim to help me more with my hair but as it turns out it wasn’t needed at all – he recognized the threat immediately and has been SO GOOD about helping me out. Trust me washing hair down to your rear end is a big chore when your arms don’t move that well. Plus he learned to braid it too which makes it infinately easier to deal with when eating. ๐Ÿ˜‰