Monday, April 16, 2012

My GBS Experience: Hospital to Half Marathons!

This was around May 19, 2009. This was one of the first days I was at the hospital. I could still move my arms, just not above my shoulders. By then I believe my legs had been pretty hard to move around below the thigh. I think this was before i got the pick line so they had to keep sticking me to get blood. ;p
There were a couple nurses during the time I was there that got a home run first try when they tried to draw blood but they were far and few between.
Evidently at some point during the rapid decrease I told my family I didn't want any pictures taken because I wanted to forget all of this as soon as possible. I actually wish I could have seen what I looked like on the vent. I have vague memories like waking up and having my arms strapped down so I didn't pull the tube out (like my arms even had the strength to do much more than slightly wiggle or flop around...) and another where I have a sensation of floating (they moves me from the bed to chair using a lift I found out from my mom) but any more than that I don't remember. I think there are three days I can't remember anything from. I think from May 24th-27th... not sure...

I believe this is a shot about 4 days into my hospital stay though I am not positive. Just recently received it from a friend that found it while looking through her stuffs. It was before the feeding tubes and respirator evidently. :)

Something that had been sitting with me for a while since I was sick in the hospital. I came down with Guillain Barre Syndrome and during the slow crawl to the worst of it I was able to use my hands to write notes when I couldn't talk due to various reasons. All of these are real notes I wrote while in the hospital as paralysis slowly overtook me. Some were taken during my climb back up. I wanted to do something with them but I didn't quite know what. Hehe, please don't mind the misspellings, the drugs they had in me were doing who knows what to my mind. These were some of the most legible notes left over from my stay in the hospital.

This was taken once I was moved to the rehab facility in June. The nerves in my eyes had become weak so I was having double vision for a while and had to build back strength by alternating an eye patch from eye to eye. Yarg! Pirate!

This was three weeks into the rehab I think. Can't quite remember. we were allowed to have pet visits but they had to stay outside so my mom and my husband brought jules up to visit me. :) It made me really happy. I really missed my pets. I was just kind of getting sensations back into my hands so the feeling of his fur was really interesting. my hands pretty much had to be desensitized, even now i am working on coarse textures.

it was pretty hot outside so we didn't keep him out there too long. plus he is an inside cat so being outside was a bit of a "Whoa" exp for him. =)

i went into all of this at 218 lbs at the ER. when they weighed me at the rehab i was 200. by the time i left the rehab i was 190.

Ah, car transfers... well worth the effort to get away from rehab for a day. =p
This might have been the same day we took a car ride to Sonic and I got to see a couple friends who drove up from Houston.

At this time my back/core/shoulders/neck was all still kind of weak so sitting up for a long amount of time was a bit tiring. The belt around my waist is called a gait belt, my husband or mom would use that to help lift me into the car when i would go to stand. At this time I was not using a walker yet.

Yay! Nap Time! :3

I think this was the third trip i was able to make home on a Saturday and I decided to give the computer a try.

by far, my favorite and the best picture ever. this is the wipe board at the rehab where they list the names and the dates of who gets to go home.
my name went up there once before with 7/3 and when i asked around no one knew who put it up there so it got erased... that kind of sucked. but this was a hard date that got agreed upon after a staffing with all the doctors and physical therapists. hells yeah. ready to kick booty out that door.

At this time I had been using a walker and was able to walk short distances but sometimes I needed to balance myself againts things. I was fixing the cat's meat for them. My goal was to try and start fitting back into my regular routine as fast as possible. :) The cats were happy about it.

We walked/jogged in the 2009 Houston Turkey Trot. I am still waiting for the results to be posted. It was a 5k (~3 miles) and I think my sis and I finished in 45 minutes. I can't complain, I'm just happy to be up and moving. =)
The Results Are In! There were 2643 runners.
Place - DivRank - Tag# - Name - Guntime - Pace - Tagtime (from when we cross the startline to finish)
1658 - 102/123 - 4542 - Adam Turner - 40:44 - 13:35 - 36:24
2112 - 111/133 - 4544 - Joanne Ralston - 48:35 - 16:12 - 44:14
2115 - 184/208 - 4543 - Lisa Turner - 48:37 - 16:13 - 44:16
2117 - 14/15 - 4546 - Terry Ralston - 48:44 - 16:15 - 44:20
Joanne jogged (sometimes dragged me ;p ) with me in the race so next time I'll have to try and jog 2 miles with her before we start to walk. :D Munyah!

At the starting line with my sis at the San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and 1/2 in November 2010. She and I did the half in around 3:48.

At the finish line with my sis at the San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and 1/2. She and I did the half in around 3:48.
She got the beer and I had Adam carry a Red Bull for me. :3

At the starting line in Las Vegas for the December 2011 Rock and Roll Half Marathon!

I finished! It was only a few minutes faster than last year but I finished again! Rawr! :3

The road to recovery can be tough but the only way to get to the end of the road is by putting one foot in front of the other. Doesn't matter if you are in a wheel chair scooting along, popping wheelies with a walker, or jogging like a funky chicken. Just keep driving forward.


  1. I can totally relate to the not wanting photo's taken during the early part of GBS. Hell I didn't even want anyone but my wife and my parents to see me while I was spiraling toward my near demise. I was on a vent for 21 days and thanks to my wife they didn't trache me. Would you believe that now when I see pictures of those that share this path with me I am that sick? I guess like you said I wonder now what I would have looked like on a vent. I don't dare ask my wife. She said to her father on the day as I was going on the vent that is was officially the worst day of her life. I guess I have to say it was a pretty bad day for me too.

    I got goosebumps as I scrolled down your blog and saw the awesome accomplishment that you have to be proud of. I appreciate you sharing. You are yet another inspiration to my recovery. I am a physical therapist and I will return to treating patients again! I will keep driving forward. I hate to run with a passion but I want that to be why I don't run not because of the god for saken GBS. I guess I will have to run a race of sorts in the future just to show GBS who really is the boss of me. I will keep ya posted if you will listen.

    I'm on twitter too. We are co-followers.

    Much love to ya,

    @1GBS_PT (Jeremy)

    1. Heheh, before GBS I hated running but it was kind of one of those things where it is the easiest exercise with kind of the least resistance, all I have to do is move my body. I don't even like running/jogging/walking as it is but it is something to turn around and say "Hah! Take that GBS."

      I am always ready to listen to another's journey to recovery! Any time you would like to chat, reach out to me!

  2. Wooo Hooo Lisa Turner Rocks!!!!