By the time we had moved to the Rehabilitation Dept of Orange Base Hospital where there was a well equipped Physio Dept. and two enthusiastic and dedicated physiotherapists.
We found that weekends and public holidays are not the best time to be in hospital. While Kerry was in the Acute Care Ward we had one weekend, Easter and Anzac Day – seven days when there was minimal staffing and patient care seemed to be prioritized. Kerry looked healthy, could communicate and only needed an occasional Panadol for headache so he was at the bottom of the pecking order. Fortunately he had learned to transfer to a wheelchair so I took him to the toilet, for walks and generally looked after him.
He spent months in Rehab and it was fantastic during the week – two hour sessions with the physios and time in the hydrotherapy pool but then came the weekend. From 5pm Friday to 9am Monday – nothing but basic care. To me it was five steps forward and then two back.
Through sheer determination and hard work he gradually regained the use of his legs and was able to return home on crutches six weeks after being admitted. He gradually returned to work starting with a few hours each day but found he tired easily and needed to rest. Because he was self employed he could do office work where he was sitting most of the time and come home to rest when necessary.
Three years on and newly retired he has not fully recovered and didn’t make that top 70%. He has abnormal sensation in his feet and his legs where he sometimes experiences pins and needles or numbness and at other times a burning sensation.
He is more fortunate than some others who have experienced GBS and is looking forward to a long and healthy retirement.
Even though GBS is not supposed to strike twice, Kerry has been advised against ever having any kind of immunization in the future.
During our GBS experience we were fortunate enough to have the support of our family and friends.
Glenese Nicholson. (wife)- Nov 2009