Sandra Cluley

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On the 4th day my husband rang the GP to tell him I was deteriorating and came back to me saying that I was to try and eat an egg. Well you can imagine what I said I would do if he did bring one in. By this time I wasn’t eating or drinking. The Dr then came to visit me later that morning, and when he pulled the sheet back I was shocked to see that all my calf muscles had deteriorated. I could see the looks of concern and would be getting another home visit the next day.

The following day my husband had to go to work, although very reluctantly, and said he would try and get off at lunchtime. He was in the RAAF. When he arrived home I was even worse not being able to get out of bed at all. He immediately called my GP who told him take me straight to Windsor hospital and he would organise tests.

The next 2 days were the most painful of my life. I couldn’t bear anything touching my skin and couldn’t even use a pillow. I felt like I had run a marathon and done 10 straight days of aerobics. After I was admitted they did a lumbar puncture, which was cruel, and took 4 of them to hold me in position and me yelling.

Next was a check up from a neurologist and blood tests. It was the first time I heard the term Guillain Barre Syndrome mentioned. The next day I was transferred to St Vincents where I again underwent a barrage of the same tests including another dreaded lumbar puncture. They sneakily came from behind and hit me with a pethidine shot, and I can honestly say it was the best I felt during this whole ordeal. Back in the 1980’s not as much was know about GBS so was sort of a guinea pig and was even a case study for interns being taken into a room of white coated people and talked about.