Body Betrayed | Body Disabled

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Emergency Room at Memorial Hospital

By late morning on Thursday, July 2, 2009 I decided to go back to my regular physician.
He was out of the office that day, but his replacement was able to see me. He was an older doctor, very nice and friendly. He took one look of me, did a quick examination and said that I needed to go to the emergency room now. "Don't be surprised if they keep you in the hospital. I think you have a condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)." This doctor was the second person to diagnose me with possible GBS.

One of my church members has a family member who is a highly reputable out-of-town physician. We had talked about my problems just a week before. His opinion was that I had GBS; he was the first physician to suggest GBS. Since I was very familiar with GBS, I agreed. But, since I had intact deep tendon knee reflexes, doctors at Erlanger and my neurologist said GBS was not possible. He disagreed with those doctors and said that you could develop GBS and keep reflexes. It was even possible to develop selective varieties of GBS.

I talked about the bad experience with the Erlanger-connected neurologist with the fill-in physician. He believed Memorial Hospital would be my best option; we agreed. The neurologists who practice at Memorial are a different group.

The ER doctor evaluated me thoroughly. His first impression was that I had Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Cathy and I were not surprised. In most cases of GBS, the patient is admitted to the hospital and often is placed on a respirator in ICU. I had probably passed the crisis point and was breathing well, so I would not be admitted.

Blood cultures, chest X-rays, and an arterial blood gas were all ordered. I've had two arterial blood gas test in the past. They are extremely painful because they drive a needle into your wrist, through a nerve to reach an artery. It hurts! I waited patiently as they prepared to draw my blood, being too chicken to look. I asked, "are you almost ready to begin?" "Honey, were almost through" was their response. I did not feel the blood draw at all. Strange and scary!

The ER doctor at Memorial recommended I make an appointment with a new group of neurologists. I would attempt to do so, but could not get into to see his recommended neurologist.

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