What is Guillian Barrè Syndrome?
On November 2nd, 2015, I, Darren Williams (@dwill_darren) woke up with a migraine and extreme tingling and numbness in my hands and feet. Over the course of that week, the migraine and tingling became progressively worse. It became harder to move my arms and harder to walk. After a week of this, I decided to take myself to Urgent Care. I went to an Urgent Care facility and they didn't know what was wrong, but they recommended I go to an ER immediately. By the time I drove myself to the ER (30 minutes away), I lost the ability to walk completely. I literally rolled myself out of my vehicle and army crawled in the parking garage until I found a garage attendant to get me a wheelchair. I remained in the hospital for about a week until they finally diagnosed me with Guillian Barrè Syndrome aka GBS. Guillian Barrè Syndrome is an autoimmune disease where your nervous system attacks itself. It can cause paralysis, muscle weakness, organ shutdown, and potentially death. Of course the physical pain is excruciating, but the mental anguish was worse. Watching your body slowly deteriorate is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. This syndrome affects you mentally, just as much as physically.
After Being diagnosed with Guillian Barrè Syndrome, Nothing Improved
In addition to not being strong enough to walk, I lost the ability to stand, move my legs, move my arms, lost the ability to grab items, feel sensations in my legs / feet & arms / hands. Here is where I pretty much hit my low point. I'm the guy that everyone relies on, I'm the strong personal trainer, former football player, track & field athlete, father to 6 month old child; but now I'm stuck in a hospital bed during Thanksgiving and on my birthday and I can't even use the bathroom without assistance. Things were rough. Without my positive attitude, and the support of my family and friends; recovery would have been an impossible feat.
I slowly but surely began to regain strength within my arms and legs overcoming Guillian Barrè Syndrome
I regained the ability to stand, then walk, then move my arms, then actually use the bathroom alone (lol small victories). Doctors told me I wouldn't walk for six months, but I was up and walking again within six weeks! I lost about 20 pounds while I was sick because it was hard to chew, but shortly after my hospital release I went back to the gym, and I am me again! I still suffer from extreme bouts of fatigue, muscle weakness, restless leg syndrome at nights, and whenever I over exert myself in the gym my body feels like it's vibrating from the inside out and I get extremely weak and it's hard for me to move (but this feeling passes completely in about 15-20 minutes and I'm back to normal). I'm still recovering from Guillian Barrè Syndrome to this day, but looking at me from the outside, most people would have no idea what I've been through in the last year. Hopefully my little story can inspire someone to keep pushing forward, stay strong, realize that we need to live everyday to the fullest, tomorrow is NOT guaranteed!