Last month I came down with a nasty head cold that had been going around the valley. After about a week, I started feeling a lot better and thought I was over it. I woke up one morning feeling like a slept wrong or pinched a nerve in my back. My legs felt like I had worked out too hard and my finger tips were a little numb---like pins and needles. By the next day it got progressively worse. I had trouble walking, standing for any length of time and my dexterity in my hands decreased. My wife called her doctor for an appointment the next day. By the evening we decided that I needed to go to the hospital. I went to UMC and by midnight couldn't stand or move my legs more than a few inches.
My symptoms matched some very unpleasant and fatal diseases and for the first 2 days my diagnosis wasn't set in stone. After a spinal tap, two MRIs, two cat scans and several x-rays, they were able to rule out a lesion, tumor, ALS (known as Lou Gehrig's disease) or MS. I had Guillain-Barre Syndrome, something I had never heard of until I had it. Initially the doctors told me I would probably be hospitalized for at least two weeks and would need several months to recover. The treatment is a five day course of medicine given through an IV. The paralysis finally stopped when it reached my left lung (thankfully I didn't need to be put on a ventilator) on day 4. I was finally able to stand again four days after that and was released on day 10. Currently I'm in out patient rehab for the next several weeks.
To make matters worse, like most Americans I don't have health insurance. My good friends in Arizona set up a fund to help pay my medical bills. (You can get the widget there as well)
Gary Schmitz of the US real estate directory fame has generously donated all proceeds of his new start up directory Affordable real estate solution for new signups for the month of July. There are so many people to thank that I will be revisiting this topic over the next several months. Thank you all for your support.