Patient Stories

Kim’s Story

Kim's Story

Once upon a time, there was a woman who used to live a normal everyday life. Then in November 2008 after my daughter received the flu shot, (at her 9 month check-up) everything came crashing down. Two weeks after her receiving the flu shot, my arms were so weak I almost dropped her down the stairs, using a can opener became difficult even brushing my hair proved to be a task. I went to my primary physician explained to him how I felt and the things that were going on. He referred me to a neurologist. After several blood tests, nerve conduction test, and a spinal tap I was told I had Guillian Barre Syndrome and needed a second opinion to be sure with a neuromuscular doctor at Emory University Hospital. Since i had never heard of GBS, as soon as I got home, I jumped on the internet to do my research. Once i read what GBS was, I was horrified. In May 2009 I went to Emory. For my second opinion. I was told “Yes, you have GBS but, we can not treat you because of your congestive heart failure” by Dr. Hopkins. I said “what do you mean you cant treatment me?” with a lot of anxiety running through me. Dr. Hopkins responded “every treatment available for GBS will add fluid to the body and your cardiologist will never allow it” I said “what am I supposed to do?” He said “go home and if your symptoms get worse call me”. My husband and i drove home agreeing that we were in this together. In October of 2009, I started falling for no reason, I could not walk with out stiffing my legs to make sure I wouldn’t fall every where I walked. I called Dr. Hopkins and he put me on a low dose of Prednisone. My GBS progressed slowly. By January of 2010, I was paralyzed in my legs. My husband would get me in & out of bed, roll me over in bed. He would sit me on the toilet then lift me up pull my pants back up and carry me to the couch. My arms were so bad I couldn’t lift them past my elbow. My husband would lift them up & stretch my muscles for me, bathe me, brush my hair and take care of our two small children because I could not. Thankfully, I got an appointment with Dr. Ranadive a neurologist Dr. Hopkins taught. Dr. Ranadive took one look at me & said I was days away from being admitted to the hospital and that my GBS has progressed into CIDP. He reffered me to Dr. Stuart a neurologist that had been working in his fathers Multiple Sclerosis clinic. Once i saw Dr. Stuart, he explained my walikng stiff legged was from lack of reflexes. He immediately started me on Gammagard 30mg’s for five days straight. My hysband woukd carry me up & down the stairs to get to my infusions since I couldn’t walk or climb. After my third IVIg infusion, I was able to climb the stairs by myself hanging on to the railing. I haven’t looked back since. Fast forward to today…I now live a somewhat normal life again. I can mow the grass, do laundry, vacuum and some other household chores. Best of all, i can climb up & down the stairs by myself!!! There are several things that i can’t do because it took so long for me to receive Gammagard. I have some residual nerve damage in my arms and hands. I still get infused with Gammagard three days a week every three weeks. I know having GBS or CIDP can be depressing but, it doesn’t have to be. If you believe in yourself, have faith in God & your doctors…there is light at the other end of the tunnel. I am proof! I never let GBS now CIDP beat me….I beat it and I intend to keep fighting! I don’t ever want to be in a wheelchair again!