On Sunday September 8th, Allan was experiencing symptoms similar to having a heart attack. We went to the ER and after several days in the hospital and extensive testing they Diagnosed Allan with Guillian Barre Syndrome.
Guillain-Barre (ghee-YA-buh-RAY) syndrome is a disorder in which your body's immune system attacks your nerves. Weakness and tingling in your extremities are usually the first symptoms. These sensations can quickly spread, eventually paralyzing your whole body. In its most severe form, Guillain-Barre syndrome is a medical emergency requiring hospitalization.The exact cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is unknown, but it is often preceded by an infectious illness such as a respiratory infection or the stomach flu. There's no known cure for Guillain-Barre syndrome, but several treatments can ease symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness. Most people recover from Guillain-Barre syndrome, though some may experience lingering effects from it, such as weakness, numbness or fatigue.
They moved him to the ICU at Gulf Coast so they could closely monitor his respiratory system. After getting weaker each day in ICU they decided it was important to get him more specialized care so he was transferred to Shands Hospital in Gainesville on Sunday evening.
Allan is receiving phenomenonal care here at Shands in the Neurological ICU. We are making slow progress, but are heading in the right direction.
Guillain Barre can be frustrating and trying because the recovery is so slow and the amount of time it takes is very unpredictable, possibly taking up to six months. We are leaning on our faith in the Lord and finding peace and hope that He will lead Allan out of this trying time and restore his health. We ask for your prayers of healing and strength as Allan begins his road to recovery.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16 NLT)
Just to report the fabulous news……Allan is 90% recovered from GBS. Since we have been home we have progressed from the wheelchair, to the walker, then the cane. All of these items now are stacked in the corner of our garage as well as other small items designed to help Alan rehab. Allan began driving a couple of weeks ago and has a full schedule everyday of therapy, work at GAC or Holiday Golf. He is active again on the many "BOARDS" that he serves on taking him out of town now once or twice a week. This week it happens to be three times that he is out of town (flying twice). His workload as Chairman of the Board of Trustees has increased with the official search for a new President of FSU. Last weekend we traveled to Wesley Chapel to celebrate Ella Kate's sixth birthday. So life as we know it has resumed. Allan is still is experiencing numbness in both feet and pain in one. Tedious task with his hands remain a problem. So once we get past these problems and he gains a little more weight and strength we will be at 100% for which we are so very grateful. I have noticed that Alan's level of patience has increased. When I think back and remember that he had trouble even sitting in a wheel chair over an hour, holding his head up or not being able to swallow liquids then I think of this verse easily and readily each day….This is the day the Lord has made; let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it. Psalm 118:24. And very GLAD we are. This experience has changed our perspective in many positive ways. Thank you for being a part of it. And with this I will probably close our Caringbridge journal.