Elaine Schmeidler

First post: Mar 21, 2019 Latest post: May 7, 2019
Hi everyone! We've decided to create this page to keep everyone updated on mom's condition. As you may have heard, she was recently hospitalized with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). We think a respiratory virus may have been the cause. Her symptoms came on rather quickly. Friday, she had the sensation of pins and needles in her feet, hands, and mouth. Saturday, her symptoms progressed and she developed cramps in the morning, followed by weakness in her legs. By Sunday, the weakness spread throughout her whole body and she could barely sit, stand, or move any part of her body. She was taken to the ER Sunday morning, and sent home halfway through the day, as all of her labs and tests came back normal. Sunday evening at dinner, she could not swallow her food, and began to hyperventilate. We took her back to the ER and they were able to run a few tests. They knew this must be something neurological, so they admitted her to the Neurocritical Intensive Care Unit at Via Christi St. Francis. After a few tests, the doctors were certain that she had Guillain-Barré syndrome. With this diagnosis, the immune system begins to see the nervous system as foreign, and attacks. This leaves victims with pins and needles, weakness, and eventually paralysis. Mom is currently paralyzed from the neck down. She can still feel things all over her body, she just has no voluntary muscle control. They began giving her plasmapheresis treatments. The aim of this is to get rid of the bad antibodies that are attacking her nervous system and replace them with healthy plasma. Treatment does take a few days to kick in and begin to reverse the progression of the disease. The doctors said that it is likely she could get worse before she starts to get better. After a few weeks in the ICU, she will be placed in an inpatient rehabilitation center for several weeks until she regains her strength. After this, she will move to outpatient therapy. The good thing about GBS is that mom will be expected to make a full recovery and be back to herself. The bad thing is that it could take weeks to months to a year. Every person recovering from GBS has a different experience, so we just continue to pray that her recovery is on the shorter side! We thank everyone for all of the love, support, prayers, and food that have been offered for our family. We appreciate you all so much!