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Experiencing Guillain Barré: a mother and daughter perspective
  1. Taruna Mistry, her daughter
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr H Marcovitch
    Syndication Editor, BMJ Publications; h.marcovitch{at}btinternet.com

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One morning last summer, I first felt slight pins and needles in the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet, I didn’t take much notice, then when I bent over to tie my shoe laces my back ached and I felt like I couldn’t get back up. The next day I felt like I was walking through water, I found it hard going up and down stairs, I felt lethargic and I was really thirsty; my mum said that it could be growing pains. A week later, I went to Accident and Emergency (A&E) where they said it could be Guillain Barré syndrome (GBS). I was sent up to a children’s ward and two doctors explained what GBS was and said that it could get worse but I will recover – I didn’t really realise how bad I could get and just thought I’d be out by the end of the week. They decided to give me immunoglobulin to slow the virus and to stop it from spreading. I had 1 hour observations for the rest of that day including at night which was annoying, so I didn’t sleep much but I was really restless anyway. The next day I got worse. My face muscles went slack and it felt like my face was drooping, even my eye lids were weak, they felt really heavy and I couldn’t close them properly; my lips were slightly swollen and I couldn’t close those properly either and so found it hard to eat. To get off my bed I had to slide my legs off one at a time mainly using my hands to lift them, I had to use my mum to get up and then found that I couldn’t walk so I had to use a wheelchair. I …

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