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Thread: Guillain-Barré Syndrome or Spinal Stroke?

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    Guillain-Barré Syndrome or Spinal Stroke?

    My boyfriend, who is only 21 and very fit, was in class on May 8, 2009 when he started having chest pains and could not control his arm movements. His professor called the ambulance and he went to our local hospital. In about 4 hours he could no longer breathe on his own and could not move anything past his neck although he can feel everything!! His brain was also not effected. They have done the plasmapheresis, 4 times, and I know that takes time to show any improvements. His spinal cord is really inflamed, they tried steroids but his skin broke out so they stopped them after 3 days. As of today, he is now able to rotate his shoulders a little, control his bowel movements (they removed the catheter today actually, he just tells you when he needs to use the restroom) swallow, (eat and drink, although he is still on a ventilator) his lungs are improving greatly, and his reflexes seem to be coming back... What do you think prognosis wise I should expect? I plan on being there for him regardless, he's my prince, but I just need to know any additional information. Both of the diagnosis's are so rare that I can't seem to find a lot of information on them or a specialist that knows a lot. He is now at Vanderbilt hospital, about an hour from our hometown, but they will be moving him to the Shepherd's clinic in Atlanta at 8:30 in the morning. Oh, they also ruled out TM.
    Thanks,
    Jamie

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    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    GBS at 21 would normally, not always but normally, have a trigger such as a recentflu vaccine or virus. Paralysis and numbness also normally begins in the lower limbs and goes upward while strokes tend to go downward. If they did plasmapheresis and the cord is inflamed why did they rule out TM? Was a lumbar puncture done?
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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    I think the plasmapheresis was to treat the GBS, from what I've read atleast.

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    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JStewart804 View Post
    I think the plasmapheresis was to treat the GBS, from what I've read atleast.
    Plasmaphresis is also done in cases of TM when steroids are not working. In your boyfriend's case they may have done it due to his reaction to the steroids. Either way has a spinal tap been done?
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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