I mentioned in my original blog that I got Guillain-Barre Syndrome as a result of a minor tummy bug that I caught off a colleague. I am no longer ill in the sense that my body has recovered and settled down. What I am left with is the aftermath. Which includes walking issues, numbness, pain and extreme fatigue. I can deal with all these things. What I am struggling to deal with those is the constant fear of getting ill again ……
If anyone so much as sneezes near me, I make my excuses and get away from them as quickly as possible! I’ve used enough antibacterial hand gel in the last seven months to fill a large swimming pool! It’s almost becoming an obsession that I have to antibac my hands several times a day. Even if I have an event planned that I’m really looking forward to, I will cancel at the drop of a hat if the person I was meeting up with is remotely ill. I appreciate that this must be really frustrating for the other person when I pull out of seeing them just because of a cold or such like, but I am petrified of going through it all again.
It was suggested to me (By someone who doesn’t know me, and what I went through, particularly well) that I could have Councelling to try to overcome my fear of getting ill. I have given this idea some careful consideration, but have concluded that unless someone has lived through my experience, how can they tell me not to worry about it happening again. Nobody can give me the guarantee that I need.
Guillain-Barré syndrome in itself is very rare. Only one or two cases per hundred thousand people. Out of us unlucky ones who got it, three percent can catch it again. Everyone tells me those odds are low, but the odds of catching it in the first place were extremely low, and I still managed that! The main Guillain-Barre triggers are Flu, immunisations, common cold, herpes and stomach upset. Which are all fairly “normal” bugs, especially at this time of year.
I’ve decided to embrace my new love affair with antibacterial hand gel, and suffer the dry skin on my hands, and the weird looks from others, as they realise I’m becoming obsessed with the stuff! I shall also continue to avoid people with contagious illnesses as much as possible. At some point my children will bring germs home, or I’ll pick up something whilst out and about, as I can’t wrap myself in cotton wool and never go out. Hopefully, whatever I catch will come and go without anything awful happening, and as the months and years go by perhaps I will be able to start trusting in my body not to start destroying me again!