Friday, November 18, 2011

For Angela

I know I haven't written in a while.  I am not sure why.  Several times I have opened up my blog, clicked on "new post", and then sat staring at the screen while my mind goes blank.  Is it possible to have writer's block if you're not technically a writer?

I suppose the important thing is I'm here now.  I was inspired by an email I received from someone who found my blog and has a friend who is going through a very similar situation that I did almost 14 years ago.  Amanda's friend, Angela, at only 23 years old, has just been diagnosed with GBS.  In a very similar set of circumstances, they misdiagnosed her and sent her home where she came close to death just as I had in 1997.  This is such a terrifyinig experience that I won't even attempt to put it in words.

Reading her email made me cry harder than I have in a long time as I relived my own experience, remembering just how scared I was, and fearful of the unknown.  I had resigned myself to death at one point.  I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy, and here is another young girl facing the same thing.  It just doesn't seem fair. 

But, as we all know too well, life isn't fair.  All we can do is fight back.  I hope that I am able to help Angela with my words.  I know that it's a very difficult thing to come back from, and it's very easy to just give in and say "fine, you win".  There is lots of pain, and lots of what seems like failure.  Every day is a new challenge, and there is so much that goes into the process of recovery after your entire body has been shut down that the mind boggles at where to start first.  You lose balance, coordination, reflexes, sensation, motor skills... I mean, the list is so long and depressing I won't even attempt to finish.  For anyone that has never experienced trying to come back from that, there is no way to even begin to imagine the difficulty.  Had I known back then what I know now, I would have never let myself give up for one second. 

Just like my blog's name states; never give up.  That is all I can offer to anyone who finds themselves at the raw end of this deal.  Just never give up.  Fight, and fight hard.  Imagine you are training for something, like climbing Mt. Everest, or whatever it takes to give you that inspiration and fight within you that won't allow you to give in.  Don't let this horrible disease win.  Just don't. 

I still struggle daily with the fight, and it has been almost 14 years.  But, in my case, I truly believe I wouldn't still be in this shape had I never given up in the first place.  I let the disease defeat me for a time, and I put myself that much farther behind.  Now, instead of working from the ground up, I've been backtracking.  Nevertheless, I'm getting better.

The body is an amazing machine, and it wants to work properly.  If you give it something it needs to do, it will figure out a way to do it, against all odds.

This post is for you, Angela.  You and your friend brought me out of hiding and inspired me to write, and I look forward to hearing more from you about your progress. 

Never Give Up!

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