Sickness unto Death?

Posted: January 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Switzerland, Thoughts | 3 Comments »

Unto death? Not really, but if one has something that bothers the body one begins to wonder if it might me lethal.

Three weeks ago I astonishingly observed that a tingling, which started a few days beforehand, had grown into somewhat alarming numbness in feet and hands. The most alarming thing for me was that every day I had less strength in my muscles, starting from the legs but slowly taking over the whole body. I went to the doctor and she had no idea what it was, then I went to the hospital and they had to test me for a whole day to find out what I might have. They took water from my spine which should not hurt at all, but the lady seemed to do it for the first time and I was screaming and moaning like never before because she kept hitting some nerves and muscles inside my spine. At least the water gave them a hint what caused this strange symptoms. They guessed that I had something called Guillain-Barr syndrome (German) which was caused by a virus. They sent me home and told me to return if it got any worse and gave me some painkillers.

The next morning I woke up and realized that my face also started to get lame. It became hard for me to move the right side of the face. A bit alarmed, I called the hospital again, whereupon they invited me to return immediately. There some neurology (nerves) experts examined me again and decided that it would be better for me to stay in the hospital and begin with the treatment immediately. I found out that they did not treat me earlier because the medicine is very expensive and can give all kinds of side effects. The problem with the sickness is that it can rapidly advance and befall the muscles of the lungs and for that affect the breathing. So there I was a few hours later in the intensive care station with all kinds of surveillance equipment on my body and needles feeding treatments directly into the blood.

Finally I had some time to reflect of what was going on. I was loosing control over my body, thanks God I could still walk, but did not know for sure what I had and where it was going to lead. For some reason I felt serene and at peace. I remembered the last stroll I took outside, it was a sunny day and as I walked I played with the idea that it might be the last one for a while or for good, and I gave thanks to God for walking. It would be the last stroll for almost two weeks.

The medicine I received were Immunoglobulins, extracted from blood of other people, they strengthen the immune system and are a well known cure for the complications I’ve had. What gave me troubles were the the side effects of the medicine. I was really sick, had to throw up and couldn’t sleep. The treatment took five days, a few hours each. I dreaded it because now my tormentor was not the disease but the cure. After five days it was over though, and to my relieve the lameness stopped progressing. The doctors announced that I’m progressing positively but have to stay another three to four days. Therapy started and I got lots of visits from my friends. Chrystal stayed close to me, the troubles brought us to places of despair and helplessness which we never experienced together before. It brought us closer and gave us more respect for each other because we realized how deep our souls can resonate when plunged into a situation of despair.

Now looking back I thank God for his mercy. One fourth of the people with Guillain-Barre is struck so severely that they loose control over breathing, up to four percent dies. I probably will regain almost 100% of my strength but might never regain the full measure of endurance I had before.

Thank you for your concerns and prayers during that time and even now.

3 Comments on “Sickness unto Death?”

  1. 1 Pavel said at 8:13 pm on February 1st, 2009:

    Hi Luke.

    First of all I wish you all the best and all your strength to overcome your troubles.
    Although I did not walked through half of Europe in one trip (but I like mountains and traveled for almost two years around the world) and I still do not understand objects in programming (but was able to produce code in mShell on my SE P1i to display rainbow sequence to entertain my daughter) I have confidence you will deal with illness easily.

    Take care and good luck.

  2. 2 Chrystal Vible said at 11:31 am on February 2nd, 2009:

    This was a very difficult experience and I feel changed because of it. Thanks for writing about it. and I’m getting more and more excited to travel with you.

  3. 3 lukas.buehler said at 1:01 am on February 4th, 2009:

    Hey thanks for the support.

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