“I could not smile in three months

Comment Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)

"I could not smile in three months

"I could not smile in three months

These health issues should look out for


– I was in the hospital bed and was more happy than ever.

The quote belongs to Marco Elsafadi, and is derived from an interview in Bergens Tidende. Elsafadi is a basketball player, committed man and winner of the 2014 edition of the Master’s Master.

We have both lived through the same diagnosis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS).

There is a disorder that affects the peripheral nervous system in such a way that you become more or less completely lame. Some need breathing aid because the syndrome can also hit the respiratory tract. I escaped it, but was otherwise helpless.

Recognize me again

I recognize Elsafadi’s words because he describes something I’ve also known in the aftermath, namely the worth of having been through such a test.

Because it’s just the way I’ve experienced it, meaningful. From the first opportunity I had to work out, I got up and every new stairway in the hospital I managed to conquer became a victory.

I sometimes take me back to those weeks where every day was a blessing. Where every meter in the hospital hall gave reason for cheering. First two unstoppable steps before I had to support me to the pulpit (a walking aid), saw a couple of, then even more, before I could walk the whole hospital corridor along just supported by the bars.

My own South Pole expedition.

Just so, I’m very humble to others who have climbed steeper slopes in their lives, almost vertical mountain walls, and maybe also fallen back. And I know that my closest had a different experience of it than I, who stood in the middle of it and just looked forward to me every step forward.

A value in resistance

I think it is a value in meeting resistance in his life.

Facts about Guillain-Barré Syndrome

  • Guillain-Barré syndrome is an autoimmune disease that causes nerve damage and paralysis of the legs and lower body, sometimes also in the upper body. The paralysis spreads in most cases from the muscles at the bottom of the legs to the major muscle groups. In the worst case, the breathing muscles can also be lambed.
  • There are several variants of the disease.
  • The peripheral nerves are affected by an inflammation that has not yet been able to detect the cause.
  • It is assumed that the cause is a degree of “overreaction” in the immune system. This inflammation damages the protective layer that surrounds the nerves.
  • Approximately 75 percent of all cases are predicted by a respiratory or intestinal infection 2-4 weeks earlier.
  • GBS is characterized by increasing weakness in the legs, hands and arms, as well as loss of ability and reflexes. The typical is that the symptoms are symmetrical in both the legs and the arms.
  • In 90 percent of cases, inflammation goes back by itself, but the healing process for the injured nerve is relatively long and varies between months to year.
  • In Norway, 50-100 people are affected every year. 70-80 percent of the patients get completely healthy.

Read about facial paralysis (Facialis Parese) here.

(Sources: Sunnaa Hospital and Norwegian Health Informatics)

In his book “David and Goliath”, Canadian science journalist Malcolm Gladwell describes how human constraints became their winning cards.

He speaks, among other things, about what is called “Desired Difficulty”. Among other things, he relates to people with dyslexia, and refers to a study at the University of London, which shows that around one third of successful entrepreneurs have dyslexia. Gladwell complements the story of the American boy who, despite his dyslexic challenges, becomes a successful lawyer, first and foremost because he compensated his reading difficulties with the ability to listen and memorize.

I decided from the first day that I would meet with a positive attitude. It was impossible to feel sorry for yourself, or think it was unfair that this hit me.

We are under 100 pieces that are hit every year. It makes me feel special.

Humor important

Humor became another important rehabilitation factor for me.

In the first three months of the outbreak I could not smile. The face was almost lifeless, the lamb as it was.

Then I thought I had to be the world’s best poker player because it would be impossible for the opponents to look at my face if I had a bad or bad hand.

I would also have been the best guest in companies because because of the nerve in my face I had a teardrop when I ate and I could confess that the food was so good that I was touched.

dream book

Another step I took was writing a diary. “The dream book – a book about the good, that creates joy, inner joy and strength,” I called it.

Here I wrote down physiological changes that occurred. «Look at the previous pages. ‘I’m smiling’, it’s up and down. And now I just do that, smile wide and beautify, “I wrote one day.

A few days later, I wrote: “It’s often so when I’m out in nature, I’m thinking about everything is normal. And that’s it. It’s just not all the parts of the body that have got it with it yet. But they will “.

In retrospect, I know that not everything came into place. Yet.

The smile is not as wide as it was. Yet.

The balance is not there a hundred percent. Yet.

But what does it mean? I have had an experience that I am grateful for, and that has given me the pleasure of experiencing the body’s ability to restore itself.

Alexander Berg is a journalist in Click. no



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