Monday, April 19, 2010

Acceptance and Hope

The doctors haven’t seen much improvement in my strength level. On the other hand I don't seem to be getting weaker anymore. If I don't start showing improvement, the doctors will put me on immune suppressing steroids or chemotherapy.

I had my third plasmapheresis treatment today. My neurologist told me that sometimes Guillain-Barre Syndrome returns after the initial treatment. He believes this may be the case, although as always he is guarded.

This could be really good news because of all the possible diagnoses that I could have, Guillain Barre Syndrome is the most recoverable.Have it once, get physical therapy, continue life as before. He also was quick to point out that if it return later, such as the next year or ten years, it is not Guillain Barre.

The next step would be to go to a rehabilitation hospital, like nearby Drake Center. That might happen by this Friday. At Drake they would teach me to take care of myself. I understand that there is a doctor there who specializes in neuromuscular rehabilitation and he seems well respected by the neurologists here. While the thought of being permanently disabled is scary, when I think about what my physical therapy could be like, I get weak in the knees and feel a little nauseous. The physical therapist I have been working with here used the term "gruesome" to describe it.

However, weather is beautiful today and I was able to get into the wheelchair and go outside for an hour. The sun was glorious. Adrienne and I felt freed enough to talk about the future. It’s hard to think about the future because the present is so uncertain. What do I have? Am I getting better? Is the plasmapheresis working? There’s so little that we know for sure.

I know that I am supposed to live my life one day at a time. But what do I do when I have to think about the future? This weekend I had a very interesting discussion about acceptance and hope with mys sponsor. Acceptance is about the now. Sometimes it is called "being in the moment." The moment is not always pleasant, such as when there is an unpleasant but irrefutable truth to be faced.

Hope is for the future. It is the opposite of acceptance because instead of grappling with something I can't avoid, I can close my eyes and pray about what I want.

When I experience hope, I am giving myself permission to look at things I can’t control and ask for the best outcome. I usually fret about the future and waste plenty of energy on worry. The trap for me is to remember that just because I don’t know what the future holds, it doesn’t mean that has to be bad. I need to leave room in my heart for hope that tomorrow will be better than today. I also need to remember that today may not be the day I had hoped for but it is the only day I’ve been given and it too will pass.

Monday, April 18, 2010.


  1. Mike you truly are an inspiration. I continue to pray for you and know God is with you every step of the way even when you think he has forgotten you for the moment!

  2. you are in my thoughts and prayers-everyday.