I rarely get sick for which I have always been grateful but which gave me no concept for what it meant to be really sick. You can support others through their injuries or illnesses but you can never know what if feels like to lose control of your health. Well now I do. If you have read my first two posts, you know that I am now more than 6 months into my recovery from Guillain Barre http://bit.ly/guillainbarreinfo It started with cold which I expected to last its normal couple of days. I didn’t get better so I went to the doctor on 2/25 and was assured I was on the back end of it. Little did I know that this was not the case. I battled through a busy week which included our company’s annual awards celebration which takes a lot of time because the evening to go quite well. Dottie knew something wasn’t right because I came home extremely tired and went right to bed. Friday AM I woke up and realized something wasn’t right. My legs felt heavy and I found it hard to grip even my coffee cup that morning. As the day went by, I wasn’t any better. It felt like my feet were in cans of cement as I tried to get up the steps at the office that afternoon. I called my doc who said 🙂 “at your age” you might want to go to the ER so off I went to a local medical facility with my wife not too far behind. Given it was flu season, the place was a mad house. We say for 2 1/2 hours with masks on our faces waiting to be seen. finally, we got in and they did several tests and gave me an IV. After all was said and done, the ER physician sent me home saying I had a very low viral count and that i was probably a bit dehydrated. He assured me I would even be able to go the UVA basketball game the next day as we had new friends coming up from Williamsburg. How wrong he was….Dottie drove me home and as I got our of the car and took the 1st step into our home, our lives as we had known it was going to change in a significant way thanks to my body losing the first battle caused by Guillain Barre. I fell and found myself saying, “Dottie, I have fallen and i can’t get up……
The joy of feeling Hopeful not Helpless
Before I head back to the beginning of what has been the biggest challenge of my life, I want to share with you thoughts from a talk a gave yesterday at the Darden School Christian Fellowship. It gave me a chance to express how important the encouragement of others has been in my recovery.
There are times in our life where we may feel helpless but I can tell you that even in those times there is no reason to feel hopeless.
The Bible says hope is believing in things unseen. Six months ago I was in a hospital bed only able to move a couple fingers and toes. I was told by people who knew a lot more than me that I would get better. Almost 3 weeks went by and nothing changed but I hung on to those words “ you will get better” Here is my personal version of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 matter how weak and miserable I was I did not lose heart, though my outer man was in turmoil, I found my inner man being renewed day by day. 17For momentary, light affliction produced in me an eternal weight of glory far beyond anything I could comprehend. I am thankful I could learn in my adversity not to look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen (God is with me, I will get better) for the things which are seen are temporal, but the faith and character that were made evident will continue by God’s grace, to make me a better person. 7 months later the promise of me getting better is becoming a reality.
But this today my desire is to encourage you toward as the Bible says, “love and good works.”
You see my hope in getting better was firmly rooted in my faith in God. But the encouragement of others has allowed me to persevere and come back from what is called Guillain Barre Syndrome. If you know me at all, you know I’m a huge UVA sports fan.
UVA basketball coach Tony Bennett says all the time, if you want to go fast, go alone if you want to go far go together. He also quotes from a Ted Talk “If you learn to use it right adversity will buy you a ticket to a place you couldn’t have gone any other way.”I have personally experienced how True this proverb is and the Ted Talk quote.
The Bible has a lot to say about being the one, being kind, and the importance of encouraging one another. I want to quickly focus on one passage which is mentioned in 3 of the 4 gospels. Luke 5:18-25 New International Version (NIV)
18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
Verse 20 is striking. It wasn’t because of the paralyzed man’s faith, it was because of the faith of his friends. I did not immediately stand up. It took a great deal of time but after 56 days in the hospital and rehab, On April 25th I did go home praising God. Not just for my health but for how He showed me what the support of others can do in a person’s life.
What an incredible thing these men did for their friend in need. This is what happened to me. When I needed it most, folks continuously carried me to the One of true Hope.
I will close with a quote from Mother Teresa.
“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. God can do things you cannot, you can do things God cannot; together we can do great things.” May it be so for all of us.
A journey toward recovery from Guillain Barre
On March 2nd, my life changed forever. I was admitted to UVA Hospital in Charlottesville, VA and was quickly diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome, admitted, and by the next day was in a bed unable to move anything but my head along with a couple fingers and toes. Almost 7 months later, although only about 75% recovered, most people think that I am back to my old self. My hope is this blog will provide Hope and Encouragement to those who face adversity or who are supporting someone in the midst of trials. I am going to start here with where I am now and then take you back through the ordeal that came from GBS.
Here is what I shared at my church on 8/12 which explains the title of this blog.
I was asked to share a little bit about what I have experienced over the last 5 months. If you are interested in a blow by blow report you can visit
the long story made short is I was diagnosed on March 2nd with Guillain Barre syndrome. A virus caused my auto immune system to go haywire which destroyed the myelin sheathing around my nerves which caused no interaction with my muscles. This left leaving me essentially unable to move anything but my head for almost three weeks. I spent 12 days in the hospital and 43 days in a rehab facility. By God’s mercy and with His strength I walked out of rehab two months earlier than expected with the assistance of a cane on 4/25. Since then, I have been getting stronger and although not there yet, I am counting on a full recovery for which I am very thankful.
I am also very grateful for my wife who was and is my rock throughout this ordeal. She was fierce in advocating for me but did so with such a gracious spirit. Folks have asked me how this impacted our marriage. I can honestly say I didn’t think I could love her more or be more thankful. I was wrong.
I am also thankful for many dear friends, my family and this church family
Philemon 4-7 4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I have experienced your love for me and Dottie and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 6 I trust that your partnership with us in our recovery has somehow deepened your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. 7 Your love has given us great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed our hearts.
The song do it again says,
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet
Hebrews 11:1 says Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” I can testify that by standing firm and being encouraged by many of you, the invisible became clearly visible.
I will finish with James 1 and a quote from Tim Keller. James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,”… Tim Keller-“Recount a time in which adversity pushed you toward Jesus, and spend some time today thanking him for working in your life. Thank you Guillain Barre for allowing God to teach me things I may never have learned.
Here is the video from that morning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG_Xx7t_miY I look forward to sharing the rest of the story from the beginning and throughout the rest of my recovery. May God bless it and use it for His glory!
This blog is under construction.