Covid Strikes Hard - Michele's Recovery

(Written by her husband David) This is going to be a little long so I apologize.
I'm sure most of you noticed that Michele hasn't been on Facebook for a while now. She has been through a lot. What we thought was something routine and easy snowballed into what is happening today. So here is the scoop.
We both tested positive for Covid in mid November. She was sicker than I was but she was doing ok. On Friday after Thanksgiving, she had terrible pains in her legs. We had a virtual visit with a doctor on Saturday and everyone thought she was just dehydrated and maybe needed some fluids. I took her in to the emergency room because that was protocol with Covid. I thought she'd be in a couple hours, get a couple IV bags put in her and she would be fine. I was wrong. She didn't come home Saturday. Or Sunday. Or Monday....
This whole time I was not able to see her. She couldn't have visitors because of the Covid until some time passed. They found she had a kidney stone and they thought that would stop the pain. Her surgery was that Tuesday and I went to the hospital to sit in the waiting room because they have a tv that shows where she was during the procedure i.e. surgery, recovery, etc. I just wanted to make sure she was OK and also talk to the doctor if I was able to. On the way I got a call and she was done with the quarantine and could have a visitor which was a relief because I didn't see her for days and barely knew what was going on. She got out of surgery and up into the room and her face looked funny but I thought it was just from the anesthesia. Well someone else noticed too and they hit the stroke alarm. She's had CT scans and it wasn't a stroke. Once the pain meds and anesthesia wore off from the surgery, she had the pain again so it wasn't from the stone. She also couldn't walk and her facial muscles were not working. The doctor that was on duty for that week was basically saying let's just see what happens. You have to remember that Covid is still very new to the doctors and they do not know everything about it and how it affects the body. On Wednesday there was a new rotation which means a new doctor. He saw her Wednesday and immediately started doing more and more tests. She's had over 250 different tests and procedures at this point. That Thursday she was getting tons of tests and the doctor was talking more with neurologist to try and figure out what was going on. She had a spinal tap on the next day- Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, she was transferred from West Bend to Froedtert in Milwaukee. We found out Friday evening that they believe she has Guillain-Barre syndrome. (The exact cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is unknown. But two-thirds of patients report symptoms of an infection in the six weeks preceding. These include respiratory or a gastrointestinal infection, Zika virus, and apparently Covid 19. There's no known cure for Guillain-Barre syndrome, but several treatments can ease symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness. Although most people recover from Guillain-Barre syndrome, the mortality rate is 4% to 7%. Between 60-80% of people are able to walk at six months. Patients may experience lingering effects from it, such as weakness, numbness or fatigue.)
And what that is is her immune system started attacking her nerves. It wasn't necessarily from Covid but it triggered it. They started doing treatments for the GBS through IV's. Basically putting healthy antibodies into her blood to fight against her harmful antibodies that are attacking her nerves. She just had last treatment for that on Tuesday night. As of now, her face is starting to work. She can kinda smile and her speech is getting much better. Right after the surgery, it was very hard to understand what she was saying and now its way better. Her legs are a different story. She still can't walk. She does physical therapy every day and she is improving. She most likely will be moved into inpatient rehab early next week. They just have to make sure everything medically is ok before they do it.
This will be a very long process. Her nerves can take weeks to heal themselves. There isn't any miracle drug to fix them. Only time. She has a lot of work ahead of her to be able to get her legs going. She has a good attitude and wants to work at it so that's good.
Its been an incredibly difficult time for her. We are now seeing light at the end of the tunnel I think. Like I said, this is going to be long haul. At the end, she should be ok but only time will tell. She has started coming on Facebook more now just to see what's going on so she will see any messages you leave her. Prayers couldn't hurt so send them too.
Sorry for the length of this and I actually cut out a lot but I just wanted to be as transparent as I can. Thanks for reading if you made it this far lol. Much love.

UPDATE: That was the initial post her husband made to let all of her online friends and family know what was wrong. Michele has recently been moved into inpatient rehab. David cannot be with her, and she's having a tough go of it. They are working her hard, and it's been difficult on her, but she's determined, and wants to get back to her pre Covid active self. (2-4 weeks is the estimated time she'll be in rehab.)
Now we all know that something like this from the very first day snowballs financially. It starts out with 2 weeks missed work to huge medical bills, and regular everyday bills.. the snowball is beginning to roll out of control.  That's why they need us. All of us. This is going to have a lasting impact on them for quite some time. No one likes to have to ask for help, so I'm asking for them. (In case you're wondering who the heck I am-  I'm Michele's friend and Crazy Avon Lady, and David's friend also.) These are 2 very nice people, who were blindsided by the pandemic. I know they aren't the only ones, but to me and many of you, they are special ones. If you can help by making a donation please know it's greatly appreciated. If you can please share this with your friends, and family, and say some prayers, that would be greatly appreciated also.  (All funds donated will go into David and Michele's Paypal account) Thank you in advance,  Katherine Barts

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Organizer and beneficiary

Kathy Barts 
Sheboygan, WI
David Diener 
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