Back in January I fell ill with what I thought was bronchitis. About a week later I started losing the feeling in my hands. As many people in my life know I often will procrastinate and make excuses for things. I associated the tingling in my hands to be carpal tunnel from weeding the blueberries on my farm which is still a big possibility in the timeline of events. I dealt with the numbness for about 5 days until I started losing feeling in my feet, which I associated with a very long work week of standing and running all week. It is also not uncommon for my feet to hurt at the end of a long stretch of work in the kitchen. I dealt with the numb hands and feet for an additional 3 days until I had a day off.
When I woke up in the morning on my day off my face was paralyzed. Just like that overnight. I knew something was very wrong at this point. I went to the doctor and got sent for a CT scan. Went to UNC for an MRI, got fluid taken from my spine and was checked in to the neurology department. By the next morning I was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. I had lost the ability to speak clearly, or hold things properly, or walk even short distances without a walker and someone holding me. I started an I.V. treatment that lasted 5 days while I was there. My decline stopped after the first day and with a lot of physical, occupational, and speech therapy I should fully recover within a few months or up to a year.
I want to thank every doctor, nurse, nurse’s assistant, housekeeper, and anyone else that helped me while I was at UNC. The patient care, and treatment I received was absolutely incredible. I have never felt that helpless before and everyone made it as tolerable as possible.
With that being said, I have been and would like to continue to be as transparent as possible with everyone through this entire process. Last week we started to receive the bills from the hospital. Now my wife and I have health insurance that we pay for out of pocket and have had it many years. It is not cheap. The bill for the five days at UNC before insurance kicked in was enough to buy a house!
After I posted my story on facebook a week ago I started receiving 100s of likes and comments from friends and family. People telling me how strong I am and asking me how they can help. Now I am not the type person to ever ask for help and especially not ask for money. After receiving these bills a few friends of mine suggested I start up a gofundme. They told me that I need to just let go of my emotions and let the people that want to help me, help me.
So that is exactly what im doing. I don’t know what I expect from this process but if you are one of the hundreds of people that have asked me how to help, this is a solution. If you’ve wanted to buy us dinner, I suggest taking that $20 or $30 and put it here. If you’ve wished there was something you could do for us but live far away, put it here. Honestly, I will appreciate it if we only raise a dollar. I appreciate and love just about everyone. Either way I know that I have the willingness to overcome this. I know I have a beautiful wife and son that will be there for me every step of the way. And I know that I have a huge network of friends and family that are willing to support me in dozens of ways. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who contributes to my cause. I love you all.