It was an amazing year- Bring on 2013!

The holiday season has come to end, but it sure was amazing. My daughter is growing before my eyes and it is so exciting to see her learning and catching on to things. Her talking really took off the last few weeks; she is picking up on most words and tries to copy everything we say – what’s funny is that she may not always get the word right but she always has the right amount of syllables in what she is saying! Christmas was adorable and she caught on right away with opening presents. After giving her the first present and telling her to rip it, she started to tear it apart, saying “wip, wip, wip” – over and over and over. After she opened a present she started to realize there were toys inside, so she would scream NEXT and grab the next one and “wip,wip wip” it apart. She kept screaming “More toys!” every time she opened one. We could not stop laughing.J We really need to finish our basement to make more room for all her stuff now!

Christmas eve we spent with James’ family and Christmas day with mine. I am realizing that Casey is no longer a baby; she is definitely a little girl now. Watching her play hide and seek with all the other kids and getting so into it, saying “shhh” and hiding throughout the house was just too cute for words. And even funnier when she would scream AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS whenever her daddy found us! She is so much fun! I am also realizing how girlie she is, and with considering how girlie I am, this makes me very happy. J She got a dress up trunk with all sorts of costumes inside from her godparents, and Casey LOVED getting dressed up and putting on the shoes, bracelets, necklaces and tiaras.

New Year’s Eve we spent at home with our best friends; we had fondue and watched the ball drop in New York at 10pm with Casey. When she saw us getting excited and counting down, she joined right in, and after the countdown she could not stop cheering and clapping. It made my night. We all had a great time, and although this would be the first time in probably a good fifteen years that I have stayed in for New Years, I couldn’t have been happier to spend it with my Casey Marie.
Another year has passed, and we head into 2013. This past year has been absolutely amazing to me. I finally felt like myself again (in my book I talk about how after GBS I didn’t feel like me for a very long time) but I finally feel like my life returned to normal in 2012. Two major things that happened in the last year that really helped me feel normal again, were getting back to work and of course being able to walk in high heels again. I will probably never wear high heels as often as I did before GBS but I am grateful that I now have the choice to wear them when I want to unlike 2011.

Of course my biggest accomplishment of 2012 was writing and publishing my book, Happily Ever After. The response to it still amazes me and every message I get still puts a huge smile on my face. Like one of my girlfriends described it: It has given me a “spark.” I am still constantly receiving messages from people around the world that have heard my story or have seen my YouTube video that want to get my book. I truly love reading emails from fellow GBS patients, mostly because I know that they can relate to what I went through, and I can also relate to them! And I love reading emails from family members of people currently dealing with GBS- telling me how my story or my book has helped them as they face the challenges of Guillain-Barre. That was a huge part of my reason for writing my book and I am pleased to be helping others and their families.

My story was shown again on Boxing Day on Global News – for the Profiles in Courage special that profiled the most inspirational health stories of the year. I was extremely honored that they chose my story, and even more honored when I watched the special and saw there were only a handful of stories chosen. Although the story was just a re-run of the previous one on Global, I know that it was another chance to reach more viewers and create awareness on GBS. I have since received emails from several viewers looking to purchase my book- so I know that it has impacted people once again.

2013 I will continue focusing on my goal of sharing and promoting my story. I plan on marketing and promoting my book in every way that I can. I also intend to become a volunteer liaison with the GBS Foundation, by providing information and support to GBS patients. And along with my mother; we hope to be put in touch with someone at the Glenrose Hospital where we can reach out to patients completing their rehabilitation therapy. I think it is very important to catch these people at this point in their recovery, and not after they have recovered. Rehabilitating your muscles and learning how to walk again is very physically and mentally draining on a person – and any sort of support that I can give someone during that time I will gladly offer. I know I felt very alone those first few months with GBS; I was the only one in my hospital that had it and one of the few with it at the Glenrose and I felt that no one truly understood what I was going through and what I was feeling– that is until I started to meet others with GBS. Of course everyone’s journey with GBS is different, but we have all experienced many of the same challenges, felt the same feelings and overcame similar obstacles. Meeting Kit was a huge turning point for me- realizing that there were others out there like me and that if he could get through this, so could I. And I hope that I can give others that same kind of hope.

As I continue with my own rehabilitation (although I don’t call it that anymore, I simply call it working out again) I am feeling pretty proud of myself. Only about 5 weeks left of INSANITY. I am still getting stronger and stronger and I am really starting to see results on my body now. And for the first time in my life, my New Year’s resolution is not to lose weight! My New Year’s resolution is more focused on being a better person – a better wife, a better mother, a better friend. I will however continue to work on my fitness, aim to get stronger, and eat healthier! I have always considered myself a fairly healthy eater, that is until I saw a video on CNN about the average person’s sugar intake and the effects of sugar on the body…so yesterday I started a 21 day sugar cleanse. I used to always assume that since I didn’t eat a lot of sweets I didn’t fall under the category of an average person, until I saw just how much sugar is added to everyday foods that you would never even think. So I have decided to complete this sugar cleanse in hopes of being healthier, having more energy, and just feeling better.

I am very excited for 2013 and can’t wait to create more amazing memories with my family and friends.


About hollyaftergbs

Author of Happily Ever After - My Journey with Guillain-Barre Syndrome and How I Got My Life Back.
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