A Year of Change…

I can’t believe that I will be THIRTY in less than a month. Not that I am worried about getting older, age has never been a big concern for me- I actually like being 30 better than I liked being 20!!! But life is sure flying by! It feels like just yesterday I was pregnant with my daughter and in a few months she will be turning FOUR! Where does the time go?! She is getting taller and taller everyday and is growing into such a smart and caring little girl. She went through a short period of terrible two’s (at three) but it only lasted a little while and lately she has been listening better than ever! 🙂 From her memory of being in my belly when I was pregnant (she says it was so dark in there) to her reason why she loves me, (because my skin is warm) she brings so much laughter into my life with the things she comes up with. She has such a strong love and appreciation for the world; when she sees a baby in a stroller, a puppy walking down the street, a cow in a pasture, or a beautiful sunset or rainbow, she screams with delight. And she inspires me to see the beauty in everyday things, as I know I catch myself being amazed by the simpler things in life all the time now. Her imagination and curiosity is just wild these days and I can always count on her to make me smile. She is an extremely happy, laid back little girl and I am so thankful to have her in my life. 🙂
Photo Credit: RockWood Photography

As for GBS Stuff going on, I got a really neat phone call the other day, from someone that worked for a Production Company in Hollywood! He was interested in speaking with me about my experience with GBS for a Documentary series!! He told me a little about the show and I told him a lot about my story, but as it turns out, my story wouldn’t be a fit for their show. They were looking for people who had an extremely difficult time finding a diagnosis (I was diagnosed within 24 hours of my first symptom), but I was still extremely honored that they were interested in speaking with me about what I went through.

A few weeks ago my mom and I hosted our quarterly meeting in Edmonton, and we were so grateful to reach 4 new people to join (2 with GBS/CIDP and their spouses). If you are in Alberta and looking for some support for GBS/CIDIP please contact me!! Our meetings are very informal but I think they really provide our members with hope and support. Even though everyone‘s experiences are different, I have seen firsthand how powerful it is for our members to meet someone else that has even the smallest understanding of what they have been through. We share a connection with each other like no other and I am so proud to be a part of these meetings!

It has now been a year since I left the life that I had built for over ten years, and started over on a new path for me and my daughter. Of course my experience with Guillain-Barre Syndrome played a part in my decision to drastically change my life, but ultimately that decision was for my child. I knew that something needed to change in my life in order for me to become the parent that I felt she deserved – even if I wasn’t quite sure how to do that at the time. I had no idea what I was doing, or if I was making the right decision, but I am very proud of myself for taking the courageous step towards some sort of change in myself, not having any idea how things would work out.

It’s been a crazy, intense year of drastic change, with a lot of learning and a lot of growing. The last year has had its ups and downs and it has not been easy, but it has made me stronger and wiser. And looking back, I am so proud that I finally had the courage to make a change for what I wanted in mine and my daughter’s lives. I have learned so much over the last year; I have learned that not all love is meant to last, and that just because you love someone, it does not mean you will be or should be together forever. I have learned that depending on someone else to make you happy will never work; that happiness comes from within and you are the only one that can control that. I have learned that you have to do what is best for yourself instead of doing what everyone else is doing or what everyone else thinks you should do. I have finally learned who I am, how to be me, what I wanted in life and how to give myself that life. And I have learned all that, by following my heart. Day by day, I am becoming a happier, healthier and better person, and in doing that, I am giving Casey a life that she deserves.

I will always have a great deal of love for my ex and I will forever treasure the ten years we spent together. And although it sometimes makes me sad that things didn’t go the way I thought they would, I know it’s the way it is supposed to be. We go through these experiences in our lives to become the people that we are today. And life is good. Casey and I have slowly but surely rebuilt our lives on our own and she has adjusted extremely well to all the changes in the last year. She is able to spend half her time with me and half her time with her daddy and she is loved and supported by so many different people in her life. And I know these are the main reasons why she has handled this as well as she has. Well that and how easy going and laid back she is, of course 😉

My life didn’t go as planned, and I didn’t end up where I thought I would, but I know that everything happens for a reason, and that I will always end up where I am meant to be. And the moment that I made peace with my past, my present and my future – the exact moment I decided that I would be happy and just fine spending the rest of my life, just me and Casey – he came into my life. An amazing man with two incredible kids, and a loving family who all treat Casey and I like gold. A man with an incredible heart, who brings out the very best in me and makes me strive to be that better person every day. He has taught me so much about life; about family and parenting, about dedication and hard work and about confidence and happiness. Every single day he shows me the definition of love and inspires me to live my life for me.

It’s been a year of change, and who knows what the future looks like, but I am living in the moment, and enjoying life to the absolute fullest. I couldn’t be happier with the person that I am today and the little person that Casey is growing into! We are surrounded by the most loving and supportive people, who have helped us so much throughout this past year. Casey and I are so loved, and we are happy and healthy. Like I always say, life continues to go on and despite the challenges we all face along the way, we always get through them. And in a little over a month, Casey and I will move into our new condo and start this next chapter of our lives.IMG_8462.PNG

About hollyaftergbs

Author of Happily Ever After - My Journey with Guillain-Barre Syndrome and How I Got My Life Back.
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6 Responses to A Year of Change…

  1. linda k says:

    My daughter was diagnossed with guillian burre syndrom when she was 3yrs old. Very scarry to say the least

  2. Janice West says:

    I was diagnosed with GBS in 1993. There was very little known about it then. I was fortunate to make a full recovery. I am reading your book now and am amazed at what you went thru and your bravery and your recovery. So happy for you and proud of you.
    Janice West.

  3. Michelle says:

    Hi, my name is Michelle, my best fiend, Justine, is in the ICU with a diagnosis of Milller-Fisher Syndrome, which only one in a million people get. She cant open her eyes or control her facial movements, she can still move her arms and toes a little bit, so it’s very hard to communicate with her. She is aware of everything that is going on, so it’s almost like she is trapped in her own body, she had a trach and feeding tube surgically put in about 5 days ago and is on her second round of IVIG but the disease is still progressing. My questions for you are, was there anything that was done for you that helped keep your spirits up, and is there any advice that you could give us for helping her through this tough time? Justine and I have been best friends since we were 13, and we’ve always known how to help eachother through rough times, but I am at a loss right now and it’s killing me!

  4. Sylvia Haines says:

    My physiotherapist Danielle told me about your video when I was at the Ottawa Rehabilitation Centre yesterday. I must have watched it three or four times last night. I was diagnosed with GBS in July but it took three visits to Emergency before my diagnosis. I am not sure whether my reply is being posted publicly and if it is, wondered whether you could send me an e-mail address. I have a few questions to ask you about your recovery. Thanks so much, Sylvia

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