medical turnback

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Texasrocks, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks Member

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    DD contracted guillian barre syndrome
    HTML:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillain%E2%80%93Barr%C3%A9_syndrome
    either from flu vaccine on iday or from upper respiratory infection. She is in hospital now and fighting hard to regain feeling in legs. I have to say kudos to coach and agressors officers for getting to hospital quickly probably saved her life.

    prognoses is good for recovery but probably not in 6 more days. Major thinks most likely she will have spot in next years class but any suggestions on what she should do over the next year. She will continue to swim and probably work some but how about taking classes at local college will the credits transfer? DS (c2c) suggested taking Chem and/or Physics
     
  2. Dad

    Dad Member

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    Hang in there. That is a serious disorder. Praying for a speedy and full recovery. Best wishes. :thumb:

    She should enroll at the local college and take classes similar to what she would as a C4C, Calculus, Physics, Chem, English, and a foreign language. She should go full time if she has recovered enough by August. If not, take what she feels comfortable doing. The credits will NOT transfer, but she could test out of the basic freshman classes and open up her schedule for a possible double major or electives she might be interested in. Since she will be a turnback, she'll have a slot next year, pending DoDMERB approval.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
  3. Skymom

    Skymom Member

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    Texasrocks,

    Her health is the most important thing. Praying for a full recovery. :smile:
     
  4. lisah

    lisah Member

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    yowza...
    GBS can have many manifestations.
    There is controversy if it is really related to flu vaccines...yet, there is an almost statistically significant correlation. However, "The Medical Jury' is out.

    Personally, I have had patients present with variable symptoms and recovery. I do see a spike in patients in the fall when peeps are receiving their flu vaccinations. (anecdotal)

    The important thing is to reduce physical (and emotional or mental) stress, not overuse the muscles, or overexert...and be under the close supervision of a physician. This is a serious diagnosis.

    It is certainly appropriate to keep your eye-on-the-prize of re-admission...but please...attend to the physical recovery first.

    prayers

    Kudos to the Aggressor cadres.
     
  5. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks Member

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    not the cadres they were still pushing her (just inexperience)

    the swim coach and the major knew when she had no feeling something was serious.

    kudos to the support swim team girls are visiting her as is the coach and her major. they have her on 5k a bottle of immunoglobin treatment so tricare coming through. agressors sent her a get well card signed by all. Such a great place and support hope she gets a crack at next year.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
  6. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Yeah, I could see that. Most of the cadre only have first aid training, and telling something serious from normal tiredness and the effects of training at altitude would be difficult until severe symptoms started. That is also why there are cadet EMTs and Safety/Medical cadre, but they don't usually monitor individual basics unless someone alerts them to an issue.
     
  7. lisah

    lisah Member

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    I must say I am uber impressed they made the diagnosis in such a timely fashion. The first hallmark of a top-on-the-line medical staff.

    GBS can be rather obscure, and there have been many of my patients who where tested and re-tested for all sorts of anomalies until the diagnosis of GBS was made, almost as an elimination. It is so important to diagnosis THIS disease early and treat it immediately for max results. Someone was in top of their game.

    I will keep your DD in mind and prayers for the next several weeks.... It has got to be a blow to get this far and be slammed with GBS.
    She must be a strong gal!! She will get thru this!!
     
  8. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks Member

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    thanks for the support. she is tough when you lose your mom at 12 you either cash it in or get through it.
     
  9. icarus

    icarus Member

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    Thimerosal, a preservative used in many vaccines have been cited in the past as the culprit in a number of people who develop Guillain-Barre syndrome.
    An autoimmune disorder that is truly serious. Ascending paralysis is a common symptom. What triggers it is unknown.
    Without an updated vaccination, most doolies get more vaccination shots during I-day.
    Your daughter's well-being is first and foremost. Everything else is secondary.
    I pray for your daughter's complete recovery.
     
  10. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    Praying for your DD. Take care of yourself too, TexasRocks, she will need your emotional support when she arrives home.
     
  11. AFLEADMOM

    AFLEADMOM Member

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    I've never heard of this before, but I'm praying for her and your family.
     
  12. usafamomma

    usafamomma Member

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    Wishing your daughter a full and speedy recovery. Please keep us posted on her status, and remember to take care of yourself also!
     
  13. Scratcher

    Scratcher Member

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    Excellent advice by "Dad". Exactly on track. If she doesn't get the DoDMERB approval, she will also be on a good track towards her civilian education. I would also inquire if there are any VA education benefits that you can take advantage of during her medical turnback.
     
  14. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    This was debunked several years ago. See this article for a short but thorough discussion.

    Scratcher, a classmate contracted GBS, and while his recovery took a while (few weeks) I pray your DD's recovery is also swift and complete. Fair winds, LAP
     
  15. icarus

    icarus Member

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    What is Guillain-Barré syndrome?

    Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The first symptoms of this disorder include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs. In many instances the symmetrical weakness and abnormal sensations spread to the arms and upper body. These symptoms can increase in intensity until certain muscles cannot be used at all and, when severe, the person is almost totally paralyzed. In these cases the disorder is life threatening - potentially interfering with breathing and, at times, with blood pressure or heart rate - and is considered a medical emergency. Such an individual is often put on a ventilator to assist with breathing and is watched closely for problems such as an abnormal heart beat, infections, blood clots, and high or low blood pressure. Most individuals, however, recover from even the most severe cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, although some continue to have a certain degree of weakness.

    Guillain-Barré syndrome can affect anybody. It can strike at any age and both sexes are equally prone to the disorder. The syndrome is rare, however, afflicting only about one person in 100,000. Usually Guillain-Barré occurs a few days or weeks after the patient has had symptoms of a respiratory or gastrointestinal viral infection. Occasionally surgery will trigger the syndrome. In rare instances vaccinations may increase the risk of GBS.

    After the first clinical manifestations of the disease, the symptoms can progress over the course of hours, days, or weeks. Most people reach the stage of greatest weakness within the first 2 weeks after symptoms appear, and by the third week of the illness 90 percent of all patients are at their weakest.

    What causes Guillain-Barré syndrome?

    No one yet knows why Guillain-Barré — which is not contagious — strikes some people and not others. Nor does anyone know exactly what sets the disease in motion.

    What scientists do know is that the body's immune system begins to attack the body itself, causing what is known as an autoimmune disease. Usually the cells of the immune system attack only foreign material and invading organisms. In Guillain-Barré syndrome, however, the immune system starts to destroy the myelin sheath that surrounds the axons of many peripheral nerves, or even the axons themselves (axons are long, thin extensions of the nerve cells; they carry nerve signals). The myelin sheath surrounding the axon speeds up the transmission of nerve signals and allows the transmission of signals over long distances.

    In diseases in which the peripheral nerves' myelin sheaths are injured or degraded, the nerves cannot transmit signals efficiently. That is why the muscles begin to lose their ability to respond to the brain's commands, commands that must be carried through the nerve network. The brain also receives fewer sensory signals from the rest of the body, resulting in an inability to feel textures, heat, pain, and other sensations. Alternately, the brain may receive inappropriate signals that result in tingling, "crawling-skin," or painful sensations. Because the signals to and from the arms and legs must travel the longest distances they are most vulnerable to interruption. Therefore, muscle weakness and tingling sensations usually first appear in the hands and feet and progress upwards.

    When Guillain-Barré is preceded by a viral or bacterial infection, it is possible that the virus has changed the nature of cells in the nervous system so that the immune system treats them as foreign cells. It is also possible that the virus makes the immune system itself less discriminating about what cells it recognizes as its own, allowing some of the immune cells, such as certain kinds of lymphocytes and macrophages, to attack the myelin. Sensitized T lymphocytes cooperate with B lymphocytes to produce antibodies against components of the myelin sheath and may contribute to destruction of the myelin. In two forms of GBS, axons are attacked by antibodies against the bacteria Campylobacter jejuni, which react with proteins of the peripheral nerves. Acute motor axonal neuropathy is particularly common in Chinese children. Scientists are investigating these and other possibilities to find why the immune system goes awry in Guillain-Barré syndrome and other autoimmune diseases. The cause and course of Guillain-Barré syndrome is an active area of neurological investigation, incorporating the cooperative efforts of neurological scientists, immunologists, and virologists.

    How is Guillain-Barré syndrome diagnosed?

    Guillain-Barré is called a syndrome rather than a disease because it is not clear that a specific disease-causing agent is involved. A syndrome is a medical condition characterized by a collection of symptoms (what the patient feels) and signs (what a doctor can observe or measure). The signs and symptoms of the syndrome can be quite varied, so doctors may, on rare occasions, find it difficult to diagnose Guillain-Barré in its earliest stages.

    Several disorders have symptoms similar to those found in Guillain-Barré, so doctors examine and question patients carefully before making a diagnosis. Collectively, the signs and symptoms form a certain pattern that helps doctors differentiate Guillain-Barré from other disorders. For example, physicians will note whether the symptoms appear on both sides of the body (most common in Guillain-Barré) and the quickness with which the symptoms appear (in other disorders, muscle weakness may progress over months rather than days or weeks). In Guillain-Barré, reflexes such as knee jerks are usually lost. Because the signals traveling along the nerve are slower, a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test can give a doctor clues to aid the diagnosis. In Guillain-Barré patients, the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the spinal cord and brain contains more protein than usual. Therefore a physician may decide to perform a spinal tap, a procedure in which a needle is inserted into the patient's lower back and a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal column is withdrawn for study..

    How is Guillain-Barré treated?

    There is no known cure for Guillain-Barré syndrome. However, there are therapies that lessen the severity of the illness and accelerate the recovery in most patients. There are also a number of ways to treat the complications of the disease.

    Currently, plasma exchange (also called plasmapheresis) and high-dose immunoglobulin therapy are used. Both of them are equally effective, but immunoglobulin is easier to administer. Plasma exchange is a method by which whole blood is removed from the body and processed so that the red and white blood cells are separated from the plasma, or liquid portion of the blood. The blood cells are then returned to the patient without the plasma, which the body quickly replaces. Scientists still don't know exactly why plasma exchange works, but the technique seems to reduce the severity and duration of the Guillain-Barré episode. This may be because plasmapheresis can remove antibodies and other immune cell-derived factors that could contribute to nerve damage.

    In high-dose immunoglobulin therapy, doctors give intravenous injections of the proteins that, in small quantities, the immune system uses naturally to attack invading organisms. Investigators have found that giving high doses of these immunoglobulins, derived from a pool of thousands of normal donors, to Guillain-Barré patients can lessen the immune attack on the nervous system. Investigators don't know why or how this works, although several hypotheses have been proposed.

    The use of steroid hormones has also been tried as a way to reduce the severity of Guillain-Barré, but controlled clinical trials have demonstrated that this treatment not only is not effective but may even have a deleterious effect on the disease.

    The most critical part of the treatment for this syndrome consists of keeping the patient's body functioning during recovery of the nervous system. This can sometimes require placing the patient on mechanical ventilatory assistance, a heart monitor, or other machines that assist body function. The need for this sophisticated machinery is one reason why Guillain-Barré syndrome patients are usually treated in hospitals, often in an intensive care ward. In the hospital, doctors can also look for and treat the many problems that can afflict any paralyzed patient - complications such as pneumonia or bed sores.

    What is the long-term outlook for those with Guillain-Barré syndrome?

    Guillain-Barré syndrome can be a devastating disorder because of its sudden and unexpected onset. In addition, recovery is not necessarily quick. As noted above, patients usually reach the point of greatest weakness or paralysis days or weeks after the first symptoms occur. Symptoms then stabilize at this level for a period of days, weeks, or, sometimes, months. The recovery period may be as little as a few weeks or as long as a few years. About 30 percent of those with Guillain-Barré still have a residual weakness after 3 years. About 3 percent may suffer a relapse of muscle weakness and tingling sensations many years after the initial attack.

    Guillain-Barré syndrome patients face not only physical difficulties, but emotionally painful periods as well. It is often extremely difficult for patients to adjust to sudden paralysis and dependence on others for help with routine daily activities. Patients sometimes need psychological counseling to help them adapt.

    Where can I get more information?

    For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute's Brain Resources and Information Network (BRAIN) at:

    BRAIN
    P.O. Box 5801
    Bethesda, MD 20824
    (800) 352-9424
    http://www.ninds.nih.gov

    Information also is available from the following organizations:

    GBS/CIDP Foundation International
    The Holly Building 104 1/2 Forrest Ave.
    Narberth, PA 19072
    info@gbs-cidp.org
    http://www.gbs-cidp.org
    Tel: 610-667-0131 866-224-3301
    Fax: 610-667-7036
     
  16. icarus

    icarus Member

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  17. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    Praying for a quick recovery for your DD.
     
  18. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    +1 :thumb:
     
  19. AFLEADMOM

    AFLEADMOM Member

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    Thank you Icarus!

    What a scary, random thing to have happen. :frown:
     
  20. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks Member

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    thanks and hopefully she will be your classmate
     

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