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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Even More "B's" in the Tree in Healdsburg

When I signed off on my last post on Sunday January 13 by saying "see you all in a few" little did I know that it would be in a "few weeks". The day after the post I wound up in the hospital for the next three weeks. A lot more details on that later.

Back in March of last year, I used a title similar to the above:

This relates to the fact that -- yes there are more "B's" that have impacted my tree, but also there is a significance to the above article as well -- more on that later.

My personal history of these last few weeks: on Tuesday January 8th all was fine, we attended the puppy meeting and participated with Dino by going on the picture scavenger hunt at the Santa Rosa Mall.

The next day, after going shopping with Dino, upon returning home I exited the car and with the bag of shopping items in one arm and Dino in tow on the other I proceeded to walk toward the front door. I did
not make it at first -- I fell on the grass (thank goodness) and found myself struggling to get up. It took several attempts to get up on my feet. Finally I did and after picking up the scattered purchased items I made my way inside where I collapsed and rested for a bit.

Little did I know that I was soon to become a lot more familiar with the two gentlemen pictured below and their exhaustive study results:

Mssrs Guillian & Barre, names I never could recall ever hearing anything about. But now I will never forget hearing about them.

After falling and being very tired we visited my primary physician who sent me to ER for tests -- a CAT scan and blood work -- nothing was determined from the results -- it was suggested that we take a "wait & see"
and come back mid February for follow up.

The weekend for me turned out very demanding on staying upright on my feet -- I was wobbly at best and I was numb and tingling all over. I almost could not sleep -- and as a result I did find myself doing family history things in the middle of the night . . .

Monday, the 14th, we asked for another appointment with my primary -- from that visit I was asked which hospital did I want to go to -- I selected Sutter in Santa Rosa -- a good choice because the nurses were on strike at Memorial (though I did not know it at the time).

Things got blurry for me in the hospital, though I do remember having a delicious dinner that night. The next day though was different -- tests were ordered to determine exactly what was wrong -- 2 MRIs (that I hope to NEVER have to do again) and a lumbar probe (a spinal tap) which I was apprehensive about which turned out to be painless (not like the one I had as a kid when I had polio & meningitis).

The results of the tests came back and a very professional Neurologist gave me the diagnosis -- Guillian-Barre Syndrome sometimes referred to as "French Polio".

Clicking on the above gives a description of this syndrome. It is an auto immune disease. I wanted to share the details of my experience because this is something that has and currently still does impact anyone at any age and they still are not sure why. So it is not a disease for someone who is just older. Many of the victims are young persons.

Some more well known folks who have had Guillian-Barre are shown below -- there are thousands of us lesser known folks, some of whom I am learning about as I go through recovery -- and that is something that most GBS folks do -- RECOVER.

There are many theories about how and why folks get GBS. One is suggested that there is a relationship to getting a flu shot -- as a matter of fact folks are asked if they have had Guillian-Barre before getting a flu shot and now I will not be able to get a flu shot anymore because I would have to answer -- yes.

I am doing a lot of searching online for clues to this GBS and have even volunteered to participate in a study that is looking at any genetic connection and/or indications -- that would be valuable information.

But another thing I found while searching was also interesting:

Click on the above and you can read about a possible relationship of GBS to ill-prepared food. In my case I did have a flu shot, I might have had some ill prepared food at a restaurant we went to because around Christmas time I did have flu-like symptoms -- but that all is speculation.

I have joined an organization to help spread the word about this syndrome:

I have read many of the stories about the details of this syndrome and so many of them are just like mine. And as a matter of fact -- WHAT IS ON MY NIGHTSTAND :

As I am currently in that condition -- not yet being able to walk on my own -- I am finding this book very interesting. So many of the things that happened to the author happened to me, but the main difference is that I was diagnosed very early with GBS, many go for a long time without the diagnosis -- that is another reason that I am "spreading the word".

I have every intention of recovering and hopefully the tingling and numbness will subside and that I will walk without a walker or cane:

I will look forward to wearing the above Tee . . .

Now Enough About That

The first picture above was about "more Bee's in the trees" that I wrote about almost a year ago. It featured a comic strip "Bumgardner". Since Bumgardner is my Mother's maiden name I have a lot of Bumgardners in the tree.

I searched the web for "Jim Smith" cartoonist so I could contact him to see if maybe he wrote that comic strip about "my" Bumgarders. If you have done google searches you probably know what a search on "Jim Smith" would return.

My attention to finding Jim Smith fell by the wayside UNTIL yesterday. I received a quick note from Jim's sister who happened to read my blog of a year ago and wrote to me giving me his email address.

I was so excited -- I emailed Jim and within a few minutes he responded. Unfortunately, he did not know my Bumgardners -- I though maybe he knew my Uncle Stewart -- but apparently not, he did send me the following reason for the name:

I liked his response to the naming, after all it was many years ago that he did the strip and I still see many of our Bumgardners in it . . .

Now we emailed a few more times back and forth, he supplied me with a surprise link to where and how the "Bumgardners" came to be in America:  (more from Jim Smith)

So there you have it -- Wallace B told his grandson that an ancestor with the name "BLUMGARDNER"
got the "L" out and that is where our BUMGARDNERs started here in America . . .

Thank you Jim Smith for those wonderful enlightenments. As a mater of fact. on my office wall I have one of Jim Smiths originals and it is apropos to our current situation with Dino . . .

The second character pictured saying "We will, thanks!" does look like Dayton Bumgardner . . .

And as how it relates to Dino, well he has been staying with another family for the last couple of weeks. He did come visit me in the ICU once and then again in the regular ward and attracted a ton of attention, not to mention how glad I was to see him.

Dino is to officially report back to GDB the weekend of February 17 -- hopefully Gail and I will bring him back home here on the 15th and then we will deliver him to San Rafael for "breeding" consideration.

So, that has been my last few weeks. We did not have burgers yet as two days after I went into the hospital our kitchen was demolished in a planned remodel -- we are making do in the back "sitting" room with a counter top oven, a microwave, a toaster, a griller and the Ninja.

Complicating everything else is that poor Gail is trying to pay attention to the busiest time of the tax season which is called "peak" and it occurs the last week of January and the first two weeks of February.

We have a lot to look forward to and we do. This time I mean it when I say "I'll see you in a few" I hope.

Since I really want to have at least 52 posts again this year, I will try to add some additional posts in the coming weeks . . .

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