About this blog

After sharing e-mail after e-mail with my mother's friends and family I decided that it would be more efficient to put this information on a blog so that it would be centrally located. Here you will find information mostly on Fredi Balzano's health struggles. Feel free to contact me with specific questions.

See my other blog at daisybrainlives.blogspot.com for thoughts on knitting and cooking and other family highlights.

Thanks everyone.

Tracy B.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

March 19, 2007

Hello to all:

This is just to update everyone on Fredi's condition.

The official diagnosis is Guillain-Barre Syndrome although some of her symptoms have been so weird that no one quite knows what to do with them.

As many of you know, she walked into the hospital on February 21 and was diagnosed with diverticulitis. After a few days there she began to complain of rather severe leg pain and spots in front of her eyes that allowed her to see peripherally but not straight in front of her. If you were standing in front of her she would have been able to see your hair but not your face. This was scary and after several complaints about this she finally saw an ophthalmologist the evening before her release. Meanwhile her legs got weaker and weaker. They could find no reasons for these symptoms so.... they released her. I practically carried her up the stairs to her apartment. The next day she couldn't walk at all and could barely manipulate her body. We called 911 to have her bought back to the hospital. Getting her down the stairs was an impossibility for me and Sharon. She was readmitted later that night and over the next few days was subjected to numerous tests, including an arterial biopsy. Many of these tests were to "rule out" a variety of things. Her sight returned a few days later after the administration of steroids which were intended to treat possible arterial inflamation that was never confirmed in the first place. We ended up with the diagnosis of Guillain-Barre.

Having entered this Twilight Zone world it looks like we will emerge on the other side. She has been moved to the Village Nursing Home where she is convalescing and receiving PT and OT every day in order to regain use of her arms and legs. Her spirits are relatively high and she is working hard so she can go home and get back to work.

For those of you who don't know what Guillain-Barre is I am attaching a link to an article on WebMD that should help. The basics? It is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks its own peripheral nerves and the resulting paralysis can potentially invade the whole body and kill you. This has not happened to Fredi.


She has a phone at the rehabilitation facility. Her number is 212-337-9484.

Please keep us in your prayers and thoughts and I will answer any questions as best as I can.

God bless.


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