Bachelorette alum JP Rosenbaum has made progress that he feels is ‘slow,’ but is better than his physical therapist expected just three weeks after his shock diagnosis with Guillain-Barré syndrome.
‘I’m very very lucky to be able to do things three weeks later that I shouldn’t be able to do,’ Rosenbaum said his therapist told him.
His Instagram story update, posted Tuesday, revealed that Rosenbaum has regained most of his motor skills after his rare autoimmune disorder left him partially paralyzed last month.
Rosenbaum seemed hopeful that, like most Guillain-Barré sufferers, he’ll regain full function, but it’s too soon to tell if his full recovery will take months or years – or if he’ll ever be totally free of weakness or tingling in his limbs.
JP Rosenbaum revealed on Instagram on Tuesday that he’s making ‘slow progress’ in his recovery from Guillain-Barré syndrome (left). This is a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks its peripheral nervous system and causes paralysis. Pictured, left: Rosebaum in the hospital, when he announced the diagnosis
‘This Monday marked three weeks since I was discharged from the hospital na I have been slowly getting better every couple of days,’ Rosenbaum said.
Rosenbaum – who is married to Bachelorette star Ashley Hebert Rosenbaum – hasn’t revealed how or when his symptoms first began, but for most Guillain-Barré patients, the condition starts with muscle weakness, often following a viral infection.
In mid-December, the reality star announced on Instagram from his hospital bed that he’d been diagnosed with the rare disorder in which the immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system.
This causes parts of the body – or in some cases the whole body – to be paralyzed.
The condition is rare, affecting about one in 100,000 annually.
Fewer than 20,000 cases are diagnosed per year, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
After the first symptoms of Guillain-Barré, sufferers’ conditions usually worsen for about two weeks before plateauing around the four-week mark.
Rosenbaum said until recently, he was unable to do day-today activities like tie his shoelaces or pick up his kids. Pictured: Rosenbaum, left, and wife Ashley Hebert Rosenbaum in October
The recovery period can last as little as a few weeks and as long as a few years, but about 30 percent of those diagnosed have a residual weakness after three years.
Most who have Guillain-Barré make full recoveries, but some are left with tingling sensations in the arms and legs.
By the time Rosenbaum announced his condition his symptoms had leveled off.
‘I feel pretty much the same as I have all day, which I think is a good sign,’ he said in one of the clips.
‘From what I’m, told, my symptoms have hopefully plateaued and not gotten any worse, then hopefully I’m on the road to recovery.’
Since then, he’s begun Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy (IVIG), a blood transfusion treatment used to address immune system issues, including leukemia, as well as Guillain-Barré.
Rosenbaum said he’s progressing slowly, but outpacing his therapists’ expectations. Pictured: Rosenbaum, far left, with Herbert Rosenbaum, second from right, and their two children
Rosenbaum and his wife, Ashley Herbert Rosenbaum, met on Season 7 of The Bachelorette in 2011 (pictured, the finale) and married in December 2012
The next step was to begin the work of regaining his strength and coordination.
‘I’ve been doing a lot of physical and occupational therapy,’ Rosenbaum said in his Instagram story.
‘I was even able to get away to Maine to visit with my in-laws for a week.’
Previously, Rosenbaum had lamented what a struggle every day tasks like tying his shoes had become.
‘I have been slowly getting better every couple of days,’ he said.
He called the strides he’s made ‘incredible,’ and said that nearly all of his fine motor skills have returned.
In a series of videos via his Instagram Stories on Sunday, Rosenbaum explained how the syndrome had already affected his every day life.
‘Things you do every day, like picking up this phone, or buttoning buttons, tying shoelaces, putting on deodorant, just can’t do it,’ he said.
In those who have Guillain-Barré, the immune system produces harmful antibodies that attack the nerves.
The couple met and fell in love while filming Season 7 of The Bachelorette in 2011.
They married in a televised ceremony in December 2012 and have two children, son Fordham Rhys, five, and daughter Essex Rose, three.