One December day in 1980, Sue Baier’s fingers and toes began to go numb, her limbs became so weak she could hardly walk, and she had a burning sensation in her mouth. By the next morning she was unable to swallow, and was growing weaker by the hour. Within 48 hours, she had become totally paralyzed except for her eyelids, and was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. This book tells of her eleven months of hospitalization. The first two-thirds of the book cover the time she spent in the ICU unit, in bed number ten. It was agonizing to read what was going on in her mind as she lay there, totally dependent on the nurses and doctors. The last third of the book describes the months she spent in another part of the hospital, having intensive physical therapy.
Throughout the book, Sue describes the love-hate type of relationship she has with the physical therapist, nurses, and doctors. She lay there for months, unable to communicate except through a primitive blinking system her husband Bill set up. Some of the hospital staff were too impatient to figure out what she was saying with her blinks. Others tried, but couldn’t figure out what she needed. A few succeeded in understanding her. Bill often ended up being the advocate and interpreter for his wife, and his love was a major reason Sue was able to recover.