According to the National Institute of Neuorological Disorders and Stroke:
In high-dose immunoglobulin therapy, doctors give intravenous injections of the proteins that in small quantities, the immune system uses naturally to attack invading organism. 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.
When we called my mom immediately afterwards, she could have sounded as if she was taking it all in stride if not for the fact that she was quietly crying the whole time. (There definitely are times when it is a very good thing that my dad is pretty hard-of-hearing.) So, there my dad was, physically unable to go and comfort her, there I was, unable to go because he needs constant attention, my sister & brother-in-law were on a plane flying home, and my brother and his family were unreachable because they are in a theater observing their New Year's Eve tradition - creating their own "double feature" at a cineplex.
Only this morning, I spoke with our neighbor who happens to be physical therapist. Their family was planning to visit my mom today (and, in fact, walked in at the end of our conversation with my mom.) When I relayed the information we received on Thursday, she confirmed our fears that my mom may be regressing. And now we know for sure.
My brother just got the message and is on his way.
By the time my brother got to the hospital, my mom was already moved to her new room, the therapy was in progress, and she was, all things considered, in pretty good spirits.
While this might seem obvious to some, it is worth noting that neurologists aren't likely to wander around hospital corriders looking for patients to examine while passing the time smack dab in the middle of a three day weekend. Full credit to the folks at the rehabilitation center for keeping a very close eye on the situation, and acting so promptly to call in a specialist at an odd hour to confirm their mounting suspicions.