J.P. Rosenbaum, the Roslyn-raised "Bachelorette" winner who married season 7 star Ashley Hebert, is slowly recovering and adding to his daily routine after being diagnosed with the nerve disorder Guillain-Barré syndrome.
"I am definitely progressing," Rosenbaum, 42, says in the new issue of People magazine. "But it's more of a three-day progression cycle. I feel better than I did three days ago, but not necessarily better than yesterday. It is still challenging for me, but I can at least function."
After being hospitalized for a weekend earlier this month, when muscle weakness left him unable to perform simple tasks, Rosenbaum was gratified to learn that his symptoms had plateaued and did not appear to be progressing. Even so, he told the magazine, "I couldn't pick up a pencil or button buttons or tie shoes."
At home, he found himself relying heavily on his wife of seven years, a pediatric dentist. "Ashley and I used to have a pretty decent balance with the kids," 5-year-old son Fordham and 3-year-old daughter Essex, he said. "I would make breakfasts and lunches and drop off at school two to three times a week. Now, I can't even pick up my kids. I can't bathe them, I can't do anything. I can't contribute at all. Watching Ashley do all of it is the hardest part."
The Miami-based son of Port Washington's Ilene and Peter Rosenbaum added admiringly, "Ashley is a Superwoman. … She's been supportive, and she does it all. It's a lot, but I've reminded her that this is temporary."
As for his recovery, said the Herricks High School graduate, "This morning I made pancakes for the kids, though I needed Ashley to flip them. And I've been able to pick up cartons of milk and twist off the top, which I couldn't do a few days ago. I can even get up off the couch by myself."
Guillain-Barré, in which the body's immune system attacks the nerves, generally begins with weakness and tingling, and in extreme cases can progress to full paralysis. There is no known cause or cure, according to the Mayo Clinic, but it is treatable and most victims recover, though possibly with lingering weakness, numbness or fatigue.