Still recovering from the nerve disorder Guillain-Barré syndrome with which he was diagnosed last month, Roslyn-raised J.P. Rosenbaum told "Good Morning America" Tuesday that the disease had driven him to tears.
When it first struck, Rosenbaum, 42, the "Bachelorette" contestant who married season 7 star Ashley Hebert, thought immediately of their children. "I can't hug my kids, pick up my kids, do anything for my kids, I don't want my kids to see me like this," he said of 5-year-old son Fordham and 3-year-old daughter Essex. "I just burst into tears, just because I was scared and frustrated and …"
"But I have to tell you," interjected Hebert, 35, "when he burst into tears — I've never seen him cry. Never."
When Rosenbaum, the Miami-based son of Port Washington's Ilene and Peter Rosenbaum, first noticed symptoms in December, said Hebert, "He complained to me, 'My hands feel a little weird.' By the end of the day, he, we had picked up a pizza … and he couldn't carry the pizza."
"Walking was hard," Herricks High School graduate Rosenbaum said. "I couldn't put on socks, I couldn't get dressed …"
"He couldn't even open up the bathroom doorknob," Hebert said.
Rosenbaum continues to have physical therapy five days a week as he recovers.
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.