Fighting Dystonia, Chronic Lyme, EDS Type 2 & more… any questions?

Posts tagged ‘family’

Benedict’s revenge

I have had a rather busy and sociable week. It has been completely brilliant and was a slight taste of ‘normality’ for me. Normality and independence are something that I desperately cling to, as I refuse to give in to Benedict’s attempts to seize control and conquer my body. However, when you have Dystonia a busy day is enough to exhaust you, so a busy week was perhaps a step to far. I still think this week was so worth the last few days of Dystonic  antics though!

Benedict, my little unwelcome Dystonia alien, decided to start playing up on Friday night. My right hand/arm had gone into a spasm, and started to tremor, my head also had a tremor going on that looked like I was shaking my head to say no very fast, and my back decided to bend backwards, in an attempt to fold me in half. As you can imagine this was extremely painful and rather distressing.

Then last night my leg decided to spasm. Now normally I can just about control my emotions when my Dystonia plays up. Usually it is only a few choice colourful words that escape beyond my spasming lips. However this particular leg spasm was agony, and had me in floods of tears due to the pain. Then my arm decided to join in. By this point I was extremely upset, and rather angry at myself for giving in and letting out my emotional response to the spasm. Yet they do say that a cry now and then is healthy, so perhaps I actually did myself a favour.

Today was also eventful. Even though the day was relaxed, we just sat quietly at home, as my grandparents and my man were visiting, my body still deemed it necessary to act up. I can only presume that the many activities I have done this week had triggered the hideous spasms I have experienced over the last 48-72 hours. I woke up at 5:30 am this morning to my arm spasming and my head doing its no no tremor. Then my leg put up a big fuss when I attempted to get dressed. Through-out today my arm/hand has been having spasms and tremors often and violently. At one point I honestly though that if the spasm carried on for much longer then my shoulder would end up dislocated – thankfully it eventually ceased. At other moments in time the tremor in my arm was so violent that I ended up hitting me sister.

I have currently given in to the spasms and pain, and retreated to the quietness of my room. However I have not come here to dwell on the problematic issues that Dystonia causes. I have returned to my room, to relish in the memories of the week, to mentally high five myself for the accomplishments I have made and to look forward to the days ahead. I cannot wait for tomorrow afternoon to have a consultation with a personal trainer that I hope to work with. The beauty of having Dystonia is that you know that even on bad days that things can only get better! There is so much to look forward to!!!!

Benedict’s Obstacle Course.

 Imagine this: You wake up in the morning, your eyelids open but you can see nothing due to a spasm pulling your eyes back. You massarge around your eyes blinking violently, trying to beat the first obstacle of the day. Suddenly your sight is back! You celebrate silently, not wanting Benedict to realise you have won, in-case he wants to take revenge. Next you decide to dress quickly before he wakes up and realises what you are doing. You have your top half done, and one leg in your jeans, when suddenly Benedict strikes! Your right leg contorts, as if it’s trying to physically turn backwards, meanwhile your foot has turned under and is dragging along the floor. You stop, take a deep breath, and then start attacking your own leg. Desperately trying to get your jeans over it.

Bang! Your hurried attempts have caused you to fall backwards on to your bed. However you keep on wrestling with your leg until finally you have won. You are officially dressed. You look in the mirror, do you dare attempt to tame your hair and do your make up? With a quick glance at the clock, you decide to attempt to do it. Nervously you brush through your hair, and quickly put it up in a simple pony tail. Relief sweeps through your body. Now on to the make up. Your doing well, almost done. Then, suddenly, pain sears through your eye. Your right hand, which is holding the mascara brush, has spasmed, causing the brush to go straight into your eye.

It has now been two hours since you got up. You have finally managed to get dressed, with hair and most your make up done. Now you need to get through to the living room, so you can grab your bag. Splinting your right hand up first, so as to contain any more unwanted spasms, you slip your arms through your crutches and hop out your room into the hall way. You glance down at the shoes and bags scattered around on the floor like a minefield, and hop around them. Careful not to misplace a crutch or slip.

Now you have reached the penultimate hurdle. You squeeze yourself past the sofa and clothes horse into the living room. Reaching down you pick up your handbag, and swing it over your shoulder. You give yourself a satisfactory smile. You are beating Benedict’s obstacle course so far. You start hopping forwards. You go to squeeze back through the gab between the sofa and the clothes horse…when your right knee collides with the end of the sofa. The knock immediately triggers a spasm. Your leg is twisting side ways and upwards. Pain is taking over. Your balance is now lost. You haphazardly try to place your crutches in a position that will stabilise you. It is a losing battle. You fall backwards onto the other sofa that is just behind you.

After the spasm has calmed down, you decide to take on the final hurdle. This time you choose to leave the crutches behind. Hoping that it will enable you to pass through the dangerous gap between the sofa and clothes horse with ease. You jump up onto your good leg. Keeping your right one off the floor, bent slightly. With arms whirling round widely to prevent you from falling, you hop successfully past the sofa and back into the hallway. You have finally reached the front door! You do not have much further to go. You link your arm round a family member for support and hop out the door. In front of you lies three large steps. Each one looks like a mountain. It fills you with dread. Half of you wants to turn back around, go back to bed and claim defeat. However you hold your ground and preserver, refusing to give in to the evil Dystonia alien, Benedict. You bend your good knee, and cling to the railing with your working/free arm and hop up the huge steps.

You have finally reached your goal. You have reached the car that is waiting to take you to your doctor’s appointment. For the mean time, you have beaten Benedict the Dystonia alien.

Welcome to my life!

 

A Bit Of Retail Therapy!

Today has been the highlight of my week and has distracted me from the new issues with my leg. My mum and step-dad took me out clothes shopping, which meant that I also got to push myself in my new wheelchair!  I knew that trying on clothes and pushing myself would be exhausting, so I made sure that I paid extra attention to my right hand, so that I did not do too much and cause it to spasm.

All in all  it was a rather successful day out! I managed to get some jeans and some lovely new tops, and I managed to push myself for longer than I had expected. From time to time my mum did have to remind me not to over do, I think I got a bit carried away with having some independence 🙂 In total I think I managed to push myself for about 40 mins!!!! This was a lot longer than I had expected. When I went out in my chair briefly the other day, I only managed about 20 mins, so this was a huge improvement!! It was a tiring but fantastic day!

I am going to go and see my Doctor this week, and see if he can suggest any medication that will help with the tremor in my right leg and talk about my ideas with him, and get his views on it all. I am also going to write an email to my consultant explaining to him the change in my leg and how it is affecting me and getting his advice on what to do about it, I shall also inform him of my ideas for treating my leg and get his opinion on that as well.

Today was exactly what I needed, some laughter, retail therapy and some independence. It helped me refocus my mind on everything, and see that although my leg is bad and making things really rather difficult, it is not the end of the world. I can still go out and laugh and shop like anyone else, the only difference is that I get to sit on a comfy cushion and attempt to tone my arms by pushing myself along at the same time!

A Step In The Right Direction.

Today has been a slightly better day, in comparison to the last 5 or 6. The last couple of days I have been almost unable to even hobble around the house, without one or two members of my family holding my arms, and helping me. Today however was different! My right leg still shook like mad, and my knee still over extended, but I managed to hobble around unsupported. I only managed a short distance, however I am still overjoyed by this as it is a big improvement compared to the last few days.

I am thinking about asking my Occupational Therapist for a walking stick. At 20 years old, I did not expect that I would have to consider this, however if it helps that’s what counts.. My theory is that having a walking stick will either go one of two ways. The first being that it helps me with my balance, so hobbling around the house becomes slightly easier and less dangerous. The second is that with my natural ability to fall over everything and anything, the walking stick will become yet another obstacle for me to try to avoid, yet will still fall over. However I will never know unless I try, and it is not the end of the world if it does not help. Anything is worth a shot at this point.

Tomorrow my new wheelchair is arriving! It is a self propelled one, which will give me some much wanted independence!  I am really rather excited about its arrival and cannot wait to go out in it! It will put my mind at ease as well. When ever I have someone pushing me, I have a mental freak out, I know that they are not going to deliberately through me out of the wheelchair, however I still end up muttering under my breath “stay away from the curb…watch out for the hole” over and over.

My hand also seems a lot better today, I have my fingers crossed that it stays this way. It has improved so much that I did not wear my splint today. This is really positive as I don’t like strapping my hand up, but it helps contain the spasm so I can’t complain.

I have also started to slowly increase my dose of Gabapentin, I am currently taking 1800mg a day and am hoping to get it up to 3600mg a day. As I am finding it to be a very beneficial medication my consultant thought this would be a good idea. I am doing it in steps of 100mg in case I start getting any side effects, that way I know how much my body can handle.

Overall today has been a very positive day and I am hoping that the rest of the week continues to stay positive.

 

The Battle against my Foot, the Doctors and my Brain.

When you wake up in the morning, what do you? Do you mentally wrestle with yourself to throw back your warm duvet cover, swing your legs out into the unwelcoming cold, stand up and start your day? This is a simple task. One you do every day without thinking about it.

For me, simple is not an applicable word for this every day task. Most days my mother wakes me up to give me my first cocktail of medications for the day. I stay in bed, at the moment for breakfast, as venturing outside of the safety of my mattress is a dangerous move to make. When I eventually have to get out of bed, it involves me calling for my mum to help. Once I have managed to get to the edge of the bed, my mum takes one arm and my step-dad or sibling will take the other.  They support me/attempt to prevent me from falling as I try to walk.

At the moment when my right foot is forced to try and work normally, it fights back hard. Often winning. My toes curl them-selves under, my foot flips over so that the top of it scraps painfully along the floor. And then to put the icing on the cake, it will twist in unnatural painful positions, as it protests violently against my will.

For me, at the present time, getting up and moving is an exhausting task. One that fills me with dread every time I need the loo, or have to move to a different room. Each time I attempt to move around, I try to clear my mind from panic. I tell myself over and over again, that this time  it might just be different, I might manage to walk a few steps, like I was doing before Christmas. I fill my head with positive thoughts. However when my foot then starts to contort, it is physically and emotionally draining.

I wish the doctors could see me like this. See me at home, when I am out of my wheelchair. Where a small glitch in my brain makes me vulnerable in my own environment. Where I struggle to walk one step, where my family catches me when I collapse, where my family protect me from my surroundings when the pain causes me to have a Seizure. Where they could see that I need help now and not in a years time!

However I must remain positive, I must focus on the fact that before Christmas, I was slowly making progress, and learning to walk again. The fact I started to walk, reassure’s me that I will again. Until then I just have to suck it up and deal with it. I must be pro-active. So I shall blog , I shall write letters, and I shall make the doctors and the politicians listen. I shall make them understand just how life changing and debilitating Dystonia is and I shall make them take action! I shall not remain silent!

My Dystonia and My Dystonia Experiment

I am happy to announce that over the Christmas period my Dystonia behaved, with the exception of one or two moments. The relief I felt after going Christmas day and my birthday without having my dystonia play up was immense! I had worried a lot about spending the Christmas period in agony, thank fully I ended up worrying for nothing. To make things even better I even managed to spend 6 hours clothes shopping with my family, with only my eyes playing up now and then. I managed to get in and out of my wheelchair frequently so I could try clothes on without my leg making to much of a fuss. By the end of the day, I was exhausted and found it very difficult to move around, but this did not bother me as the fact I managed to spend so long out and about and try clothes on was a major achievement for me!

Yesterday I picked up my glasses from the opticians, this means that I can now start judging whether it is my eyes straining that causes my eyes to spasm and go blind. Every day, I am going to keep a diary of what activities I have done and how my eyes have reacted to each activity, this will enable me to have a fairly accurate idea (after a number of weeks) as to whether my theory to why I go blind is right or not. I am quiet excited, as if I am right and wearing glasses helps stop the spasms, this will make a significant impact on my life.

My jaw dystonia is really playing up at the moment, which in turn brings on my Non Epileptic Seizures. Despite my consultant emailing me 3 weeks ago saying he would do my Botox injections next week, I have still not received a date for it to be done. When I finally get to see him and have the injections done, I am going to ask him if there is anyway we can just book a date in advance, for around the time  the injections stop working, to have treatment again. To me this is a logical step to make, however it is becoming more and more apparent to me that the NHS system is not necessarily a logical one.

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas  and that you all have a great new year.

 

Today’s Thoughts

My jaw is still in spasm, which is really rather painful. However on the positive side of things, my medication, has really helped and my spasms in my right arm and leg have not been that bad these last few days. The pain in jaw can get rather intense and this tends to cause me to have a Non Epileptic Seizure. I am getting better at identifying when I am going to have a seizure. This means that I am able to inform someone, like my mother, seconds beforehand. This is a huge step and a big positive, as it means that whoever is with me, can try to prevent me from injuring myself during in a seizure. I am hoping that I will hear from the consultant soon, so I can get treatment for my jaw, which in turn should hopefully mean that my seizures will disappear again.

The path my life has taken, at this moment in time, is not one I would have chosen for myself. You would have to be fairly crazy to want to have Dystonia. However I accept that for now Dystonia is part of me, and I cannot magically make it disappear. Dystonia is one of those conditions that on some days is fine and does not play up that much, on other days, it is a gigantic pain.

I am so thankful to my family, friends, and all the many people who contact me to support me. They are all amazing and help me stay strong on my bad days. They help me laugh my way through the spasms, and make sure I don’t hurt myself to much during my seizures. I really don’t know how I would have coped with Dystonia without all these wonderful people in my life!

The battle for my leg

Yesterday the little dystonia alien decided it was bored of manipulating my face, arm and hand. It decided it needed yet another toy. It chose my leg! For a long time now my leg has not been completely normal, every now and then it would over bend or I would get odd sensations running up and down it. I choose to ignore these niggles and put it down to issues I had had previously with my leg. However the last 4 or 5 days these niggles had got more frequent and were more noticeable, I decided that now was the time to speak up and express my concerns. So off we went to the doctors and yet another medicine was added to my cocktail of drugs, in attempt to try and lessen the dystonia aliens effects.

Yesterday the alien decided to up its game again. Instead of causing the usual niggles, it decided to cause a painful spasm that twisted my foot inwards and curled my toes up, then it decided to shake violently. The alien decided to do this each time I attempted to walk. In the end I could just about walk on the tips of my toes, however sometimes this set the alien off as well. So I spent the day hopping around, trying to get on with the day as usual and attempting to distract my self. However when I got up to try and walk today, I decided to try and walk normally, hoping that the spasm would not return. But after taking two steps the alien decided to play games, the spasms once again twisted my foot inwards at a bent angle and curled my toes up before shaking violently.

Due to the little dystonia alien also affecting my right arm and hand, I cannot even walk with a crutch, as holding a crutch would set off the spasm in that hand and arm. Therefore I have had to resort to using a wheelchair for getting out and about. Its not a ideal option but for the time being its a realistic one. I went out shopping with my parents to get a few bits today in my wheelchair. At first I was bit anxious, I knew that now more than ever I would be stared at. However once again I found that the stares just reassured me that I could do this, that I didn’t mind. After all, if it was the other way round I would most likely also be just as rude and look.

I feel so thankful for the support and love I get from my family and friends. Without them it would  be a much harder battle with dystonia. With their love, help and support, I am able to get on with daily life and be happy. I know that no matter how hard things get, they will always be there for me. I am so thankful for them!

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