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

Posts tagged ‘joy’

Life through my eyes.

When someone gets diagnosed with a condition that it is going to make an impact in some way, it is then that people show their true colours. I am sure many of you are aware of this or have even experienced it. For me it happened gradually, some people quickly disappeared out of my life, some stuck themselves firmly to me, and others decided to bow out later on into it. Although losing people you were close to is a painful thing, it also shows you the people who truly care about you.

Since being diagnosed with Dystonia I have met the most amazing people, with such beautiful souls. To them they don’t see the wheelchair and its occupier, they see a girl whose personality counts more than her physical capabilities.  For example, the incredible volunteers at my local riding school, who are part of the Riding for the Disabled Association. They are such vibrant beings, who managed to get me on a horse, despite all odds. There are no words to describe how much I love these volunteers, how much joy they bring into my life. Then there are my uni friends. They are such loving people. Despite the fact I moved back home, they are always there for me when I need them. They have rushed me to hospital at 2am, and joined me at many hospital appointments and a&e visits. Then there are the amazing people I know/have met through day-to-day life, who are caring and inspiring individuals.

My family has been amazing. They have coped with the spasms, the hysterics, the seizures, the pain, the hospital visits, the hospital admittances, the day-to-day challenges that Dystonia brings. It is their ongoing love for me that helps me through each and every day, that inspires me to keep fighting for control of my body.

At this time all the people above and so many more that have stayed close to me, have been a fantastic fountain of support. They help me through hard times in my personal life and with Dystonia. They show me the light, on days when I feel like hope is gone…and then they hand me some chocolate buttons.

Life is tough for everyone, in different ways for whatever reason. We are challenged by different issues. Some may seem big or small to others but you can never judge how a challenge is affecting someone without experiencing it yourself in their shoes. I can only hope that everyone has a support network like mine. As you never know just when you will need it.

Today has been a good one, full of much-needed distractions. I went riding and despite falling out the front door on the way there – I am ridiculously clumsy – I still managed to do rising trot without setting off a spasm. I am so lucky to be surround be such fantastic volunteers when I am up there, and I ride an incredibly patient horse who I completely and utterly adore! I also attended my pain support/research group. It is a fantastic group which does me the world of good. I can be so open and honest as everyone there can understand to a good degree what I am going through, yet I can also laugh with them at the same time.

Life is too short to be defeated by inconvenient challenges. Just because my brain has decided it does not want to work, does not mean I should hold my hands in the air and admit defeat. If anything it should fill me with determination to show my Dystonia alien just what I can do. My life goals may have to change because of it, but by no means should they get any smaller, if anything I should aim higher. You never know you may one day see me at the Paralympics, or I may be a best-selling author. Who knows what could happen! Who knows what life has planned for us! Embrace whatever style of life you have! Mould it to suit you, push you boundaries and never give up.

I think the picture below sums up my thoughts perfectly.

My first RDA Lesson

There are no words to describe just how over-joyed I was yesterday. It was a day of sheer bliss!  Yesterday I had my first R.D.A (Riding for the disabled association) lesson. It had been 5 years since I had last ridden (when I was able-bodied), and I was desperate to get back on a horse! I must say that the volunteers who run the group are amazing! They are such caring, upbeat people and it is such a vibrant environment! You could not ask for a more helpful or nicer bunch of people.

As I am in a wheelchair, the volunteers had to be slightly inventive, as I could not mount a horse in the typical way. Instead, once I was on the mounting block, two of the volunteers lifted me by my knees, up on to the horse, so that I was sitting side-saddle. I then had to swing my Dystonic leg over the horse’s neck, so that I was sitting correctly. I was thrilled that I had managed to get on!!!! As I knew there was a very good chance that I may not be able to.

I then had 3 volunteers stay by my side throughout the lesson. So that if for some reason my dystonia played up or if I had a seizure, they would be able to keep me from hurting myself. I was expecting to only be allowed to walk in my first lesson, especially as we did not know how my leg would react. However I was in heaven, when I heard the instructor call my name and tell me to go for a trot!!!!! At first the trots were short, so that we could establish my strength, however throughout the lesson they got longer and longer. I could have cried with happiness. I have loved horses all my life, and started riding at the age of 5. Ten years later I had to stop due to injury. So you can imagine my joy at being able  to get on a horse again and then being able to do more that I expected!

I managed to do the entire lesson, which was incredible!!! To dismount from the horse, things had to get inventive again, as I was unable to do this in the typical manner. Instead I swung my leg over the horse’s neck again and sat side-saddle. Then with my arms wrapped round the volunteers, I let myself slowly slide down the horse to the ground. It was an amazing day! One that I will not ever forget. I cannot wait to go back next week for my next R.D.A lesson!

This is a picture of me riding Connie, just getting ready to dismount at the end of a fantastic lesson!

I also attended my support/research group last night. I really do love this group. It does a slight bit of meditation, free movement, discussion etc. To an onlooker, it would most likely look that we are all slightly crazy, however everything we do, I find leaves me feeling relaxed and peaceful by the end of the session. It was a perfect end to a rather heavenly day!

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