Every day I have plenty of spasms. Some are short and not to bad, others last hours and cause agony, and some simply make me laugh due to the positions I find myself in, for example I once ended up doing the splits! Thankfully the muscle relaxant that my GP put me on has helped and has slightly reduced the frequency and intensity of these spasms.
Earlier this afternoon my whole body decided to spasm, it was slightly painful and was not the most comfortable position to be in, but despite that I managed to laugh through it with my mum. Knowing that the spasm would eventually release was a big comfort and made it more bearable. I have included some pictures of the spasm below, in them you can see that my eyes, neck, arms, stomach and leg are all in spasm.
In today’s culture people often seem to want to focus on what we cannot do rather than celebrate what we are able to do. Even the term Disabled focuses on it. I don’t like being labelled but if I have to be then I would rather be termed as Differently Able, as I am capable of doing the same things as any body else, it might just take me longer, I may even do it slightly differently but at the end of the day I can still do it!
One of my symptoms causes me to go blind. My eyes go into spasm and my eyeballs roll upwards in their sockets. Being blind on and off has taught me to appreciate the beauty that surrounds me in daily life. I previously took my sight for granted, the day I went blind for the first time terrified me, I was having a big panic that I would not be able to read again. Now when I am able to read I appreciate the ability more than ever before. Control of our bodies and good health is such a precious but fragile gift that people tend to abuse. We need to open our eyes to the world and learn to appreciate what we have. Society needs to understand the gifts that senses such as sight brings us and learn to focus on the positive side of things.
I could easily allow myself to drown in a pool of negativity but by focusing on the little things in life like being able to see, and by pushing myself to achieve what ever I set my mind to, I am able lead a positive life. I have my moments of being down, just like everyone does but I wont ever let having Dystonia beat me.
My Dystonia alien seems to have come up with yet another inventive spasm for me. Now my head and neck rather violently jerk to the left whilst my mouth opens and closes making a sort of popping noise. It’s rather painful and leaves me feeling like I have pulled the majority of the muscles involved. The spasm happens all day, sometimes l go a few hours without it and then it will start all over again, I have noticed that when I get tired in the evening this spasm happens far more often.
My mum emailed my consultant for me last night, updating him and asking him if they were any closer to knowing when I would be admitted for a week. However it normally takes a fair period of time for him to get back to us, so I am not expecting to hear from him any time soon. I spoke to my GP this morning, asking him if there was anything he could suggest I do as I am in a fair amount of pain and getting to sleep and staying asleep is becoming almost impossible. At first he tried to persuade me to try the Clonzepam again, but as it turned me psychotic the last time and had me wanting to cut my hair off I told him I would not go back on it. So he has decided that I am to up my Tramadol, which is a pain blocker, to two pills in the morning and one pill in the evening until the pain side of things settles down, then I shall go down to one pill in the morning and one pill in the evening. I am also to go back on to a medication called Baclofen which is a muscle relaxant. I had been on this previously but my consultant took me off it as at the time it was not helping me, it made me forgetful and I was on a very high dose. My GPs thinking is that because so much more of me is affected by the Dystonia than previously the Baclofen may help, if it does help then I am to increase the dose.
I am really hoping all the medication does help, I feel like I have fought against Dystonia for a fair while now without a lot of help from the medical society, and a bit of help in this endless battle would be greatly appreciated. I have not been able to get to sleep easily lately and I am waking up often in the night due to spasms. Lack of sleep is beginning to add up and being rather tired in the day makes fighting against my Dystonia alien that little bit harder.
I am a big believer that when you suffer from any sort of illness you should always explore alternative therapies to see if you can get any relief from them as taking lots of pills (like I currently am) is not good for you. When I was little I suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and had reflexology for a period of time to help. It certainly relaxed me and I always had a great nights sleep afterwards. With that memory in mind I have found a reflexologist who comes to your house and is not too expensive. I have no idea if it will help me at all but my theory is this, when you have Dystonia you are advised to avoid stress and to try to stay relaxed, therefore having reflexology done, which is a relaxing/calming experience, should provide some sort of help, even if it is just having a great nights sleep afterwards. I am having my first session next Monday and I am really looking forward to it.
I am hoping that with a combination of medication and reflexology I should be able to feel ‘better’ in myself and have more energy to fight Dystonia with!
After a week of being in pain, I am feeling a lot better! On Friday one of the GPs at my Doctors surgery prescribed me a muscle relaxant to help with the spasms in my back, it has worked wonders! The spasm has gone, my body is no longer twisting and I can finally move around without being in pain! I am going to my see GP on Monday to discuss whether we keep this particular medication for emergency situations or if there a different muscle relaxant that he feels would be more beneficial.
Last night I gave myself a rather pleasant shock. I had gotten out of bed to do something, and I walked the two footsteps there!! My body did not react to it at all! You can imagine my joy, as I have not been able to do this since January 1st!!! Not wanting to push my luck I quickly hopped back into bed, trying to work out if I had done anything differently or if it was just pot luck. I am so happy, and I am hoping that my body will continue to progress like this.
It is such a relief for my body to finally be doing something ‘normal’ without over reacting. Now I know that I may not be able to do this again, it may have been complete fluke, but on the other hand it could just keep improving. All I can do is hope that this a good sign. Hopefully when I receive my leg/foot splint that the Surgical Orthotic department are making for me, this should help me progress with walking even more! I just have to accept each day as it comes, it’s all about taking baby steps, as there is no use trying to run before I can walk.
No matter how dark may life may seem, there is always a candle of hope flickering somewhere, you just have to look for it!
I paid a visit to my doctor today, as my Dystonic leg is still really bad, and the extreme tremor has been going on for 11 days now. I was hoping he would be able to prescribe me some sort of muscle relaxant to try to take the edge of it. I also wanted to discuss with him about being referred to an Orthotic department, to talk about getting some sort of splint or brace for my leg, as I have talked to and read about people who have tried this and good results.
My doctor was not to sure what to do about the tremor in my right leg, and said that hopefully it was just one of those things that comes and then goes. I am really hoping that he is right as I find this extreme tremor very difficult to handle. It has really restricted how much I can do, for example in the day when I am on my own, I literally have to spend the day in bed, as I need people to help me hop around. I have decided that if by this time next week it is still bad then I shall go back to my Doctor and ask for him to prescribe me a muscle relaxant just so we can see if it works.
He seemed rather interested in my suggestion to try a brace or splint, and has said that he will write a letter to the surgical Orthotic team at my local hospital, and we will go from there. This was very positive, as I had expected him to say it would be best to discuss it with my consultant first and let my consultant handle it.
Overall it was a very positive appointment. Considering my Doctor knows extremely little about Dystonia, he really does try his best to help me the best he can. I hope that in the nicest way possible that I won’t have to see him next week. Just going to have keep my fingers crossed and hope that my right leg calms itself down.