It’s Brain Awareness Week! Whilst I could whittle on to you about the many theories of how exactly the brain develops Dystonia, I figured I would just link you to The Dystonia Society instead as they have explained it in a far more efficient manner than I ever could. The Basal Ganglia theory aside, come Dystonia awareness week I’ll go into that some more. http://dystonia.org.uk/index.php/about-dystonia/dystonia-and-the-basal-ganglia.
Today I want to talk about my brain. Not brains in general, mine.
We are all unique individuals. A huge part of our individuality is our brains: they control our thoughts, motor process, emotions, impulses and so much more. They are the reason we have moments that leave us feeling like the next Shakespeare, and the reason we wake up some days look at our messages and question where on earth our sanity went the night before. After my diagnosis I loathed my brain with a passion that would make Hades quake in his fiery little boots. I was no longer ‘me’. I had new quirks that in all my nineteen years I had never met. I did not know how to love them, laugh at them, let alone tolerate them. Gritting my teeth and swearing out of my mum’s earshot was the best I could do for a rather a long time. It may not seem like the right attitude to have, but it’s what worked for me. I blamed my brain for why my life, which had been darn great up until that point, was crumbling around me. You could superglue me up as much you like, but there was no way the pieces were going to fit back in the same places.
These crumbled bits made a new jigsaw, and what do you know, four years on I have learnt to love my new quirks, love my brain and love every crazy aspect of my life again. My little alien has added another element to it, I’ll admit I still swear at it on a frequent basis, but I laugh far more than I did before. I am surrounded by positive people and I have barrels full of confidence that were worlds away when this little alien took hold and started to disrupt the signals bouncing around my brain. I’m always going to long to be ‘normal’, but I no longer view Dystonia as the alien that ruined my life. It’s now simply an uninvited house guest who is happy to provide entertainment for all.
Friday to yesterday afternoon went fantastically, for once the Dystonia alien decided to take a bit of a break and let me be normal (well as normal as I could be). I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. However last night after dinner, the alien decided it wanted to make itself known. It started with my jaw/facial muscles, being pulled in every direction, which caused absolute agony in my TMJ (the jaw joint). Shortly after the spasms ended, another one started, which was more extreme than the last. Due to the pain the spasms were causing, I ended up having a Non Epileptic Seizure. This annoyed me somewhat, as I had managed eight weeks without one.
Since last night my jaw has stayed in a fixed spasm. It is being pushed to the left, whilst also being stuck slightly open. I cannot even begin to describe the pain that this is causing. Due to this I have had to resort to stronger pain killers. These pain killers are great but they do make me feel like I am away with the fairies. However I would rather feel a bit odd, than be in agony. This spasm has also created other problems, such as I am now unable to eat anything other than soup and yoghurt, due to the way the jaw has spasmed, and I am struggling to drink even through a straw. So now all I can do is wait for my GP to send off a referral for me to see someone about treatment.
There is a positive side to all of this though. I have been trying to lose some weight so I am hoping that by only being able to eat yoghurt and soup, it should help with the weight loss. 🙂 There is a silver lining to all problems.