A little while ago a lovely woman called Rebecca Sharp who lives in America dyed a section of her blue to raise awareness for Dystonia (her father suffers from the condition). I thought this was a fantastic idea and we got talking. We have managed to make it into an international movement with many people agreeing to take part to raise awareness for Dystonia.
Dystonia Awareness week starts tomorrow (Saturday May 4th) and runs until Sunday 12th May. The idea is that during this week people either dye a section of their hair blue (you can even spray dye it) or clip a blue extension in, to show support for Dystonia and raise awareness. It is really easy to get involved with and a Facebook event page has been set up which you can easily join, and you can share photos of your blue hair in! The page also has links for those who would like to donate to either The Dystonia Society (UK) or the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (USA). Both of these charities do fantastic work for Dystonia sufferers however they are in need of funds.
It’s an easy and fun way to raise funds and awareness and I urge you all to get involved!! Every person who joins in makes a huge difference. So join in with The Go Blue Movement! https://www.facebook.com/events/450399491712134/
On Sunday afternoon my ‘good leg’ spasmed for the first time. I choose to simply ignore this, as I was having lots of spasms and seizures as it was. Other than having the odd spasms in a toe or two yesterday, my leg and foot were fine, and I choose to completely forget about it, as I felt there was no use in getting wound up over something that may or may not cause an issue.
However I woke up this morning to the bottom half of my leg and my foot in spasm. I breathed through the spasm and tried to think of calming thoughts. Once it relaxed I once again pushed it to the back of my mind and tried to go back to sleep. However any chance of having a peaceful day was destroyed when I woke up. My step-dad had been accidentally locked himself out, so I got up to let him in. What would normally be a couple of quick hops on the crutches to the front door, took a painful minute or two. My left leg was spasming badly and I struggled to balance myself and avoid setting off a spasms in right leg.
A similar situation arose later in the day when I got up to go to the other room. I really struggled to move at all. Which sparked a great deal of panic in me. I rung my GP and left a message asking for him to call me back, I knew that he would not be able to offer much advice, however the question he asked in response to my statement about my leg was “are you able to eat?”. I now have an appointment to see him tomorrow morning, I hold little hope for this though due to his earlier comment, after all since when have I used my leg to eat?
I am trying to stay calm and have mediated several times already today, however I have not been able to relax. Part of me is worrying about how I will be able to mount when I go riding on Thursday (I am going to go no matter what and plan on medicating myself to the max) and another part of me is having a break down over the impact that this is going to have.
I have tried standing in different positions over the day and if I stand on the side of my foot then this works to a point. It enables me to hobble around a little bit but I have no idea what else do. My whole body is now completely out of my control and I cannot stand it. I do my best to try to stay positive every day and fight against the spasms, but I am beginning to feel like I have fought one battle too many and they feel like they are never-ending.
However despite all my pessimistic thoughts I refuse to give in, I will keep trying to find new ways to get around the spasms. In the mean time I shall occupy myself with hounding the NHS for some form of treatment as I’m beginning to feel like I am drowning in a sea of untreated symptoms. I do not want to spend my days in bed, I want to be out and about!
Today marks the beginning of yet another battle against my Dystonia alien.
Over the last few days I have gone from thinking from one point of view to another. The reason for this is that on Friday and Sunday night I fell. Both falls set of many hours worth of seizures and spasms. Sunday nights fall was the worst. No one was in the room with me when I fell, and I have little memory of the day itself so we can only guess what happened. However one thing I am sure of is that is I really hit my head when I fell. What I hit my head on we don’t know it could have been the piano, the computer, the box or my bed. I am lucky that I didn’t do myself any real damage. However that fall in particular caused a lot pain, which consequently meant that I spent the majority of Monday unable to feel my right leg as my brain had disconnected from it, which was not an enjoyable experience. On both Friday and Sunday night, I experienced moments where although I was conscious I was unable to communicate properly. I found that I could not form words or get my mouth to move. Sometimes I was lucky and I could wiggle a finger to tell my mum I was conscious. This really freaked me out and got me thinking. The following picture describes best how I have felt on and off over the last few days.
I want to live my life! I am 20 years old and spend most of the day fighting with my body, just to get to the other room to see my family. I leave my house once a week if I am lucky. I am beginning to feel slightly insane. I want to go back to last March, spend my days on placement and my nights clubbing. I want to be able to hop on a bus and go to the pub to see my friends. I don’t like not having control over my life and my body. I feel like I spend my days shut up hiding from anything and everything that might cause a seizure or a spasm. Yet even being shut up does not prevent them. I still end up in agony, struggling to control my body.
However this second image depicts the second line of thought that I have followed over that last few days. I continue to mourn for a life I no longer have, one that I may never retrieve but at the same time I might. I need to stop mourning for the life I knew and embrace the life I am currently leading. However that does not mean the I give up hope for my old life. I shall always hope that I will be able to return to some sort of normality. For the time being I have to focus on the here and now, accept what is and carry on with my life whilst fighting for control.
I need to learn how to balance having some sort of normality whilst also making sure that I do not push my body over the edge. Like everything in life it is simply a learning curve, one that with time I shall eventually master. I need to remind myself often that I have only been suffering for about 8 months, I am still at the beginning of a very long road. I need to have patience and trust that everything I go through will give me the strength to keep on battling everyday, and eventually beat Dystonia. So for now I shall take deep long breaths, stay calm, and keep fighting on.
One day I shall beat my little Dystonia alien once and for all.