Posted in Archive, January 2021

Disabled Parenting: A Learning Curve

Advertisements

Being a disabled parent is something that three years in I still have not got my head around how to nail. Though does anyone ever nail the toddler years? My children are, at the time of writing, three and 19 months old. Both children are owners of strong, hilarious personalities. Both currently are sound asleep, I know my daughter will wake up in the morning with a rendition of either Baby Shark or Let it go, and my son will wake up just before 6am, delighted that it’s early. I’ll wake up and relocate my knees.

Each day for us is always an unknown to some extent. We try to pace our days by following an activity timetable, which gets switched about at the start of each week. The timetable was introduced not only to help manage with being housebound more due to shielding, but also to encourage subtly paced activities without making it too obvious. The children, know that mummy is disabled and needs to do things differently to daddy, but I do try minimise to some extent how much of that they see.

It is a fine and difficult line to tread. On one hand it is important to me that they understand that everyone is different, some people are disabled and that’s perfectly fine; however my son has a very caring nature, and does worry, so I do try to shield from him some elements that at three he doesn’t need to worry about. For example, right now due to hormones all my joints are loose, this has resulted in multiple subluxes, dislocations, general spasms and fatigue over the day. He’s aware I’m tired today, and slightly sore, but he’s also ‘tickled wrestled’ me, so I know he hasn’t picked up on much.

We made the decision quite a while ago that I would no longer cook with the oven for the family. This was due to a range of issues such as seizure, spasming with a hot pan, or dislocating. My partner does the majority of cooking, and on weeks when he is on late shifts we have carers come in to cook the tea. However I still ‘cook’ I use the phrase very loosely, things using the microwave.Today, was just one of those days that was a dropsy day. Everything I touched seemed to be destined for the floor, which is exactly where the kids porridge ended up after I picked it up to heat it up. My hand spasms were so ridiculous the food had ended up on the floor before I had processed quite what had happened. It reaffirmed to me, that whilst I order the food my place is no longer in the kitchen, and provided the kids with a good few minutes of giggling.

Learning my own hacks to make disabled parenting work for me is something that is a slow learning curve that I am just getting to grips with. For example buying a second seat belt for my wheelchair so I can strap my daughter to me when we go out for a walk. Each day is never the same as we adapt to the needs of my disobedient body and the cheeky duo. The kids never fail to amaze me with how well they cope though. I used to get in a state over the possibility of the fact they had to ‘deal’ with a disabled mum. Whereas now I am so proud of the caring nature the two of them have, along with their inquisitive minds.

Posted in Archive, January 2021

The Test Results Are In

Advertisements

After spending the last several months in and out of hospital, losing the sight in my eye for an extended period of time and only partially regaining it, losing all sensation in my right leg and experiencing sensory issues in my arms I was once again told it looked like I had MS. Yet the examinations didn’t agree. I was left battling for help as different hospitals and departments seemed to find it impossible to communicate with each other. Well the most recent test results are in! We finally have an answer.

If I am honest I had almost given up on a diagnosis other than unknown complex neurology condition with global sensory loss. None of my Drs were communicating with each other, no one could agree with each other and that was resulting in me receiving no treatment. It has been a period of high stress and extreme emotion.

Today I finally had my Emergency Video Consultation  with the local specialist in Neurology; this was requested back in October. Firstly they are agreed it isn’t MS which is great confirmation. What they are sure of is that is another part of my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Apprerently when I’m dislocating my knees the nerves around it are being over stretched and damaged hence the loss in sensation/function. The same thing had happened to my elbows causing the sensation I was getting in my lower arms and hands. This surprised me greatly; mainly as I had in fact asked the doctors this very question when I was on the ward last year and they laughed at me for suggesting it. In regards to my eyes the nerves are not communicating with my brain effectively, but are not damaged like you get in MS.

He’s suggested we get me booked in with my EDS consultant for some advice in the meantime on how to cope with these symptoms as they can last a significant amount of time.

So whilst the EDS is generally on a slippery slope currently and it’s all about managing it, keeping on top of my pain and being proactive, I feel that overall it was a very positive chat.

Posted in Archive, November 2016

Dystonia Alien Rears Its Fearsome Head

Advertisements

Recently after seeing my neurologist a decision was made for me come off of the majority of my medications. It is not a decision that either of us made lightly but there was little choice in the matter. For the last four years, I have been completely reliant on a cocktail of medications and injections to simply make my day to day life manageable. It has taken years to find the right combination of medication and injection frequency, so taking a step away from all of this had been extremely frightening; I had no idea how my body would react or how I would cope. Whilst there was every possibility that in actual fact I would manage perfectly well, I was also painful aware of my medical history, of the years spent with weekly ambulance trips to the resus department. This is not something I ever want to repeat.

At first I was managing fine, the emotional ups and down that come with weaning yourself off of medication was nowhere near as bad as I had expected, and I had managed longer than 6 weeks without botox; which is frankly a miracle. However, over the last two weeks or so I started to worry, I put my symptoms down to an ongoing cold I’ve had for the last month. There was a familiar tugging sensation in my jaw, my eyes were slightly more aggravated than usual, and I was experiencing ‘violent shivers’. Before I was diagnosed in 2012, I always called my arm twitches ‘violent shivers’, it was my way of convincing myself there was nothing wrong. It’s funny how easy it is to fall back into bad habits.

This weekend my jaw has been particularly bad; it was deviating dramatically and starting to tremor. My only medication option was codeine, which left me feeling slightly spaced out but did nothing for the pain I was in. Since then my body has gone dramatically downhill. Last night my jaw spasmed, violent tremors followed, dislocations occurred and then my arm spasms joined in. I had forgotten how much pain all of this can inflict.

last nights dystonic antics

After very little sleep and being no better this morning I arrived at my emergency doctors in the hope they could suggest anything to help. I generally judge how bad I am by the Drs reaction; she was appalled I had ended up in the state I am in and was lost as what to do.  So now on her instructions I am curled up in bed encase I have a seizure, I have emailed my neurologist in the hope he may contact me sooner rather than later, and I’m waiting for her to phone me back with an action plan. She had been debating trying to admit me in to hospital, and as much as I have my concerns with my local hospital due to previous experiences, I cannot help but feel that this is this best place for me as I can no longer eat and I haven’t successful managed a sip of water since early this morning.

apparently I don’t need a working face

Fingers crossed things improve soon.

Posted in Archive, January

Benedict comes out to play!

Advertisements

Today Benedict (the dystonia alien) decided to really wake up and came out to play. I was happily curled up with my youngest sister watching the 8th Harry Potter film, and all of a sudden my index finger on my right hand started to tremor. This gradually progressed to the rest of my fingers and within a few minutes my whole hand was shaking. I laughed it off, not wanting to worry my sister, and carried on watching the film, trying to ignore my hand. It eventually stopped shaking.

For the next few hours it behaved rather well and I relaxed and forgot about it. However when my mum held my hand to help pull me up, later in the evening, it instantly went into spasm and the tremor returned. Again this seemed to last a fair while. Consequently I have decided to put my splint back on my hand and refrain from using it as much as possible until my little Dystonia alien has decided to settle back down.

I am trying to stay positive and not let the issues with my hand and leg get to me. Tomorrow I have my riding for the disabled lesson at my local stable, and I don’t plan on letting my Dystonia alien stop me from getting on the horse!  I know it will make mounting even more difficult and I know my body will be bad afterwards but riding makes it worth it!!!I cannot wait for tomorrows lesson!

 

51.796078-0.655879
Posted in Archive, January

A subtle Reminder

Advertisements

 Today I decided to have a nice long hot bath, as I felt like I had been run over by a truck repeatedly . After managing to bottom bump up the stairs, it was heavenly to be able to relax in the bath. I cannot describe how blissful it was to let my muscles relax in the heat. However it turned out that the relaxation was not to last. Without thinking I poured the shower gel onto my right hand. Immediately my right hand and arm went into a rather painful spasm.

This was rather disappointing, as for the last few weeks my arm and hand have actually behaved rather well (as long as I am not cold), and I had reached a stage where I was not to worried about it if I was indoors. The only reason for my arm and hand going into spasm, which I can think of, is that the coldness of the shower gel on my hand, in comparison to the heat of the bath, set of the Dystonic reaction.

This seemed to then set the tone for the rest of the day. I attempted to get on with the day and relax, however my little Dystonia alien seemed to have other ideas. My leg over the whole day has played up, so I have tried to avoid using it as much as possible. During dinner my arm and hand again went into spasm, after I attempted to pick up my spoon with my right hand. This spasm then went on to last a good 40 or so minutes before relaxing.

However I am trying to think positively as this is the first time in awhile that my right arm and hand have played up. This is a reassuring thought, so I am not panicking to much. Today has reminded me that I cannot take the days when bits of my body behave for granted! I need to value each day of peace, as there is no way of knowing what will happen one day to the next!

 

51.796078-0.655879