As I have mentioned previously following a discussion with my neurologist I tried a couple of different medications to see if we could get a better handle on my spasms. In particular the spasms around my jaw as these cause me significant issues with pain, dislocations, and make it next to impossible some days to relocate my jaw; I’ve had the joy previously of coming round from an operation to have my jaw relocated under GA, only to dislocate when I wake up due to spasms, and have my surgeon coming running over to put it back in and bandage my jaw up. Not a pleasant experience.
Trihexyphenidyl is the medication we have added into my daily regime and it has made a huge difference. Little things like I can brush my teeth now with an adult sized toothbrush rather than a children’s one are possible, and instead of dislocating my jaw by brushing my teeth, my jaw is just in a small spasm and achy. My son commented the other day on the fact that my face isn’t wonky all the time and asked if my Jaw Dr had fixed my jaw. We had a quick chat about mummy’s silly brain and moved on, but for me that showed just how amazing this medicine has been.
I saw my neurologist the other week and he has suggested increasing the dosage further as I am currently not experiencing any side effects. I’m waiting to receive a copy of his letter to my gp explaining that I have the go ahead to do this at my own pace, so we can see just what improvements we can get.
Right now, thanks to lovely female hormones, I’m sitting here feeling quite sore all over as my body goes downhill each month due to the fluctuating hormonal changes. I’ve had several subluxes today in shoulder which have in turn aggravated neck spasms. Normally I’d be quite grumpy about all of this, and yes I’m not exactly thrilled, but having the Dystonia side of things more controlled doesn’t half make coping with the EDS etc, easier. Everything just feels that little bit more manageable right now, and that’s fantastic.
I had really debated whether or not I would post this blog. As you will know over the last 7 years I have strived to share the ups and downs of my journey with you all in a brutally honest fashion. However what I am experiencing right now is something I am finding to be increadibly difficult to deal with and awfully humiliating at times. However as I have found in the past that ripping the metaphorical band aid off and sharing bluntly with you all to be rather helpful I figured I may as well start at the beginning.
I shall try to keep it brief. About three weeks ago after several days struggling with a dislocated jaw and severe spasms to the point I couldnt eat or drink I collapsed in the kitchen. The resulting head injury leading to an ambulance needing to be phoned. Several seizures later I was whisked off to resus. I dont remember much of the first four or so days in the hospital. Luckily despite being severly ill I had the sense to keep notes of my concerns, for example being denied antisickness and painkillers following several hours of vomitting and seizures.
For some unknown reason that was never communicated to me all of my medications were stopped the whole time I was in the hospital which led to uncontrolled seizures, spasms and pain. My kidneys were found to be damaged, there are changes to my spine and in my brain matter, I have been diagnosed with epilepsy. Twice whilst I was in there I had an NG tube placed and failed. Unfortunately the second time round it took the drs 6 hours to view the xray showing it misplaced. In this time I was quite distressed due to the fact I was violently vomitting blood due to a tear from the ng in the lower eosphaoghes for the better part of the 6 hours all with a dislocated jaw. A rather agonizing experience.
Throughout my 6 days in hospital I was on IV fluids 24 7 due to the fact I currently am having extreme difficulty swallowing and can go days at a time unable to do so. At the point of discharge I had managed a few sips in a 3 hour period and was discharged with no plan of action. Its been a hurrondous time since then with me only getting worse. However I am now also completely bowl incontinent which has left me terrified to leave the house. But being the mum of a 2year old means fear cant win.
Hopefully I’ll have a more optimistic update soon.
Since my latest flare up began I’ve been taking extra care to make sure I acknowledge my accomplishments no matter how small each day and attempting to redefine my pacing parameters. This is a key tool for me to keep in mind at all time. Mainly as it enures I acknowledge my further limitations during a flare up and act accordingly, but also as it keeps me focused on the positives and prevents me getting tuck in a emotional rut which often occurs in flare ups.
I had a wonderful opportunity as part of my publishing internship yesterday to direct and film an interview with an author signed to the publishing house. It was a fantastic experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. However like all things it required spoons, and far more than I had anticipated. Despite my lack of spoon saving preparation I got through the day relatively intact and the repercussions didn’t kick in until today.
This is where I feel like I’ve made leaps and bounds in handling life with chronic illnesses. I didn’t attempt to struggle through the pain today, or go to the other extreme and do nothing (although sometimes this is needed); instead I decided we would go about our day as planned but I would use my wheelchair the whole time, with baby snug in his sling against me, and Dame pushing me rather than me risking dislocating a joint or three by self propelling.
We only nipped out for a short while as avoiding over stimulation is key on days when I feel my health is on a downward kilter. So a relaxing jaunt to the local coffee house and then onto Waitrose was our plan. I was quite overjoyed to find a wheelchair friendly trolley. A rare treat, that has quiet made my day.
Last night my little Dystonia alien decided to play a rather amusing game with my tongue. Now he has done similar things with it before e.g the spasm causing it to poke out or to wriggle when I try to talk. However before these spasms have only lasted for minutes. Last nights tongue spasm lasted for around 45 minutes.
My tongue felt as if it had folded itself under in half. It was not painful, but it was an extremely odd sensation. I then made the mistake of trying to talk. My words came out slurred and the majority of them were impossible for my mother to understand. However I am a complete chatterbox, I love to talk! So my mother and I sat there for a while with me trying to talk and my mum having no understanding at all of what I was trying to say.
This spasm did however provide lots of laughter. My mum and I, were doubled up in fits of laughter at it. As soon as we calmed down I would try to talk to see if my tongue was behaving yet, and we would end up shaking with laughter again. It was brilliant. As much as I would hate this spasm to keep getting more frequent and longer, I must admit it was a funny evening. In a way it provided us with a much-needed up lifting period of time.
Though I do feel sorry for my mum, for once my tongue spasm had ceased, I decided to tell her exactly what I had tried to say to her for 45 minutes which was nowhere near as funny as me telling her when my tongue was in spasm. Anyone who did not know what was going on most likely thought I was a drunken lunatic.
As much as I dislike having Dystonia, I am glad last nights tongue spasms happened, as it reminded me that even at times when I am not in control, I can still laugh and have a good time.
I have never been a flexible person. The only part of my body that is flexible is my arms and wrists. However last night the little dystonia alien decided to show me just what it could make my body do. For a few hours before my dinner, my leg had been playing up a bit, my foot was bent and was dragging behind me. However during dinner it seemed to calm down and I relaxed. When I tried to get up from the table and hop to the living room, with my mum helping me, the dystonia alien decided to wake up. Before I could brace myself, my leg went into a spasm, sliding itself backwards. My stepbrother fetched a chair for me to sit on, so that I didn’t fall down. Yet my leg kept going backwards. Within minutes I had no choice, I had to either try to slide myself off the chair and onto the floor or have the spasm cause me to fall onto the floor. By the time I was on the floor, I was literally doing the splits. Despite being in agony, I had to laugh, I am not flexible, yet here I was on the floor in spasm doing the splits.
Eventually the spasm eased off and with the help of my Grandmother and my Mum, I got up off the dining room floor, and tried to hobble through to the living room. However the dystonia alien had not finished playing games. My right leg and foot shot behind my left leg. To those around me, it must have looked like I was curtsying. Yet again I ended up on the dining room, the spasm had pulled my leg as far as it could go. Again I ended up laughing. I am not sure whether I laughed because of the situation or if I laughed in exasperation, perhaps it was a bit of both. It took a fair length of time for the spasm to ease off.
I still cannot get over how far my dystonia pulled my leg and foot last night! The spasms in my leg and foot have always been pretty extreme and odd to look at, but last night was ridiculous. I now wish I had gotten someone to take a picture/video the spasm so I could show the specialist, I shall remember to ask someone to do so next time. Despite last nights spasms being so extreme, I feel rather positive today! I surprised myself at how well I coped with the pain of the spasms last night, especially with them being so extreme. I feel that with each spasm the dystonia alien throws at me, I gain more confidence, as I know that I can deal with my spasms fairly well.
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