2021 has arrived! We rang the new year in a quiet manner, a nice drink, a dislocated thumb and an early night after realising we were out of bandages (and spasms were forcing my thumb to remain out). I hope all of you had a lovely NYE and are healthy and safe at the start of this new year.
So what does 2021 hold in store for me?
As you may know from my facebook page I have set up my own holistic health coaching business which is designed to help people who are disabled/dealing with invisible illnesses. Holistic Health coaching is a partnership that will empower them, pin point problematic areas and find realistic tools to help improve quality of life, improve pain management, mental health wellbeing, and more.
Enabling others to improve their quality of life is a passion of mine. My own struggles in that area, along with fighting for help with mental health, pacing advice and more stuck me as how much holistic health coaches are needed. I know that I could have benefited greatly from one in the beginning. I look forward now to helping others, for anyone interested you can contact me here https://www.facebook.com/DystoniaandMeCoaching/
I haven’t posted anything in almost a month as I have been bursting with such amazing news that I wanted to share around Christmas. As many of you know each year since I got ill in 2012 my goal has been to be able to walk by Christmas. It never mattered to me whether that was with the use of splints, walking sticks etc., as long as I was up and out of my wheelchair and back in control of my legs. Thanks to the private hospital I am under who are treating me for Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease I now know how much of my body is Lyme and how much is Dystonia. I am absolutely thrilled to say that my jaw, neck and my arm twitches/jerk spasms are all of me that is Dystonia; I could cry with happiness just writing that as I am extremely lucky that these three are controlled well by injections and medication.
I’m still having a lot of physiotherapy to help me learn to walk, and due to my EDS type 3 I have to wear a number of splints on my legs to help support my joints. I even have funky pink polka dot walking sticks. I’ve got a lot to learn still as due to my damaged ankle ligaments I fall over a lot, this recently resulted in a dislocated finger and broken tendon. However that is minor in comparison to the joy I feel. The private hospital I am under have decided to prescribe me another 3 months of medication, along with running several new tests, but that’s a separate blog post for the New Year.
My neurologist has been so supportive, when he first met me I was unable to walk and even attempting to stand was rather risky. It is great to be able to go for my injections and see how thrilled he is for me. He is pretty sure that the Chronic Lyme is what caused my Dystonia due to damage it can do to the brain. Although the spasms I am left with are painful, and my Oromandibular Dystonia can cause my jaw to dislocate, my symptoms are much more manageable now than what they were!
On that positive note I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Fantastic New Year! I shall be back to my regular blogging self in the new year.
Todays blog is only a quick one, but I just want to start it by saying I hope you have all had a fabulous Christmas. I have been extremely lucky and spent this Christmas and my 21st Birthday seizure free and with only a handful of spasms! I feel very blessed to have been able to spend both occasions in very little pain, especially as pain is 99% of the time my constant companion.
Over the Christmas period I have felt the best I have in a long time. Between regular Botox injections for my Dystonia, antibiotics for my Chronic Lyme, and all the other meds thrown in, I have managed to reach an incredibly happy place. I have managed to reach a place where I am not scared to chew my food incase my jaw tremors, where I can speak clearly, where I can brush my hair without the brush getting stuck in my hand. I am in such a different place to where I was last year and I am so unbelievably happy.
Thinking back to last year, and then looking forward to the upcoming year I am filled with hope. So much has changed for the better this last year, and I hope it continues in this way. This time last year I had hoped that I would eventually learn to live with this condition, and in the space of a year I have learned to live with it, and tricks to sneak around it (the power of hot water bottles), I have learned that no matter how hideous things may seem it does get better, that I can have a life. I have learnt so much, and I am sure I will learn more. In between kicking my Dystonia Aliens butt I plan on having as much as fun as possible.
Incase I don’t have time to blog again beforehand (I’m fantastically busy at the moment :-D) I wish you all a fantastic New Year full of joy.
When you wake up in the morning, what do you? Do you mentally wrestle with yourself to throw back your warm duvet cover, swing your legs out into the unwelcoming cold, stand up and start your day? This is a simple task. One you do every day without thinking about it.
For me, simple is not an applicable word for this every day task. Most days my mother wakes me up to give me my first cocktail of medications for the day. I stay in bed, at the moment for breakfast, as venturing outside of the safety of my mattress is a dangerous move to make. When I eventually have to get out of bed, it involves me calling for my mum to help. Once I have managed to get to the edge of the bed, my mum takes one arm and my step-dad or sibling will take the other. They support me/attempt to prevent me from falling as I try to walk.
At the moment when my right foot is forced to try and work normally, it fights back hard. Often winning. My toes curl them-selves under, my foot flips over so that the top of it scraps painfully along the floor. And then to put the icing on the cake, it will twist in unnatural painful positions, as it protests violently against my will.
For me, at the present time, getting up and moving is an exhausting task. One that fills me with dread every time I need the loo, or have to move to a different room. Each time I attempt to move around, I try to clear my mind from panic. I tell myself over and over again, that this time it might just be different, I might manage to walk a few steps, like I was doing before Christmas. I fill my head with positive thoughts. However when my foot then starts to contort, it is physically and emotionally draining.
I wish the doctors could see me like this. See me at home, when I am out of my wheelchair. Where a small glitch in my brain makes me vulnerable in my own environment. Where I struggle to walk one step, where my family catches me when I collapse, where my family protect me from my surroundings when the pain causes me to have a Seizure. Where they could see that I need help now and not in a years time!
However I must remain positive, I must focus on the fact that before Christmas, I was slowly making progress, and learning to walk again. The fact I started to walk, reassure’s me that I will again. Until then I just have to suck it up and deal with it. I must be pro-active. So I shall blog , I shall write letters, and I shall make the doctors and the politicians listen. I shall make them understand just how life changing and debilitating Dystonia is and I shall make them take action! I shall not remain silent!
At this very moment in time, I feel like my body spent the whole of last night trying to get back at me for writing a positive post yesterday. I had spent the whole of yesterday feeling rather odd, like half my brain was missing and the other half was covered in fog. By the evening my jaw was really playing up, with my dystonia pulling each side of my face in opposite directions, which was agony, this of course then led on to hours of Non Epileptic Seizures. Consequently I have woken up this morning feeling like my body has been run over by a bulldozer and my head been repeatedly hit by a hammer. However on the bright side of things, today my jaw Dystonia is a lot better than yesterday.
I have decided that today I shall completely avoid solid food and only consume softer food such as soup or yoghurt, in an attempt to try and prevent my Jaw from playing up so much, as I really want to be able to enjoy tonight’s New Years Party.
Tomorrow I plan on writing a letter to my consultant, to ask for a date for him to administer my injections and to ask for a plan to be put in place for future injections to be administered. I am hopeful that I shall not have to wait to much longer for these injections, considering he was meant to do them several weeks ago, but failed to give us a date.
I am hoping that the New Year shall be filled with positivity and improvement.
With the exception of the last few days, the last few weeks my body (apart from my jaw) has not been too bad. Which has been a very nice break for me, but has also lulled me into a false sense of security. When my foot went into spasm the other evening I was rather shocked. That day my whole leg had felt odd, like someone was trying to pull it out of its socket. I found myself to be rather upset by the spasm. Part of me had hoped that I would have a miracle recovery and I would return to uni in September without a worry. Now I know this whole miracle recovery idea was a bit silly, after all Dystonia is not known for being predictable, it does what it wants, when it wants, how it wants, for as long as it wants. However there is still hope for Uni, I have ten months to somehow get better/get my dystonia under control in, so I am remaining hopeful. I have thrown myself into studying/revision, as I think that it is the only thing keeping me sane at the moment.
Last Sunday, my consultant finally replied to our email stating that he would administer Botox injections into my jaw for me, and that he would do that next week. This created some confusion about when he would do it. However a whole week has passed since we heard from him, so that rules out that week. So it shall be interesting to see whether he contacts us to do the injections this week or if we shall have to chase him some more.
In January I am going to meet my local MP, to discuss with him the many pitfalls of the NHS. I have composed a long list of points, that I wish to discuss, over the last few months. I am looking forward to how he shall respond to my questions or if he shall try defend the system.
I am looking forward to celebrating Christmas and my 20th with my family. I am praying that it shall be a happy occasion with no Dystonic movements and be Seizure free.
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Fantastic New Year!!
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