Late Tuesday afternoon whilst curled up on the sofa nattering away to my partner my jaw dislocated. It wasn’t a surprise. It had felt off all day, with pain radiating around the area, and visibly subluxing often so I had stuck to soft foods all day. Being me though I hadn’t considered that talking a bit less might help. I rather excel at talking. It’s quite unusual for me to not to be able to relocate my own jaw but I decided that I’d try and sleep on it and if it was still bad in the morning I’d get checked over. I can almost hear you shaking your head at me, in hindsight I agree that was a silly decision.
So yesterday morning I took myself off to the Walk-In centre where after a quick (and right) lecture on dislocated jaws being an emergency I was whisked off to my local hospital. It was my first time visiting the A&E up here since I’ve moved and I was a tad nervous. But the staff were wonderful. They were rushed off their feet, but they were so kind, it was a breath of fresh air in comparison to what I am used to.
X-rays confirmed that the right side of my jaw was fully dislocated. After using a rather unbelievable amount of tongue depressors failed to relocate it, it was decided to take me round to the resus unit where I could be sedated and they could try and manually relocate it for me. They were so full of confidence, to the point I too was full of confidence, I happily offered them my arm whilst they pushed the sedative through, I can remember giggling as it kicked in…and then I can just remember the pressure as they tried to manipulate it. Two different doctors tried three times. I screamed. My jaw failed to relocate. They were lovely though. At this point the decision was made to phone for an ambulance to take me to a different hospital to see the specialists there.
Sedated post failed relocation attempt
When the consultant walked through the door I could have broken down; and to be fair I did about five minutes later. I’d seen him previously about 7 years ago and the visit burns in the back of my mind as a prime example as exactly what a doctor shouldn’t be. Upon entering the room this Dr recognised me instantly. He doesn’t believe in Dystonia. He ignored the fact I have EDS and suffer with frequent jaw dislocations. Whilst I am thankful he relocated my jaw, I cannot express how belittled, put down and worthless he made me feel. Upon leaving the hospital he advised that I start on a liquid diet but gave no further advice on time frame or inteventions in the meantime.
Out of frustration with feeling like I just didn’t know what to do to help myself this morning I went to see my GP, I am lucky to have a wonderful one up here. He was quiet astonished that I had been discharged from the hospital last night as you can see my jaw subluxing still and with my history its only a matter of hours/days until it fully dislocates again. So I’ve been referred to the oral surgeon and on strict orders to maintain a liquid diet until then. Dystonia and EDS are two conditions that really work against each other so here’s hoping there’s a not too drastic treatment plan in the future.
Mental Health awareness day was last week and I wanted to write this blog post then but honestly it was too hard. My mental health right now is not great. I’m by no means awful but it’s not where I’d like it to be. It’s been an accumulation of being chronically ill for numerous years and stressful life events adding on top of that.
A major part of the problem right now is my medication. One of the many side effects that many of my medications can cause is anxiety and depression. Whilst I wouldn’t class myself as depressed, I am aware that my anxiety and amount of pain attacks have increased recently and I’m defiantly on the weepy side. However life events haven’t helped either, Just last week I went to collect my little boys prescription from the chemist and found myself being motioned to sit silently on the floor with him due to a lady with a knife ransacking the place; this understandably has made me anxious about leaving the flat on my own, even though I know that I am being irrational as I know that the chances of being in that situation again are very small.
Yesterday I attended the emergency eye clinic at my local hospital and was informed that I have my fourth bout of optic neuritis is a year and a half. Due to this and some more symptoms they have made the decision to refer me to a specialist neuro and carry out testing again for multiple sclerosis; another spanner in the works.
Between my physical & mental health plus the stress of uni work, I feel like I need to let myself have a good cry, pick myself up and carry on except there isn’t time to cry. Don’t get me wrong I love my life but I’m finding it hard to know what to do to help myself. I force myself to do what scares me like leave the flat but it’s draining working up the courage to do so. I would talk to the doctor about it but I daren’t risk it as I know they will stop my painkillers if they start worrying about depression which I need for my seizures. I have ordered myself a mindful mediation manual and CD and hoping that a holistic attitude will help.
I saw this photo/quote, and felt like I should share it with you all.
I, personally, find its words to ring true. As much as we wish life was perfect, nobody’s life is. Everyone has their own struggles in life, be it financial, domestic, illness, loss etc. At some point in life we will ask ourselves, why me?! Why am I having to go through this, I can’t deal with it! If you have not asked yourself this yet, then I am sorry to inform you that eventually you will. However when it comes to that point in time, when you are asking why me? That is when you must remember that if you were not strong enough to deal with it, then you would not be going through it. The experience may make you feel like it will never get better, and that is the moment you must remember that it will get better and that whatever you have had to struggle through, will make you a better and even stronger person at the end of it.
I have asked myself, why me, so many times recently. The question normally arises when I am going through a particularly bad spasm or am in a lot of pain. However, each time the pain stops and I relax, I can think more clearly, and I know that I would much rather go through this than see a member of my family, or anyone else go through it. I know that I am strong enough to deal with it and that’s why it is me who has Dystonia.
It is up to us to make the best out of a bad situation. For me, I have decided that instead of curling up in a ball and letting myself become a ‘sufferer’, I shall instead be an advocate for the condition. I shall try my best to make a difference! You never know, I might!
So if you ever are thinking, Why me?! Remember the above quote and know that if you were not strong enough for this life, you would not have been given it!
This evening I went to a group that my GP signed me up for. It is designed for people with chronic pain symptoms, to help give them coping mechanisms that they can learn to use in daily life. The group is also for research so we were asked to answer questions, and give them our life and medical history, so that they can compare the results the group gets at the end of the 12 sessions to the answers provided at the beginning.
At the start, I must admit I was a bit dubious about the group, the leader seemed a bit mad, and everyone there was a fair bit older than me. I was also concerned with how much I would be able to take part in, as I am in wheelchair. However by the end of tonight’s session my concerns were long gone. I had managed to take part in everything, when they did walking activities, I copied their upper body movements, and swayed about in the chair. The other people their were lovely and I have a good giggle with them all. We also focused on our posture and did breathing exercises which I found to be very relaxing. The two hours flew by, and I cannot wait for the next session!
Today has been a rather positive day. After six hours of calling, I finally managed to get hold of my Consultants Secretary, who has promised to chase him, and have him contact me ASAP, I am hopeful that he will, but I shall just have to wait and see. I have had no Non Epileptic Seizures at all today which is fantastic and my head and body are feeling much better.
My local Riding for the Disabled stable phoned me today, and as long as my Non Epileptic Seizures stay calm, then I shall hopefully have my first RDA lesson next week! I am rather excited!