Oromandibular Dystonia was one of my first symptoms that I suffered from before the Dystonia became generalised in 2012. Working on a trial and error basis with my Neurologist at the time we tested which Botox routine would best work for me, as it was clear 12 weeks was too long a stretch. Eventually we found the magic number, 6. Since then I have had my injections every six weeks and it has only been on the rare occasion that I have had to deal with my jaw spasming.
Jaw spasms. Two little words, yet they strike so much fear in me. The small spasms at best are uncomfortable, the extreme ones dislocate my jaw and cause seizures. My little alien loves causing spasms that leave me crying, clutching at my face as it contorts. In all honesty I couldn’t tell you why I grab my face. It’s an automatic response, as if a small part of me believes that if I clutch hard enough or push in the right direction, the pain might all go away. A child’s belief really, but one I find myself immersed in every time.
You would think that after almost three years of Benedict pulling my body this way and that, that I would no longer feel embarrassed by the teething tummy I resort to using to help prevent my upper teeth digging into my gums during a spasm, that I would no longer feel humiliated by the fact that I have no control over the majority of my body. I deal with the embarrassment better than I used to. I now force myself to carry on with my life and go out when I’m spasming, whereas previously I’d have shut myself away.
I spent Sunday with my boyfriend, it was the first time he had seen my facial spasms. He was great, and helped me medicate myself. At first I dealt with it fine, but eventually as the day wore on and I got tired, the spasms got worse until I resorted to using the teething dummy. I’ve only met his family a few times, so my embarrassment levels sky rocketed at this point. It’s not how I want them to see me, though I know that for them to be aware of my condition is a positive. What 22year old wants her boyfriend’s mum to see her with a dummy?! These are all qualms I need to get over, and with time I shall do.
I have sent my old neurologist an email informing him of my rather disappointing appointment with my new neuro. I am hoping that he will be able to speak to my current neurologist, so that he will agree to do six weekly injections. It may be a long shot, but it’s getting hard to hold my head up as well now. My next round of injections is not until the 12 August, so until then my dummy and TENS machine are my best bet.
A few days ago my jaw tremor returned, it is an on/off tremor at the moment and the more I use my jaw the more it tremors. I am using a baby teething dummy to protect my teeth and tongue, however the pain it triggers when the tremor causes my bottom teeth to bang against the tooth it has loosened on my upper row of teeth or my tongue often triggers off a seizure.
As you can see from the video, it is not to extreme yet, so the Botox must still have some sort of hold over it, but not much. I cannot wait for Tuesday when I see my neurologist for more injections.
Today my jaw tremor has returned, I’m not too pleased about this as it is earlier than I expected it to be, however I am having my Botox injections next Tuesday so it’s only one week of putting up with it. I do look rather silly as I have a baby teething dummy in my mouth to protect my teeth so that the tremor does not loosen any more of them.
I have had weekly reflexology sessions for a few months now and I cannot get over just how much of a positive effect it has on my body. My feet like to spasm in the evening and the pain in my knee and hip joints get bad, this normally means I will be lucky to get more than four hours sleep. However with reflexology I have found that I get between three and four fantastic nights of sleep, which makes a big positive impact on my energy levels during the day which enables me to handle my spasms better.
I tend to have my reflexology sessions on a monday afternoon. The night before the session my sleep is almost non-existent, I’ll spend the night strapped up to my TENS Machine, doing my meditation breathing exercises etc in an attempt to get to sleep. I have even started using rescue remedy night drops which have helped a bit. To go from almost no sleep to the next night sleeping dead to the world is the most amazing experience. If I could afford to have reflexology several times a week I would not think twice about doing so.
I rely on medication to try to suppress and manage my Dystonia. Whilst these medications are essential I would much rather not take them as it’s not good for your kidneys and your liver to be constantly bombarded with them. Therefore having an alternative to help me sleep and deal with my symptoms is such a giant relief as I was very reluctant to go back on to my sleeping medications. When you have Dystonia you are told to try to avoid stress as it can exacerbate your symptoms, now obviously it’s near impossible to lead a stress free life as Dystonia itself is rather stressful. Reflexology is so far my biggest stress reliever, I honestly do not know how I would cope without it.
I saw this quote earlier and fell in love with it, I find it rings very true.