When I saw my personal trainer Beckie the other day she pointed out to me that she had trained with me for a year now. Reflecting together on the progress I’ve made in the last year was a real eye opener. I think sometimes I forget just how much I have improved, I allow myself to become absorbed in the pain and the spasms. I focus on fighting constantly against the Dystonia. When I met Beckie I could barely stand for even twenty seconds without my legs spasming, my whole body out of control, I was completely reliant on a wheelchair. Lyme disease was eating away at my life and I was fighting what felt like a losing battle.
I remember the first time Beckie came round; it was a meeting between herself, my mother and I, to discuss what exercises I could do without setting a seizure off. Although our aim has always been to not trigger a spasm, I’ve always made it clear that if I spasm, I don’t mind. Let’s pause, wait for it to pass and then carry on. I’ve carried on with my mind-set that my brain will learn (I understand that this is unlikely but a girl can hope)! When we began it was completely baby steps, learning what my body would cope with and what would cause it to throw a complete fit.
Now, after being on Lyme treatment for a year, and finding a regular Botox regime that works for my Dystonia, I am capable of so much more in our sessions. Some exercises still cause my body to go into spasm, but I apply the same method as I did a year ago, pause, wait and then continue. It works every time. Beckie has helped me strengthen my joints after my body successfully caused a lot of damage to them. I will never forget the look on my physiotherapist face when she first assessed my legs and realized the damage the spasms had done to the ligaments. I’ve gone from not being able to stand for more than twenty seconds to being able to walk. I admit I need knee and ankle splints to be able to do so, and sometimes I need walking sticks, and if I’m having an awful day I rely on my wheelchair. BUT I have made so much progress. I don’t reflect often enough. Looking back on this time last year I cannot believe how far I’ve come. I look forward to the progress I can make in the months to come. Learning to manage these conditions one step at a time.
Friday to yesterday afternoon went fantastically, for once the Dystonia alien decided to take a bit of a break and let me be normal (well as normal as I could be). I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. However last night after dinner, the alien decided it wanted to make itself known. It started with my jaw/facial muscles, being pulled in every direction, which caused absolute agony in my TMJ (the jaw joint). Shortly after the spasms ended, another one started, which was more extreme than the last. Due to the pain the spasms were causing, I ended up having a Non Epileptic Seizure. This annoyed me somewhat, as I had managed eight weeks without one.
Since last night my jaw has stayed in a fixed spasm. It is being pushed to the left, whilst also being stuck slightly open. I cannot even begin to describe the pain that this is causing. Due to this I have had to resort to stronger pain killers. These pain killers are great but they do make me feel like I am away with the fairies. However I would rather feel a bit odd, than be in agony. This spasm has also created other problems, such as I am now unable to eat anything other than soup and yoghurt, due to the way the jaw has spasmed, and I am struggling to drink even through a straw. So now all I can do is wait for my GP to send off a referral for me to see someone about treatment.
There is a positive side to all of this though. I have been trying to lose some weight so I am hoping that by only being able to eat yoghurt and soup, it should help with the weight loss. 🙂 There is a silver lining to all problems.