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Well folks, my face is still twitching away. However, thankfully we seem to have tracked the problem down. First my physical therapist drew attention to my nervous system, then my local MD traced it to an adverse medication reaction which was the root cause of the nervous system being in the state it’s in, and then finally an emergency phone consult with my LLMD who (I’m grateful) agreed with the theories and decided on a plan of action. I love it when my practioners all work together. This sense of synergy really benefits the patient!
So this week I’m working on getting these symptoms calmed down. I really couldn’t continue to function in the state I was/am in; it’s just too much. I felt that I was continuously holding back the floodgates. Any time I relax my muscles, especially those in my face, the spasms start. Every. Single. Time. I’m so tense right now it’s ridiculous.
When my muscles start going it starts in my eyes. They begin to flutter. Then my right eyebrow and surrounding muscles start. It moves next to my right eye, then down to my lips. Usually last to hit is my nose. It twitches back and forth and every time it does all I can think of is Bewitched!
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if I could make some magic happen in this scenario?
I’ve always wanted to be able to twitch my nose like Samantha and clean up a mess, or find a lost object. Maybe I’d magically fill my pill containers or change the flavor of my Mepron. The list of things a girl with Lyme could do if she could “twitch” her nose with magic is endless!
The mind boggles.
I could make the battery on my kindle last longer, bring something I’d forgotten in another room right to my lap, turn off the lights off when they trigger my headaches, make my favorite movie play on tv, have the dishes clean themselves, or simply just twitch up a cup of tea when I’m feeling like a cuppa.
Endless, the list is endless I tell you!
What would you do if you could magically “twitch” your nose Samantha style?
My mom and I were discussing this in the car today. Suddenly we realized… if I could “twitch”, then I could call up Dr. Bombay!
Remember how to do it? A witch simply had to call out:
“Calling Dr. Bombay! Calling Dr. Bombay, Emergency! Come right away!”
And magically Dr. Bombay would appear in a cloud of smoke right then and there. He’d be dressed in an outrageous outfit and be understandably miffed from being dragged away from whatever it was he had been doing at the time – usually his nurse.
But then he’d pull out the professional stoppers and get right down to business. The quicker the better, so he could get back to that nurse.
He’d listen to the problem and pull out some magical, mysterious witchdoctor examination tool. Wasn’t there a keyboard he played that did something?
Before long he’d know exactly what the problem was and how to fix it! I think my chances to be cured would be much improved with Dr. Bombay! He’s got magic on his side. Centuries and centuries of wisdom. And a small flair for the dramatic.
I’d much rather have Dr. Bombay consult on my case than Dr. House (as much as I loved him) any day!
Only it was never really that simple… more often than not he required some hard to find ingredients to cure the illness. There was a sleazy witch apothecary who sold potions and ingredients. Or there was always the chance that somebody would need to go back to the 16th century or something in order to get an ingredient like the tail feather of a dodo bird.
Somebody would need to go off in search of the ingredients while the sick person waited at home, and hopefully didn’t get worse. Dr. Bombay would disappear, only to be called back when all the ingredients were gotten.
My mom has volunteered to go off on the quest in search of the hard to find, magical ingredients to cure me! She’s prepared to battle a dodo bird for it’s tail feather or blend into the king’s court in the 16th century.
What a mom!
Now I just need to get the ball rolling… next time the muscle spasms come on I’m hoping not just for a twitch, but I want a “twitch”.
And you better bet I’ll be thinking, “Calling Dr. Bombay! Calling Dr. Bombay, Emergency! Come right away!” .
All my love,
I have a moment, a feeling frozen in my mind. I doubt that it will ever go away. It doesn’t haunt me. It doesn’t affect my daily life. But sometimes a memory will be triggered by the present, and I need to accept that it was part of my journey in order to move on.
I was ten or eleven years old. I’m sitting in a chair in my parent’s bedroom with tears streaming down my face. I remember vividly that I was crying because I was shaking with internal tremors that nobody could see or feel. All I wanted was for somebody to see what I felt. I wanted somebody to tell me that they knew I wasn’t lying or faking to get out of school or to gain attention. At this point I hadn’t been sick for very long (in retrospect) but it felt like it had been forever. I was miserable. I just wanted a doctor to believe me, to help me, to make it stop. Why couldn’t they see it? WHY? Tears spilled from my eyes often during those hard years.
My parents believed me every step of the way. They fought for me. I’m lucky and honest to God, I’m blessed to have them as my parents. They never gave up, and they taught me to fight for myself, my health and my hope.
Nine years later I still have those internal tremors. But as time has passed they’ve progressed. Now I have muscle tremors and spasms that are completely visible. Most days they’re minimal. I can often hide them, or hold my muscles so that they are less noticeable. Ask my best friends or my brothers if they’ve ever seen what I’m talking about and they’ll say “No”. I simply unconsciously hide most of my symptoms around people. I can’t help it.
Yesterday one of my practioners was working with my face and head. Not even five minutes later my eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips, and cheeks were in spasm. They began twitching uncontrollably for the next hour and a half. Soon my arms, shoulders and legs were jerking. The more I tried the relax my face they would act up again. I’d take a deep breath, release, and then a moment later they were back. It’s an odd feeling of vulnerability. I wasn’t afraid to let them happen yesterday, but they were exhausting. I left the appointment completely done-in.
As I lay on the table I was struck with that memory. The odd juxtaposition of my feelings nine years ago with my habit of hiding these tremors today occurred to me. Now I have that vindication. Doctors and those providing care on my medical team do acknowledge that these tremors exist. They are no longer in question. These people believed me and now they can see it with their own eyes. It’s been proven that I was never the young faker trying to gain attention or get out of school. I was a girl who needed help that I didn’t receive until it was long overdue.
So in that light not only do I have feelings of vindication now, but I have a sense of exasperation. I simply shouldn’t have had to wait nine years.
Now my sense of fairness to my younger self is troubling me.
Do I want people to see these tremors? Do I acknowledge her wish? Or do I continue to allow myself to put up a front, a different face now in the present? I don’t know. I almost hesitated to write this post because I don’t know what my final feelings are about this. It’s an internal question that I’m going to have to work out for myself. So if one day you see me and notice these muscle spasms, know that either I’m too ill to control them or, more hopefully, I’m acknowledging that little girl inside me who only wanted to be heard.
Moments of true silence are a treasure to me. I feel like I’ve received a present I had forgotten to ask for. After seven years, I hardly notice the ringing in my ears anymore. It’s not constant. At times it gradually becomes worse enough for me to notice. Time passes. I muddle through. Next thing I know, I suddenly don’t want to bash my head against a wall any longer. It’s quiet. Silent. Calm. Peaceful. It’s wonderful.
I can go months without thinking about it. Then… BAM. It hits me. The world isn’t buzzing. There is no small hum. There are no bells, no rings, no creaks.
Didn’t I say it was wonderful? Sigh.
But it’s the small things that keep us going. I’ve learned not to take the silence that I’m given for granted.
I love to listen to the quiet.
I feel like I could bask in it.
I can hear myself think.
Then reality tumbles in and breaks me out of my reverie. The clock is ticking in the room next to me; the refrigerator is kicking in, ice is dropping; the heater floods on; a cell phone vibrates and the computer begins humming.
My head begins to throb again.
The world is a loud place. On the other hand, so is my head. It’s still a moment to celebrate when one of the two calms down. For now, the moment is lost. I’m waiting for the next one. Waiting, and wishing.