Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bing Bang Bong



spasticity [spas-tis´ĭ-te]
Definition: Spasticity is a constant and unwanted contraction of one or more muscle groups as a result of a stroke or other insults to the brain or spinal cord. Over time spasticity prevents the normal voluntary contraction of affected muscles.
 
I don’t recall if I’ve previously explained spasticity in my posts.  I am open about what I can and can’t do and try to explain what my struggles are like, but I should give you all a better idea of why that is.

I turned to Google for a decent definition of spasticity and found quite a few. I chose the definition above from About.com because it’s simple, accurate, and I love that it refers to my stroke as an “insult to the brain.” Well no shit! You don’t say!

What it means is that when part of my brain was killed off by the insult, er stroke, the rest of my brain wasn’t sure how to talk to the right side of my body.  Some things it has figured out, some things it won’t communicate at all (paralysis), and yet for other things it won’t shut the hell up. Spasticity occurs when the brain won’t shut the hell up.  It keeps sending signals to the nerves (in my case, my shoulder, fingers, and toes) so they are constantly tightening without me even knowing it.  Imagine flexing your bicep as hard as you can and not letting it go to relax.  Hold it…hold it…yeah, like that…keep holding… for several years.  Do you know how difficult and painful it would be to force yourself to extend your arm after that?

I realize a medical professional would probably explain this much better and give you a far more accurate analogy. Despite how awesome I am, I am no professional.

The muscles in my shoulder are constantly contracting and tightening up.  As numb as I am, I do have some feeling.  It can be excruciating to reach for things, to let my arm hang at my side, and if you want to know just how many swear words are in my vocabulary, pull my arm back.  It hurts like a motherfucker.  I have a serious fear of getting arrested because of this.  Wait, what? MAN, YOU DON’T KNOW ME.

The best thing I can do for it is stretch.  Stretching doesn’t cure it, but it helps loosen the muscles just enough to ease the pain.  Gravity pulling on my arm makes it too hard to lift it well, so I have to lie on my back to get it moving.  I sometimes need someone else to help lift it when it’s an especially bad day.  The other problem area is my toes. They don’t hurt because I can’t feel them.  Winning!  As I walk, my toes start to curl under.  I don’t notice until I start stepping on my toes and falling over, launching me into Human Pinball mode. Human Pinball mode is when I ricochet back and forth between the furniture until I can safely come to a stop.  If this were a sport, I’d be a World Champion.

I have mastered the art of not falling.  That is not to be confused with the art of walking.  I walk, but I stumble; only I do it with grace and skill!  Bing bang bong, bouncing down the hallway I go without ever hitting the floor.  Like a ninja, I grab at tables and chairs and you don’t even notice I’m doing it!  Maybe you do and you just don’t say anything because you are polite and your mama raised you right, but still!  In these past four years since my stroke, I have only fallen – like seriously hit the floor – three times.

Two of these falls occurred within 48 hours of each other.

And those happened this week.

You could say I’m on a roll.  (You see what I did there.)  I’m laughing at myself right now, but the second fall was a bad one.  I completely ate shit.  There was a box of random crap that needed to go to the dumpster.  It wasn’t heavy; it weighed about the same as an empty cardboard box.  I figured I could at least get it out of my living room to just outside the back door.  Due to the drop foot in my right ankle, I use my hip and knee to kind of fling my foot in the direction I need to go.  I realize that doesn’t sound terribly efficient, but remember I’m a Master Ninja.  I got this. Well I did, until my dragging foot caught on something (chair leg I think) and sent me flying forward through the back door.  I took out the screen and everything!  My arms, which had been holding the box, slammed down on the metal, sliding door track and my knees took the rest of the impact.

Falling as a grown-up sucks.  It takes a minute for your brain to realize that your body has had the audacity to pull such bullshit. I mean, really. REALLY? I’M ON THE FLOOR? THIS JUST HAPPENED? Consumed with indignation, I forgot to breathe.  As I started to pant, I started to cry, partly from the pain but also because I was just so overwhelmed with that are-you-fucking-kidding-me-right-now feeling. 

My husband was still home, thank goodness.  He ran over to me, scared shitless, and tried to help me up.  I couldn’t talk yet, but he could see that I needed a minute.  I needed to just sit there on the floor and breathe and cry for a minute before attempting to get up.  Once I was up, I sat in the chair that had brought me down, and I sat there for a long while.


This is my normal.  I forget that my “new normal” means there is also this piece that sometimes feels crappy and comes crashing in my face with a rather aggressive, unfriendly reminder that I’m still not invincible.  If it weren't rough enough having thoughts that won't simmer down, now my brain won't stop talking to my muscles behind my back.  I am grateful that most of the time I get them to tone it down just enough to stop trying to kill me.  Eh, that screen door needs to be replaced anyhow.
 

4 comments:

  1. My name is Patrick and we live in New York USA. I saw the address of a doctor in one of the blogs recently.

    I (52 age) had a severe stroke on 7th of April 2016. I was diagnosed with Lupus in January this year and was taking Steroids (prednisone) tablets along with other medicine. No history of BP or diabetes nor heart disease. Am a non smoker and drinks occasionally little for social meets. Before I was diagnosed with Lupus this year in January I was given numerous anti biotic by family physicians since they could not diagnose me. I had joint pain and acidity and cough. I never used to take any drugs since I was quite healthy. I Steroids caused the stroke I had, I was not prescribed any blood thinner nor aspirin then. They thought I was allergic to them. However I am not allergic to any drugs

    On April 7th I was admitted due to stroke and underwent surgery on right side of the brain to stop bleeding and swelling. They retained my bone flap in freezer and on September 20th I had surgery to restore my bone flap which was very successful. I am now able to talk and eat without any help. my speech is quite clear , though not like before. I walks slowly with the help of cane. But cannot walk long. I cannot move my left leg and hand

    But when I took Dr Ben Herbal medication, for one month,I was completely cured, now I can move all part of my body.speak clearly and walk freely. If any one needs his help, contact him Via drbenson833@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. As a sign of gratitude for how my husband was saved from stroke , i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
    My husband was diagnosed of stroke and it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because he was my all and the symptoms were terrible, he had difficult speaking , and he always complain of muscle weakness and balance disorder . we tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure him. I searched for a cure and i saw a testimony by someone who was cured and so many other with similar body problem, and he left the contact of the doctor who had the cure to stroke . I never imagine stroke has a cure not until i contacted him and he assured me my husband will be fine. I got the herbal medication he recommended and my husband used it and in one months he was fully okay even up till this moment he is so full of life. stroke has a cure and it is a herbal cure contact the doctor for more info on drwilliams098675@gmail.com on how to get the medication. Thanks for reading my testimony

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was saved from stroke , So i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
    I was diagnosed of stroke and it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because my family had spend all money they had, the symptoms were terrible, I had difficult speaking , and he always complain of muscle weakness and balance disorder . we tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure him. I searched for a cure and i saw a testimony by someone who was cured and so many other with similar body problem, and he left the contact of the doctor who had the cure to stroke . I never imagine stroke has a cure not until i contacted him and he assured me my husband will be fine. I got the herbal medication he recommended and I used it and in one months he was fully okay even up till this moment Am so full of life. stroke has a cure and it is a herbal cure contact the doctor for more info on drjohnson958@gmail.com or Whatsapp him on +1(518) 675-6082 on how to get the medication. Thanks for reading my testimony

    ReplyDelete
  4. ALL THANKS TO DR WILLIAMS FOR THE GREAT DEED HE HAVE DON FOR MY FAMILY.This information will be useful for Epilepsy and stroke patients who is willing to use herbal medicine. My daughter had temporal lobe epilepsy, She had seizure and had a grand mal with rage episode. Our daughter's seizure is constant throughout the day. We had used several medicine which include: Epilim and Keppra, experience seizure control at the cost of serious debilitating side effects. It was during a casual conversation with a friend that I learned about herbal Dr. William on how he help her cure his son from stroke and so many others with different illness,his medicine does not have any side effect.after my daughter have finish taking dr williams medicine I am glad to say that he has been seizure-free since July 2015 after taking William medicine. this a miracle cure?contact him for more detail (drwilliams098675@gmail.com) .
    thanks once again admin for such an informative blog.

    ReplyDelete