As many of us with chronic illnesses well know, it is inevitable we will pay for over doing it… When we do something extra we can count on needing time to recover afterwards too. This is the case for me with my conditions, and especially with my generalized dystonia…
Ten days. It took ten days to even feel like I was beginning to recover from our 2 days away from home on our trip out of state. Granted, I kept trying to do things when I could during that time. I suppose if I’d strictly rested I might have recovered a little quicker, but I have a family that needs cared for, and life doesn’t stop just for me to recover every time I over do it. It seems lately it takes less and less to over do, but of course a trip like that was guaranteed to be a bit much.
I had expected increased spasms and tics, and my legs and body being temperamental and even less cooperative than usual… I forgot to factor in pain levels increasing, but it made sense why I hurt so badly. The day after we got home symptoms increased as the adrenalin from the excitement of the trip slowly drained away… Since I knew it would happen, it was actually almost fascinating to feel the phenomena as it occurred.
We all were prepared for it. My family was ready to pitch in and help if I needed it, which I did part of the time. I had my moments where I was stuck in bed unable to walk, and at times not even able to talk well either…I used the wheelchair more than I have for months. When I was able to walk my legs were not very dependable. It was hard to do even the smallest basic things. Even then, and even though it took ten whole days before I started feeling like I was starting to be more like my “normal” self I still kept happily saying it was worth it to go on that trip! I will never regret having gone. Seeing those dear people we’d not seen for 3 years, going back home to where we used to live before my deteriorating condition forced us to move. I am so glad we were able to go, and just thankful I didn’t have to be stuck in bed or need total care while we were gone.
Once I started feeling a bit more like my old self I switched from survival mode to trying to get a few things done.. (there is always so much needing attention!) I supposed I over did it yesterday, trying to help some outside pulling a few vines and weeds… You would have thought I’d worked hard all day out there the way I felt. Amazingly enough, other than being a little bit sore still, I felt pretty good this morning. My dystonic spasms and other symptoms were behaving in a more moderate way… That’s why I was taken by surprise by what happened next…
I was taking a bath and laid back to rinse my hair, water was low so I’d left the faucet running. Then my legs locked into spasm and were useless to me and the rest of the body began to follow suit. I laid there with the water rising not knowing if I could get out and had a few moments of terror envisioning myself drowning that way, my body holding me under as the water rose… the thought of drowning fully conscious was horrifying. “I do NOT want to die this way!” was my next thought as the adrenaline came to my rescue giving myself enough strength to use my elbows to drag my uncooperative body back and up til my head was safely on the ledge of the tub and finally was able to use the heel of my better leg to knock the plug switch to off… have been a bit sore and shook up since, but thankful! I just never know when such things will get scary, they can come when it’s least expected.
So maybe I pushed it a little to far to soon… It’s been two weeks since our trip, I’m not quite fully recovered yet, I guess, but very close… At least, near to where we were before, back to the unpredictable ups and downs dystonia has to offer. Pacing myself is so important, but sometimes it’s worth the price to do a little extra. Hopefully using the wheelchair for the little outing planned for today will minimize recovery time… Maybe enough for me to get to go out again tomorrow, but we’ll see!