10 September 2011

Relapsing Remitting Turrets

Trust me, if you can visualize what I am about to relay to you, you will laugh. I want to assure you that it's OK. I think it's funny too. Now it is funny. Earlier this morning? Maybe not so much. I suppose when you start to laugh could have some implications but I truly think if you don't laugh I would be more worried about you. I'll leave that up to you to decide.

Yesterday was a gold star day for my accomplishment journal. I pulled some of my fall and winter clothes out of the back closet, laundered them and sorted them. May not sound like much but using my hands is what aggravates my neck injury. Reaching up to hang things in the closet or to bring them down from the rack is also painful. Along with the pinched nerves in my neck that compromise the use of my arms, I have had carpal tunnel syndrome for the last 18 or so years. I have ignored the clothes in the back closet for almost 3 years so I was ever so proud of myself until about 2am.

At first I thought I was having a seizure but it didn't make sense to me that I should know I was having a seizure while I was sleeping. Was I dreaming? Was I awake? Just what in the world was happening to me? It seems along with all else that I accomplished yesterday I also managed to accomplish pain. Severe pain. The kind of pain that makes it almost impossible to keep the unsanctified words from flying off your tongue. I struggle with using some of the more colorful words. I have been trying to find suitable substitutes, but I am not very good at it. Every nerve in my neck that is angry with me decided to make protest and enlisted the nerves in my carpal tunnel as well. This resulted in a crisis of near biblical proportions for me.

Both my hands had shooting pains and tingling in them. What I call my "mom spots" (the place where you would tattoo "Mom" on your arm) were spasming, which makes the hands flop about like a crappie out of water. Of course the hands hitting the mattress made the shooting pains shoot faster and with more intensity. Each shock of pain from the nerves in my hand made my mom spots react with a spasm, which of course sent my hands flopping into the mattress which made the nerves ignite and the cycle continued. Now imagine waking from a dead sleep to find yourself in this torturous cycle.

I have mentioned on previous posts that I have sleep apnea and wear what I call a sleep snorkel. The headgear looks like this and by the way no one, and I do mean no one looks as good as these models while wearing this headgear. Which, by the way has a 7' hose that connects to the little machine that sits on my nightstand. In other words when I am in bed with my headgear on I am on a 7' tether. So imagine if you will that I am laying on my back, hands flopping, bad words flying and all I want in the entire world is for Jesus to come take me home or get up and get some drugs to make the spasms stop. The drugs are in my master bathroom 12' feet from me. I can't get there with my mask on and each time I try to raise one hand up to take the mask off the muscles cramp in my mom spot, sending my hands back flopping to the bed. If I lay perfectly still, the pain and cramping slowed down but I could feel the muscles continue to tighten down. I needed to get some drugs on board.

I tried to sit up without the benefit of using my hands to support me. I have a soft bed and only managed to look like I was in a pike position or perhaps somewhat like an over stuffed taco. Using my hands made the spasms start. Would I die in bed of muscle spasms? Surely I could get out of this predicament. I realized I could probably roll out of bed without my hands excepting that I had my headgear on. Now I just had to figure how to get the headgear off without using my hands. I started rubbing my head on the bed trying to catch the headgear and slide it off. Oddly enough they make these things to stay on your head as your head rubs on the mattress, but if you do it with some vigor and some flopping it will move. If you keep it up over a period of time it will eventually come off. Especially when the dogs are barking at you because they can't figure out if you're being attacked or about to attack them!

Picture a short, fat woman wearing the headgear pictured in the link above, rubbing her head with vigor against the mattress, hands and arms flopping and intermittent made up expletives being launched. Dogs barking and scurrying in the room trying to figure out what in the world is going on. The mental image of what I must have looked like suddenly sent me into fits of laughter. Expletive sprinkled laughter but laughter just the same. I found myself saying aloud, "Rosemarie, you aren't having seizures! You appear to be having relapsing remitting Turrets Syndrome!" Which of course made me laugh even harder.

Eventually I did get up, managed to get the muscle relaxers on board and 20 minutes later it was all over. I am a little tender, but I will survive the ordeal. My accomplishment journal today will read:

Moved muscle relaxers and a bottle of water over to nightstand. Had a good laugh and a nap. That is all. That's enough!


Jackie said...

You are right, I couldn't help laughing at the image of you in your 'headgear', cussing and flopping, and the dogs barking in exitement :)Life is a comedy sometimes. So glad you could laugh at yourself. Will be praying for you...

rosemarie said...

Thanks Jackie! It was funny. If nothing else my sense of humor is in great shape. I am so grateful to God for that.