Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Unexpected Journeys.........

I recently found out that life sometimes takes one on unexpected journeys. I took a break from my blog. On January 1, 2011(yes, exactly on the first day of the year), I began to experience a strange set of symptoms. I was dizzy, had trouble swallowing, tingling in my hands and feet, facial numbness, etc.. I went from being able to run 3 miles to having a hard time walking even one block, and this all happened literally overnight. Sitting at the computer and typing was painful. I was hospitalized for a few days, but no cause was found for my illness. This was a very troubling time and I lost 25 pounds during this time period, without much help from my primary care physician during almost two months of suffering with no answers. Office visits consisted of hour waits in the waiting room and two minutes to see the doctor, thank you very much. Finally, it like a wise idea that I switch my primary care physician.

So, my husband suggested I try his primary care physician, who he has seen for a number of years. Wow, what a world of difference a dedicated and caring physician makes. My new physician very methodically spent time questioning me about my symptoms and got the ball rolling on ordering a number of tests and he sent me to see a neurologist. The neurologist was almost sure of my condition from walking in the door, but he ordered a number of blood tests and an MRI to rule out other conditions. Within two weeks of undergoing a number of tests, I had my answer and I was diagnosed with Cervical Dystonia. This is a neurological movement disorder that causes painful contractions of the muscles of the neck and this is a condition that is incurable, but can be treated for relief of symptoms. In my case, my neck muscles are so spastic that the cervical area of my spine is straight, rather than with a natural curve. Everyone experience dystonia differently, but this was the cause of my very strange symptoms.

At this point, with treatment, I have relief of about 50% of my symptoms, and I hope to have further relief in the future. I am able to get out more and enjoy life once again. And, I am able to start writing my blog again, yay! I will continue to write about restaurants, but I want to start exploring other topics and writing about other things, too.

As I final note, I had never heard of dystonia before I was affected by it, so for those of you who have never heard of this condition and want to learn more about it, you can learn about it at these sites:

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