Sunday, February 23, 2014

How I Overcame Paralysis with This One Weird Trick

This was my view for 30 minutes.
Sometimes writing here is about achievements and sometimes it is about struggle. I wanted to write about struggle today because it will help me not be discouraged or depressed. This entire process is exhausting me, which you will understand why in a moment, but I feel strongly to share my experience with you and the one trick that made it all possible. Maybe this trick will help you a little bit, too. I'm going to quote my social media posts from earlier today and the replies I recieved. The non-Twitter posts are from Facebook.
12:28pm: I woke up paralyzed about 30 minutes ago. I can move my eyes in my mouth and my right hand and arm. So making the best of it. Fortunately, Siri can transcribe book, but she's prone to mistakes and I can't correct. Yes, Siri is doing awesome. This is all part of my tic disorder. Happens from time to time, but I'm surprised that I can move my arm and do as much as I can also I am surprised that this is lasting so long.
I had hoped that by taking a picture and make the post that I could shake myself out of this paralysis, but it is not working according to plan. I can move my head a little bit now though. So that's progress.
Sometimes it helps to have somebody massage my arms and legs, but the brownie was hungry so she left me in the bed rustica went to eat. I may have to wait until the leprechaun gets back from ward choir for that kind of help. But I'm trying to stay upbeat. I'm sure all spill the move soon. This is just a bit inconvenient. And boring.
Oh hey! I can move my left pinky now. So I think I will go and try to build on that so that my left arm conjoin my right arm in mobility.
12:33pm: I can now move both my arms & hands, so I can type. Thank you, but no thank you, Siri. I couldn't move my lips well enough to help her understand me.
12:33pm: Working on my right toe now. I'm sure mobility will return soon.

12:39pm: Alright. Full mobility has returned one digit at a time. What a pain in the butt. Now to get on with my day.
12:57pm: I'm surprised somebody liked this photo. I didn't imagine anybody would see any of what I wrote because the photo was so boring that it would be ignored. Today is a forearm crutch day. Haven't had one if those in a while. I am just relieved I can move again.

2:14pm: Melyssa Myers Moon
2:16pm: Haha, but no. It's a different experience when you choose to stay in bed as opposed to being stuck in it. :p
2:21pm: Melissa Myers Moon I know. I'm stuck horizontal today from pain. Still different, I CAN move, it just hurts like Hell. Seems like several of my friend with chronic, disabling conditions are having problems today. Something in the air, maybe?
2:30pm: Let's hope not. I wouldn't wish this trouble even on enemies. Thanks for your cheerful posts. I truly hope you have a better day.

It was a bit of a drag. I was trapped in bed until I could move my mouth, at which point I called out to the Brownie to remove my CPAP. I spent a bit over 40 minutes paralyzed except for my mouth, eyes & right arm, 30 minutes of which was fully paralyzed except for my eyes. So weird and unnerving. I'm just glad I've learned over time to not panic when it happens. I break through the paralysis by starting with my hands and moving one digit at a time, then working joint to joint up the arm. Once I can move my hands and arms, I work on my head, then start on my feet. By then, usually, a stretch will take over and flood my spine with sensation returning full mobility back to me. I may be hobbling about on forearm crutches now, but I am hobbling about. That's such a relief. I wanted to share this with you because many of my readers struggle with various issues (as you can see from some of the comments above).
I happened to see a quote on Twitter while I struggled today that really captured my philosophy about overcoming disabilities.
I share it with you now just as I share this blog with you so that if you are discouraged, maybe, just maybe you can find strength in the struggles of others. Having a positive attitude isn't a new agey pearl of fluffy wisdom. It's a vital tool in the struggle against disability and hardship. Sometimes all we can truly change is our attitude, but oh! what a marvelous change that can be. It makes the difference between success or failure, determination or acquiescence. It can attract people or repel them. It is no small step in the battle for good mental health.
In those moments when my learning-disabled Brownie wandered off to eat while I remained paralyzed in my bed, I felt very alone. I didn't post on Facebook & Twitter as a cry for help, but my voice did ultimately reach others and soon support came in. I don't recommend social media as your main support network, however, because our posts drift into the ephemera and flotsam of the time stream, often not seen or noticed. Also, our texts to loved ones sometimes can go unanswered while they are busy. Yet, we aren't alone. Somewhere out there in the seven billion people on this planet someone struggles just like you, and many of them have it worse than you. This doesn't mean your struggle is any less, but I find that sometimes knowing I am not being singled out by God, the Universe, or cruel Fate helps me bear the burden better. Then I shrug it off and get on with my day.