Pretzelitis – it is a new symptom that I have discovered. I think ‘Tattoo’ is behind this one. Not sure though. Going to have to do some investigation. I think ‘The Beast’s’ friend – ‘Tattoo’ (for those of you who may not have read any of my stuff, ‘Tattoo’ is a creepy little devil that is otherwise known as Dystonia)… where was I? Oh yeah…I think ‘Tattoo’ comes when I am sleeping, and sprinkles pretzel dust all over me. I go to sleep at night like the regular old me, but I wake up the next morning like a pretzel – without the salt! Who wants a pretzel without salt?
I am now twisted and numb. OK…numb and pretzels don’t go together. I am taking a little artistic license here. “Lucy, you got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do!” (footnote: taken directly from “I Love Lucy”).
Anyway…my arms twist under me and my head and neck twist to either side. When that happens, I wake up with half of my head numb. So I guess I have cut off the circulation to that part of my brain. Now that can’t be good. But it may explain some of my kookieness!
I have at times, woken up with my head hanging off the side of the bed? (Now that was a weird one). My legs get crossed over, or on top of each other. I will try putting a pillow in between. I cramp up so tight when I sleep, that I am mashing down my pillows into nothingness. I also frown, because my face muscles are cramping. I probably do that for hours during the night. A boat-load of wrinkle cream can’t fix that!
So I then look like a pretzel. No wait… I look like an angry pretzel. Hey that sounds like a good title for a movie – “Angry Pretzels: The Sequel”.
In order to counteract all this, the first thing I do when I lie down in bed, is try to find a position that is comfortable. My husband always laughs. I fidget around, plump pillows, move covers, get out my eyeshades. I have rolled up towels, with headbands to hold them…and I use them under my pillow to prop my head in a certain position. I have an endless repertoire of adjustments and accoutrements. I am just like our old dog ‘Rusty’. He would get in his bed, and take his blanket and wrap himself up, and keep turning, and wrapping and scratching. And he would do this over and over and over again, until he found just the right position. That’s me.
Now after I have found a good position, and that could easily take ten minutes (most likely it is on my back), I proceed to wedge pillows all around me so that I won’t move. I don’t know how good this is for me…but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Here’s some more ‘splainin’. It’s a bit dry, but if you imagine Ricky Ricardo reading it to you, it helps: “Dystonia and PD share common treatments. Anticholinergic medications and levodopa may ameliorate both conditions, and DBS is a surgical alternative for both.
Let me translate that for you from the ‘Morgan’ book of translation. ‘The Beast’ and ‘Tattoo’ come from the same neighborhood and run with the same gang.
Cue Ricky again: “There’s no cure for dystonia. But medications can improve symptoms. Surgery is sometimes used to disable or regulate nerves, or certain brain regions in people with severe dystonia”. Wait a gosh darn minute…did Ricky actually say “Disable certain brain regions”? I don’t want my brain disabled! Although there may be a few of you who would beg to differ with me.
Take it away Ricky: “People with dystonia often complain of pain and exhaustion because of the constant muscle contractions”. Here is the one bright spot in this whole post of mine. Yes, I experience pain and tremendous exhaustion when I am having a bout with Dystonia. But you can get Botox, and your insurance most likely will cover it.
I may still be a pretzel but I wouldn’t look so angry.