Days like today are a great way for me to remember where I have come from. It's also a good way to remind myself that it is essential that I get an adequate night of sleep and stay as stress free as possible. Last night I only got a a handful of good sleeping hours. If I don't get at least nine hours of sleep I really notice that my hamstrings become stiff and sore. Don't get me wrong. It's not nearly as bad as it was before my new diagnosis. However, after a poor nights sleep I really notice that my balance is off and my limbs are fidgety. That's when I take a good look in the mirror and tell myself to slow down and listen to my body!
My brain doesn't produce Dopamine like "normal" people. Our brains make Dopamine while we sleep and my brain doesn't seem to do what it should. Therefore, it is out of necessity that I get a long nights rest AND take my medication.
In the past if I got a bad nights rest like this, I would need to spend most of my day propped up in a chair or simply go to bed. I never knew any thing different. It was just a way of life for me. In fact, even if I did get adequate rest, my brain still did not produce enough Dopamine to last me the day. My body would become more spastic and weaker as the day went on. Leaving me dependent on others.
In my new life, I know that I need to take a nap the day after a poor nights rest. It's not because my eyes are tired. It's because if I don't rest, my arms will twitch, my balance will be off and my legs tight. Life is a gift and I need to take care of myself. After all, I'll take a physically bad day of my "new life" over any really good day of my "old life."
After living the first 33 years of my life thinking I had Spastic Diplegia, a form of Cerebal Palsey, I was correctly diagnosed with Dopa Responsive Dystonia (DRD). I am on new medication and doing things that I never imagined possible. This has changed the lives of my husband and two daughters. I truly believe that I am living a miracle each and every day. Life can't get any better than this!