I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and Peripheral Neuropathy in 2006, but my symptoms seemed to take a turn in a different direction in late 2007, and the diagnosis was changed to Essential Myoclonus. Then in 2010 I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Finally, after a muscle biopsy, it was determined that I have Mitochondrial Myopathy.

Share my journey - coping with the testing, the medicines, nutrition, digestion problems, exercise, the emotions, uncertain diagnoses and no telling what else!

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 KJV

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Doing What I Can

I've had my final Physical Therapy session for my neck. I'm definitely not hurting as much as I was before going to him, but I still have a lot of pain after doing certain things and by the end of the day.

I end up in considerable pain by the end of every meal, because I have to take off the neck brace. It's too easy to choke with one on. I can't ride in a car for more than a few miles without beginning to spasm, even with the neck brace. Hubby had a brainstorm the other day, so we bought one of those egg crate mattress toppers. We cut a piece to fit inside a pillow case, and we now have that in the passenger seat, so my back and neck are more cushioned from road vibration.

We moved a recliner into my Sunday School classroom, so I can hopefully get to a point that I can sit there on Sunday mornings without having to use the neck brace. I didn't make it all the way through without the brace last Sunday, but it was a start.

We're scheduled to move back into the sanctuary on April 1, so I have a few more weeks of exercise before I have to deal with sitting in a pew without the support of a high back. That's still my goal - that I will be able to sit in the pew with the neck brace on all the way through the worship service. But if I have to lie down in the pew before the end of the service, I will. I'm not going to let this disease keep me from going to church!


As I understand it, they do the muscle biopsy in a muscle that is not severely weakened yet, which certainly explains why mine was done in my Deltoid arm muscle. The Physical Therapist gave me some leg exercises to gradually work on here at home, and I was shocked to find that my legs are as weak as they are. The hardest exercise for me is to lie on the bed with my toes pointed straight up and one leg bent. I'm supposed to pick up the straight leg 10 times. I can get my heel off the bed a little, but not enough to clear my calf away from the mattress. So it's now pretty obvious why walking is so hard for me. Hopefully, if I'm careful to work on this just a tiny bit each day, I can improve my leg strength over time.

I'm continuing to take a meal's worth of vitamins and supplements at meals and in between snack times - many of them are part of what's called a Mito Cocktail, and we're very careful to eat as many Super Foods a day as we can.

I'm drinking about 90 ounces of water or green tea sweetened with Stevia every day, as staying hydrated is very important. I've also started keeping a small hot pad in the small of my back set to the lowest heat - as any energy I use up staying warm is energy I don't have for my muscle, brain, heart, and digestive system cells.

I have a follow up appointment tomorrow with the same UAB doctor who diagnosed my Mitochondrial Myopathy. I have a LONG list of questions for him, so we're praying we get some answers.


2 comments:

Anji said...

Keep up the good work! Will you still have exercises to continue for your neck?

Don't forget your list of questions.


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Dirty Butter said...

Oh yes! I guess I'll be doing the neck and leg exercises the rest of my life. The questions are in my main notebook that goes to every medical related appointment I have. The list is almost a whole page in my spiral notebook!

Good to hear from you, Anji!! I think of you every day.