Monday, May 10, 2010

Sleeping with clonus

Maybe someone will read a random entry of mine and use the info when making a decision. That being said...

If you have MS and limited mobility, I wouldn't recommend shoulder surgery - not because it won't help your shoulder, but because your legs may "rise up" in protest for some time, and your rehab plan may focus more on your legs than your shoulder. So if you can avoid shoulder damage, avoid it.

Clonus is defined by the great source (note sarcasm) Wikipedia as "a series of involuntary muscular contractions due to sudden stretching of the muscle." If you've had it, you know it. Your leg jumps, your toes point up, and then your whole leg can shake for about 10-15 painful seconds before you get a brief break. In athletics, it would be like intervals, where the rest period is never enough! The clonus then occurs again, and the "intervals" can last to maybe 30 minutes. Then, an hour break. Then maybe another series of "intervals." I still need to record it - smile.

During the day, some of this can be controlled by standing or walking. But who feels like standing and walking regularly at night? So recently, I have felt like I am headed to bed tired, yet sleeping is some kind of torture chamber waiting to happen.

Every night I have my nightly prayer "ritual." Last night I thought, I wish I could ask God to cut out these interval sessions, just for tonight. But God doesn't cause the clonus, so I asked God to help me through whatever was coming last night. And what came? The torture chamber came, in full force.

I got up and walked twice. I slept part of the night in our recliner chair. "A ha!" spied the cat ... "a lap, and bonus! my favorite blanket!" I thought, this cat does not have a good plan because I need to move my leg. But somehow the interval session stopped for an hour as she curled on my lap, on her favorite blanket. Then I had to dump her so I could get up again.

This morning my physical therapist came and wanted to see if I wanted to work on walking. No, I was exhausted. Of course, the interval sessions stopped in time for me to wake up. I was reminded to stretch. I reminded myself to go back to acupuncture - the main source of help.

But this is part of the recovery that is so difficult. I'm sure God was with me, but I was so focused on this clonus thing that I didn't feel a presence. And so, tonight, I'll ask God to be with me again. Perhaps I'll get lucky and won't have a night like last night. And then, God will perhaps be smiling that he's there to help, no matter what.


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