Tuesday 21 June was the second International Day of Yoga. When the Indian Prime Minister requested the day, he addressed the UN saying, “Yoga is an invaluable gift…It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being…” The day has been supported by 175 nations and is celebrated with free yoga classes across the globe. Read More
I’m sitting on the sofa. An icy chill seeps through my skin, penetrating layers of clothing and blankets. My legs are switched off. Lifeless. Paralysed. I try to wriggle my toes. I can’t.
Symptoms of abnormal movement are a common feature of FND, so much so that it is sometimes referred to as Functional Movement Disorder. Paralysis, spasms, tremor, limp and gait changes can occur. Any part of the body can start moving in an unusual way. My movement can change so dramatically and quickly from full-body paralysis to violent spasms that can take me to the opposite side of the room. It is unnerving to experience and I expect it’s unnerving to watch.
There’s a bottle of oramorph in my medicine drawer. Liquid morphine. It’s sickly sweet, measured in a little cup or syringe. An opioid painkiller, it’s related to heroin. It binds to receptors in the spinal cord and brain, blocking the body’s natural response to pain. It doesn’t necessarily take away pain, but it certainly makes you care less about it. It’s strong. It puts you in a woozy haze, somewhere between awake and asleep. It’s addictive. Tolerance levels build. Chronic pain patients can end up taking doses that would kill someone taking it for the first time, and yet they can still be experiencing pain. Anti-sickness tablets are an essential counterpart, as is water, lots of water, or even better a freezer full of ice-lollies. Don’t get me started on the drug-induced hangover.Read More
Have you ever read something and thought ‘yes, that’s it. That’s what I’m feeling. That’s what I’m supposed to do’? I have, many times. I use my own writing to make sense of my experiences, but I love reading writing by other people to broaden my views and challenge my ideas. Sometimes the best experience is when I read something I can relate to; maybe somebody has expressed something I’ve experienced but haven’t yet managed to articulate, or perhaps it’s simply the comfort of knowing I’m not alone. Then of course there’s the pure escapism when reading takes me away from my immediate experience to a different world. Read More