Every day I was working long hours in a very demanding job with pressure coming from all angles. This led to many stressful days and sleepless nights. I am letting you know this as I have since realised that this may be one of the main causes for the onset of my FND.
While on a family holiday in early 2021, I began to feel a little dizzy on a few occasions and also felt a tingling sensation in my face, lips and hands, after resting for a few minutes this would ease therefore I continued with my day thinking it was nothing. On returning home this happened a few more times but again it was shrugged off as being nothing to be concerned about and it was about this time I also began to realise my concentration levels were not as they should be and I was becoming more and more irritable.
It was on a weekend soon after when my world came crashing down around me, I was on a coach travelling home with friends and suddenly began to feel quite unwell and the right side of my body felt numb and weak, from this point, I still cannot recall the next few days only having to rely on what has been told to me by family, friends and Doctors. An ambulance was called as it was suspected that I may be having some kind of stroke and I was immediately taken to hospital. On examination, it was decided that I was showing all the signs of a stroke and I was given thrombolysis. Several blood tests, CT and MRI scans followed but everything came back clear. When I awoke in hospital the following day I was more aware of my surroundings but couldn’t speak. I had severe weakness in my right leg and arm and for a short while this was on my left side too, I was also experiencing a great deal of fatigue. More tests followed but nothing could be identified as to what was causing these symptoms, a couple of days later I began to regain my speech and a bit of mobility and after many discussions with the Doctors it was decided I could go home and await an appointment with a Neurologist.
After seeing a Neurologist and having further MRI and CT scans nothing could be identified as to the cause of my symptoms until the Neurologist thought I may have FND and referred me to another neurologist for further assessment. By this time I was starting to wonder if anyone actually believed what I was going through and experiencing as some days I felt and walked almost perfectly however following my consultation with a new doctor and finally being diagnosed with FND, things started to make a lot more sense by having everything fully explained to me about this condition.
Having not been able to work for over a year I then came to the big decision of taking early retirement to hopefully help reduce my stress levels and aid my recovery process.
Regular sessions with a Neuro Physio began and by understanding my condition more and using distraction tactics while exercising my symptoms gradually began to ease and simply walking around was far less of a problem. One main lesson learned was not to overdo things when having good days as this would set me backwards. I was also referred to an Exercise Specialist Physio at this time and started going to the gym 2 or 3 times a week to build up the strength in my affected limbs and after around 2 years I was able to slowly walk for up to 4km every day. There is still a bit to go with this and there have been some bad days during this time with my symptoms but these types of days are becoming less and less and are now better managed and I am truly enjoying being more independent once again.
Thanks to everyone who has and is still helping me on this journey.
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