In between the gong-show that has been life with EDS, there have been some pretty incredible victories of sorts.
After making all the adaptive goodness for my hands, my OT wanted to know what else we could come up with. The one thing that is almost impossible for an EDSer to get is a neck-brace that fits properly, and doesn't make for more TMJ issues. So, we went for it.
I realize that I walk the line of being out of mostly everyone's scope of practice. I'm their first patient with EDS, and when you present someone with a disorder that is complicated and wildly unpredictable it's a huge challenge. Instead of us who were diagnosed and have had time to research and experience it, our doctors, specialists and everyone else gets the EDS bomb-shell dropped on their laps. Aren't they lucky?
We had to take a good look at the how's and why's of using a brace instead of surgery right now, and all of the factors that would need to be taken into consideration.
After a few attempts and many adjustments we figured it out. We still have a little bit of tweaking to do, but my new neck is incredible. It wasn't much help that I haven't been feeling the greatest with the dysautonomia, so I had some major brain-fog and a killer headache. I've been pretty hypo-sensitive with some kinds of pain lately, which has resulted in a lack of hunger and some burns. I hadn't eaten in about 20 hours, which only contributed to the problem. Luckily, with my fluids concoction the blood-pressure drops,tachycardia and obviously hydration have been okay. My ability to give feedback and carry a fluid conversation without going off into la-la land was a bit hampered. It's better than the times when I can't even finish a thought.
If it weren't for the brilliance of the OT's, a neck brace that fit ME wouldn't have been possible. The fact that my head can be supported without some major TMJ pain is incredible. EDSer's have to choose if we want to keep a killer headache/migraine or put up with TMJ pain/headache. Either way, there's still pain. Going without a brace and laying in bed is quite often what we end up doing. Today,we found a way around all of that. Today, my quality of life improved and I have one less big problem to worry about. I can use that energy towards something else that will push me further in the direction I want to go, so I can contribute to the world.
I think since it's such a huge piece of adaptive goodness, it needs some kind of a name. I don't want it to be totally off the wall (as if Jerome isn't...) but something that's easy to remember. Any suggestions are welcomed.
Without further adieu, here is my most brilliant piece of adaptive goodness that is currently nameless. Don't worry I'll also be finding a way to bling it up too!
It doesn't mess with my jaw, supports my head and neck, and is COMFORTABLE. I can also eat with it on.
I will take arm-pit rash any-day over more killer headache/TMJ pain.
Yep, there's a little pillow at the back. It was the only way we could get it to fit without restricting my airway and still be comfortable. The little pillow is fastened on with Velcro and is just batting with a sleeve. The other pro is that I can take out the pillow and throw an ice-pack in there when needed.
This is what happens when it's a beautiful sunny day, and studying isn't all that exciting.
Sunshine and flowers make any day better.
My poor OT is probably going to be harassed from bendy's looking for some adaptive head/neck goodness. There will be line-ups outside her door. That's what happens when you do the impossible.
When the world says "Give up", hope whispers "Try it one more time".