Twitching the night away…

Oh beautiful brain wont you stop annoying me, please?  I know what you’re doing seems benign enough, but over a long span of time (read days, months, eventually years) it’s far from it.  I am going out of my (still beautiful) mind!  What?  You didn’t know I wasn’t already crazy?  Well, if you thought before was bad, just give me a few.  🙂

I was sitting in church yesterday and trying to listen to the sermon.  I was.  Girl Scout promise.  My left leg had other ideas.  I pressed down on it with my hand and told it to settle down and quit squirming in church. It continued to ripple and then it jiggled to the side.  I’d already told it before we even left home that I would have no more of this kind of foolish behavior.  Threatening to ground my leg for misbehaving is just ridiculous, so sadly I had no real force to back the threat.

My elbow nudged out not long after and while it’s probably not visible to my fellow church goer, my husband felt it and immediately elbowed me back.  I shoved him harder with the edge of my arm and gave him a “What gives” look.  He’d already warned me to behave today (all in jest of course) and so I’m sure he figured I was joking with him about it as I saw his mock stern “behave in church” look down at me.  I wish I had been joking.  Ugh.

It’s not painful.  It’s just annoying.  So whenever I tell anyone about it, I sorta just feel stupid.  So much of the issues I deal with are pain related… so this should be a welcome side thing – a distraction.  And it is exactly that.  A big – twitchy distraction. For a while in college i used to say something, “made me twitchy” for who knows why.  It was the wording of choice then I suppose.  It meant irritated, frustrated, annoyed, sorta mad.  Well, I guess it still does, but as a wonderfully ironic turn of it, now I get to really BE twitchy, not just – well, yeah, you get the gist of it.

I really dont remember when this silliness began – and it seems to have been this way forever.  I haven’t though.  It’s fairly new.  Last fall I began to take notice of it beyond what seemed normal, cause to some degree everyone does it.  You do… just before you fall asleep… you just don’t notice it because LaLa Land is way too enticing to pay attention to the little foot wiggles and arm wave.  If it was only during sleep – I’d be thrilled!  I am not that lucky.   It happens when I am awake AND asleep – so my body is always in a unperceived bit of motion.  It’s tiring to move all the time and never really stop.  Sorta like how a tub can fill up full of water, one drop at a time, if you leave the stopper in.

Somedays it’s just stupid.  Other days, eh, I can almost forget it’s happening.  Today?  I am just beyond words.  (Though I seem to be finding a few to toss down here…)

Want the inside scoop?  Okay, so here’s the deal.  I promise you – no whining – just “informing” those who wonder specifically what a twitch is, and wonder what it feels like.  For a selfish little side note “PLUS” for telling you – next time you see me throw a hand or foot your way, don’t think a thing about it.  In fact, if you see any part of me move oddly… just assume it’s the goofiness rolling around my veins and trying to escape it’s captor.

Seriously though, it really is odd.  I decided to sit as still as I could and not move a muscle in an effort to explain it better to you, my adoring reader friend, and to amuse myself.  I tried to fully relax and to just let myself melt into the recliner.  No noisy kids about, no music to move to, and no excess thinking.  Just stillness.  If my husband found himself doing this, he’d be asleep and out for an hour easy.  For me, this is when the real fun begins.

First it is just a small ripple.  It may float across my abdomen or upper arm.  Really, it’s sorta like a tickle.  Not the funny “ha ha” kind, but the reaction you get to a light touch…  like skin reacting to the brush of a feather, let’s say.  But the feather isn’t there.  If you can see the feather, you know when the ripple will come.  Without that, it’s all surprise.  And the surprise is what leads to a tad bit of anxiety.  It’s not enough to make me stay home, but I am inclined to spiel you this little run-on explanation if you witness an arm jerk or foot kick.

It moves from the feather-ripple-stage to twitching after being still for about 15-20 minutes.  Twitches are random movements I don’t intend to make.  They dont tickle.  They annoy.  First, a foot hanging slightly off the edge of the recliner will jerk sideways, an arm will contract towards my body, then after a minute or two, muscles in my back sorta do a little spasm and contract making me want to sit up.

Case in point – I was taking a much needed nap one afternoon and I woke from a wonderful missed doze as my arm shot straight out and up.  It jerked me awake and I then had to go through the relaxation routine all over again.  It makes your heart beat fast like jerking awake.  And really, that is the best way to describe it…

Twitching feels a lot like the soft jerk of a knee or arm when you are falling asleep.  Sometimes it feels like the falling-in-your-sleep thing that makes you awake startled.

I’ve talked to doctors, and some have brush me off or told me I have probably have things wrong that I doubt I have.  The Neuro guy I see now is working on it, but it gets complicated because it is really not something new – it’s related to something else.  And from what I hear, there’s not much to do about it.  And, really, I don’t care that there is nothing to do for it… I just want to understand it.  Knowledge is power.  If I know what’s going on, then I will deal with it.  I’ll just make the most of it – and my family can certify that NOW I am officially nuts.

Small extra tangent here – but related to all this rambling… I finally bit the bullet and joined a “Chiari Malformation” Forum.  I just sorta brushed passed it because I didn’t need that place.  I had a very supportive family.  But I did need it.

The one I chose is a place set up to let those who have Chiari’s learn from those who’ve been at this a while, to encourage, to ask questions, to pray for one another, and to share in a good laugh (about throwing arms let’s say) where it’s understood by members simply because it’s part of who we are VS reading info via the web about what doctors “think” it is.  Believe me, there is a difference.

What I found when I posted for the first time was overwhelming support.  I actually got teary.  I asked if anyone had trouble with twitching, or was this yet another issue to deal with.   Immediately I received 11 responses telling tales both funny and frustrating that described everything I’d never said to anyone.  It was like they’d been inside feeling my muscles throw their weight around and putting it into words I still dont have to say.

I know the old saying, “Misery loves company,” but that isn’t it exactly.  It’s more like, “I get you – and you’re gonna be okay.”

I am still self conscious of the twitches.  Unless I am moving, they happen.  I sometimes wonder if people notice.  Then I remind myself that no one really much cares what I look like while sipping a soda on the bench at the local park.  I could get up and do a double jig or whatnot and probably seem sane from some of the park frequenters I’ve seen lately.  The embarrassing thing would be to wave at someone I don’t know and get an odd stare while they figure out that they DON’T, in fact, know me.  But AGAIN, if I don’t know them… I dont much care do I?

Yeah – so we are back to “who cares?”  Mmm – okay.  It’s sorta humbling to realize that the biggest frustration going on with me is one I don’t talk about much and is probably completely missed by nearly everyone… and while I think I care, I guess I don’t.  And yet – still – one more time – I must care because I have bothered to write a ridiculously long blog of 1580 words!  The “all knowing word count” has the last laugh. I DO care, anyway, regardless of whether it makes sense to or not.  Have I confused you completely now?  Yes?  Well, sorry.

Nutshell – I twitch and move.  A lot. So if you see me moving oddly – now you know.  I could have just said that and saved you a heck of a lot of time… but what would the fun have been in that?

Okay – I’m done.  Promise!  🙂

Over and out…

Now – off to bed… it’s time to twitch the night away.


2 thoughts on “Twitching the night away…

  1. patriciakirsch says:

    Hi, first I want to thank you for checking out and following my blog. I’ve been looking through yours and I think you’re a very entertaining and interesting writer. I think you’re very brave to talk about yourself the way you do. That’s something I probably could never do. Instead, I write poetry to get out all my issues and demons. Anyway, I’m off to read more and I wish you the best. Take care.


    • Christi Campbell says:

      Thanks so much for the drop-by! I think accepting ourselves as is – without covering the blemishes – is the only way we know that we are all the same. We’re all imperfect. (And that’s okay!) Your comment means a lot. Happy reading and I will be by often to visit you! 😀


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