Summer 2008 – Autumn 2009
I began to be concerned when I noticed a certain tenseness in my left arm. My thumb would stick out without me telling it to, and I found that the natural swing had gone.
This was late summer in 2008. My son, then four and a half, started school that September. My daughter had just turned two. I hadn’t, truth be told, been enjoying being a mother very much. My daughter was a poor sleeper, which naturally affected my sleep, and it was suggested at the time that I had post-natal depression to a minor degree. I had no job; my last short term contract had finished, and the economic climate suggested that there would be very few interesting part-time opportunities.
I went to see the doctor about my arm. He checked the possibility of a stroke (not an idea that had occurred to me) but didn’t suggest anything else. I proffered my theory: could it be that I had done something to the muscles by persistently carrying my children on my left side? He seemed to think it was possible and sent me on my way with the suggestion that I do some exercise that used both sides equally, “like yoga, or swimming”.
A year went by. I didn’t do much yoga (although I bought some books and DVDs) or swimming. I’m not very good at scheduling my private life, and I’m even worse at doing exercise for the sake of it. Having small children around didn’t really help, either.
I began to notice that the tenseness had spread to my left leg.
So I went back to the doctor’s. As it happened, I saw a different doctor this time, and she referred me to a neurologist.