Autumn is my favourite season with its stunning colour changes, crunchy leaves and crisp mornings. It inspires me to whizz through the village and countryside on my scooter allowing my dog to run through any piles of leaves. If I can’t kick them in the air, he can instead. The clocks go back so the nights arrive early. The evenings involve low lights, keeping warm by curling up in snuggly socks, reading whilst drinking cups of tea. The family comes together more as everyone gravitates to the warmth of the fire. Dogs included.
What I always forget, until it happens, is dystonia hates the coming months. As soon as the temperature drops even slightly, the pain increases as muscles refuse to relax. My back seizes up and my hands ache continually. The slightest sniffle decreases my yellow one’s ability to control symptoms. I generally become slower and every movement becomes harder. I am sure I have tortoise genes which not only make me slow but trigger the desire to hibernate until the Spring. I become bundled up with thermal clothes and layers upon layers jumpers. It is definitely not a fashion statement. Wheat heaties, hot water bottles and handwarmers become essential items. I have been known to have a hot water bottle on my knee as I go the shops on Bazil.
The clock change means we lose an hour. It is simple action and people happily talk about the extra hour in bed but dystonia has to protest. I have to be late taking my yellow ones so spasms creep in especially in my hands. An hour can make a big difference and once my body gets too low it struggles to catch up even dosed up. It has a knock on effect for days. My regular routine of clock watching at 4.30am, unable to go back to sleep becomes 3.30am so days seem longer and tiring. Less sleep means more symptoms and it becomes a vicious circle.
I am so glad Halloween, Bonfire night, Advent and Christmas are dotted throughout this time to make things brighter.