It's amazing to me that I'm just discovering, at my age, that I'm not "normal." My body does things it is not supposed to do and I have never known that it's not supposed to do them.
What? Me? Not normal? (Don't laugh.)
I have been reading all of the links that people have sent me and poring over the information about various disorders. What has struck a chord with me most is not MS, but the connective tissue disorders instead.
Specifically, I'm learning that being "double jointed" is not really normal. Being able to dislocate your hips, knee caps, and shoulders? Not normal.
I've always been able to do it and never really knew others couldn't do it too. It doesn't hurt me. I can just pop my hip out of the socket and slip it right back again.
Pardon my pasty, white legs. But here's an example of how my ankles can rotate unnaturally.
And my toes are double-jointed. (And I desperately need a pedicure. I know.)
Every one of my fingers is double-jointed.
I can touch both of my thumbs to my wrists.
My skin is super stretchy, almost like elastic. I carried two sets of twins and thought I was blessed with good genes because of the lack of stretch marks. My mom got stretch marks from just one baby though. Maybe there's more to it than genes?
My skin just pulls and pulls with no resistance. Yes, it's gross. Yes, I'm officially a freak. Call me Elasti-girl.
I thought everyone could do this?
I didn't know why people had trouble scratching their own backs until I saw this blog and realized that this isn't normal.
My fingers all bend back past a 90 degree angle easily.
I can twist and contort my fingers into all kinds of positions. They just bend so easily!
I do remember the first time that someone was disgusted by my double-jointed thumbs. I was so embarrassed. I had no idea my thumbs weren't just like everyone else's thumbs.
In addition to my hypermobility, I also have some other symptoms (unrelated to my recent dizziness) that make me suspicious of a connective tissue disorder.
-I'm 5'10" but my arm span is over 6' across.
-My torso is disproportionately shorter than my legs.
-I have TMJ and glaucoma.
-I have very long fingers. I can wrap them all the way around my wrist easily. (See the pic above?)
-I have scoliosis.
-I have dental crowding. (I've had dozens of teeth pulled and had braces 3 times.)
-I have a small, narrow jaw that the orthodontists always insist needs to be broken and reset.
-I have a high palate and a receding chin.
-I have a protruding chest. (And we are not talking about boobs here, folks!)
-I bruise easily.
-I have had joint pain or "growing pains" for as long as I can remember.
So, maybe it's all nothing. Maybe it's a coincidence. Maybe I have some other crazy, neurological disorder.
Or maybe I have a connective tissue disorder that is causing my spine to be compressed. Maybe something is getting pinched or poked and causing this insane dizziness. Maybe it's Chiari malformation?
I can't believe I'm posting this. I am sure everyone will now think I've officially lost my mind. I swear though, I am going to get to the bottom of this mess. Besides, I just discovered that I'm a real circus freak... What do I have to lose?
And yeah, the dizziness continues. Two weeks and counting...