I finally have an answer to the mystery of my muscle stiffness.
Yesterday, my neurologist diagnosed me with myotonia congenita, an inherited neuromuscular disorder. From his initial examination and analysis of my symptoms, he believes that I have Becker's Disease, which is one of two manifestations of myotonia congenita. This form of the disease sets in later in childhood or adolescence and tends to cause more pronounced symptoms. It is common for symptoms to be exaggerated during pregnancy, which is what I am experiencing. Cold, stress, and high-potassium foods can also cause symptoms to worsen.
Mostly, I feel good about finally having an explanation for what is going on. But I also feel a little freaked out about it. I'm anxious to talk to my OB and our perinatologist about how this may affect the rest of my pregnancy and delivery. While this condition has been an annoyance for the past 10 plus years, these days, it feels pretty limiting. And I worry that it won't resolve itself after the pregnancy and that it may impact my ability to care for my daughter. I've done a little bit of research and it seems that there can also be some complications during delivery. But I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself and to simply focus on how it is affecting me right now.
I think part of my anxiety about it is that until recently, I really thought that it was due to something in my diet or exercise routine. I always thought that if I figured out what was causing it, I could resolve the problem. So, now it feels a little more scary to me. But hopefully, things will go back to my pre-pregnancy state once Bumble is here. One day at a time, right?
But Bumble seems to be doing well. In fact, she's bumping around in my belly right now. Which is quite possibly the most amazing thing I've ever experienced.