September 10, 2012

When things go a-'wry'

Have you heard of Wry Neck? Me neither. Until yesterday morning when Kate woke up with her head turned to the right side, crying because it was   . . . STUCK THAT WAY! 

She couldn't move her head and when she tried to move at all she was in excruciating pain. I mean, we couldn't even figure out how to get her to a sitting position because any use of her neck muscles or movement of her head made her scream. Of course I immediately got on WebMD and to try drumming up some answers. Gary phoned a doctor/friend and the eventual diagnosis: Wry Neck. Wry Neck (or Torticollis) is just a spasming of the muscles in the neck and apparently it's not that uncommon, even in kids. It can be brought on by strain on the muscles from a fall or whiplash or even by stress. Kate had slipped in some mud the day before and fell on her bottom and had also been feeling really stressed (about all the things that feel really huge when you're eleven-years-old). Then she also informed me that the night before, while pool swimming with a friend, she had performed dozens upon dozens of back flips in the water. Bingo.

We applied the recommended home treatment:

1. apply heat to area

2. take ibuprofen

3. try to slowly begin moving the head/neck as much as possible to loosen the muscles

4. turn body sideways so you can watch TV to get your mind off the fact that you're immobile

5. have your mother spoon-feed you foods of your choice and help you drink from a straw

Within five hours Kate could turn her head to the front and sit up with help (and walk to the restroom thank goodness!). She suggested that perhaps things would improve even more with some Taco Bell food (Hmmm. Methinks she's working the situation a bit?) so we had Taco Bell for dinner. It must have helped because she was almost fully mobile this morning when she woke up although her neck is very sore. I imagine it would be like having a charlie-horse in your calf for a day straight. I used to get those cramps at night when I was pregnant. They only lasted a few minutes but my calves would be quite sore for a while after. 

Needless to say, she's home from school today, resting up from her ordeal. Now hopefully I won't get it due to the stress of her having it. Although I don't have any plans to do dozens of back flips today so I should be okay.


  1. Oh gosh, so glad she is wry-less today. Good thinking on her behalf re: the Taco Bell. We JUST got one here recently and we haven't been yet. I shall be sure to suggest a visit when our 10 year old has her next calamity. TB must have immense healing powers -- good to know. :)

  2. sorry her neck / your lives went a-'wry'!
    Taco Bell does seem to have immense influence.
    When driving on some errands the other day my 4 yr. old grand girl piped up from the back of the car, with intense drama as Taco Bell came into her sight,
    "Gramma, I haven't eaten in MONTHS!!!"
    XX from Gracie : )

    1. Too cute Gracie. I guess tacos and drama go hand-in-hand?

  3. Oh, poor Kate, that sounds horrid, I hope she is all better now. I sometimes wake up with a "stiff neck" (how British!) which must be similar but not as bad. Hurts like hell.

    You reminded me - I used to get the worst cramps in my calves during both pregnancies. Always during the night. I would wake, in agony, with my calf muscle in a knot, and hobble around the bedroom while simultaneously trying to massage the cramp'd think that would bring on labour, but no.


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