Defining the something

For the second day my left arm is driving my mad, there is no position that I can find that it is comfortable even for a short while as there really is no comfort. My shoulder is very mildly painful, but the problem is my elbow and my wrist, there is a vague tension there so I know it is some sort of mild spasm, not tight enough to be painful but clear enough to annoy. Pain is something tangible you feel it, with no doubt as to what it is, what it feels like and what it does, pain is a fact that your mind and body understand without question. Sensations that there with no clear name for them, that have a vague but annoying nature, can actually be worse. When you can’t explain the nature of something in just a few words they are normally the things that drive you nuts, like someone touching just one hair on you arm with a feather, rapidly it drives you mad and if they continue, the erg to punch them in the face grows. Imagine a sensation like that, but there isn’t anyone to punch, it just causes an increasing tension, you can rub it, shake it, stretch and contract it, but as soon as it is still again it returns.

MS is filled with things like this, and I have little doubt that many other chronic conditions have them to. Anything in life that other understand are things we learn to live with, we may limp or cringe, but we can take tablets that help a little, and rest or what ever else to contain it as livable, but what happens when you can only say it is a vaguely something to other. What happens is, well they ignore it, as the only word they hear is vaguely, anything that is vaguely something can’t be that bad can it? Well yes it can, just as I described with the feather on your arm, anything that is there and isn’t normal is incredibly annoying it doesn’t have to be pain to drive you into a state of frustration and added tension, which we really don’t need. The more I have tried to sort the annoying sensation in my arm I know I have actually caused the pain in my shoulder. Without meaning to I know I have been tensing the muscles in an attempt to end what is driving me nuts. I have had to stop repeatedly and consciously relax it, as I have felt the tension passing across my upper back and neck.

I realised long ago that the words you use are what makes the difference as to how serious other take things, and that can in itself be a huge problem. Language can make the difference from a peaceful life and one that drives you to edge of madness or even over it. When you become an adult it is assumed from there on that you have the power of language and vocabulary, none of us allow for the gaps in that knowledge and we all assume that when on person uses any word they are using it exactly as we would. I have often looked back and wondered how much of the time that was wasted with no diagnosis was actually my fault, did I simply not use the words that doctors were expecting to hear? I am sure that none of us use exactly the same words to describe the same things we see, so how varied must they be when it comes to things we can’t see, but we experience inside ourselves. Add on to that the number of things we forget to say when we are visiting a specialist and I bet a lot of things are missed or dismissed. Maybe all doctors should treat us as small children who can’t really tell them anything, then they might run broader tests and find the truth quicker rather than relying on what we say, it may just be what we don’t say, that is important.