1/6th lost to pain

I thought that yesterday was just going to be a simple day with nothing to report and in many ways it was, I did everything that I would normally do and even had a late afternoon shower, which included my much hated spell of hair washing. Yes I am back to showering late afternoon, the morning shower just never seemed to happen and all my attempts led to was building frustration, something I can acquire without giving it extra opportunities to appear. So it was a day, just a day, that was until the evening.

I found myself sitting watching TV whilst trying to decide was I going to tell Adam about the pain that had suddenly appeared, or should I just sit quietly and wait and see what happened, I am so glad that I chose option two. I found myself in what at first felt like a repeat of so many other evening, the usual spells of having to move myself just to relieve one pain to find another appearing and movement required again. What was different was I had a pain suddenly appear that spread from my right armpit, round and across the from of my chest and at the same time, the same distance across my back. It wasn’t just on the surface either, it as as thought I have been speared in my side at the same time. It was so sudden in it’s arrival, something that other than spasms, isn’t the was pain usually declares itself. Normally I would get some discomfort or mild pain, that built quickly over a few seconds, but this wasn’t there one second but was the next. A spasm normally effects one muscle or a small cluster of them, it is unusual for such a complex arrangement to react like this at all. I have been through and still have the so called “MS hug”, to date at worst they have clamped a couple of ribs from both sides forming the hug, this was very different. Finding myself sitting there with a pain that clamped in suddenly and held regardless of how I was sitting was so far out of my comfort zone that I felt myself starting to panic, not a good thing to do. Panic never helps anything and I have learned that it is in reality, the worst thing you can ever do. Sitting taking measured breaths and making yourself relax all your muscles, from your head to your toes, is by far the best policy I have every come across. I guess it took about 5 or 6 minutes for it to let go, but it was a 5 or 6 minutes where I was reeling through all the possibilities I had heard of, or seen on TV. Don’t laugh, a surprising number of peoples lives have been saved just because someone watched “Casualty”. The only thing I could come up with was a collapsed lung, which made no sense as I haven’t taken any tumbles for several days, so I just waited.

If I had spoken at that second to Adam I know all to well that he would have been the person panicking the most, whilst trying to convince me to let him call an ambulance, something that in it’s self would have achieve nothing other than to make me panic myself, not because of the pain or my health, but because I would then have been facing the nightmare of a hospital visit at night with no way home until the next day. It may be a little nuts, but that is actually my worst nightmare these days, the possibility of finding myself in hospital, alone with no escape. To be very honest I would rather take the risk to my health by staying at home, than the hell I know hospital would be. So I sat, all of this turning over in my head and just waiting and wishing that it would just all go away, it did, not suddenly but gradually. There is still a shadow pain there right now, from my armpit and across the front, but the rest has gone completely over night. This isn’t the first time I have had a spasm that has locked off a few ribs and clamped so tightly that the pain has made me fear that the muscles will snap my rib, but never has it clamped fully round both the front and the back at the same time, plus that stab heading straight into my lung, made it all rather scary. I can only guess now that it was just that, a spasm, which is actually worse in some ways than it being something serious. Serious things happen and go away, usually to be never seen again, spasms return again and again. It appears my MS has learned a new trick, controlling such a large number of muscles all at one time and in such a complex arrangement doesn’t fill me with joy. It just adds to the possibilities and range of the things my body can do totally without my permission in any way at all.

For those who have never had to live with spasms the best description I can give is to say that it is like a strong cramp, that turns the area solid. Like a cramp it effects a small group of muscles in a focused area, with good pain control most of these pass without the earth shattering pain that cramp brings with it, it is not painless but it is reduced to a pain that doesn’t fill me with the desire to jump around the room screaming. Even with medication that is designed to stop spasms happening they still happen, but not as often and again not as severely, I find I can live with them but I will never like them. The pain I feel mainly now is reduced to an ache at it’s best and well the occasional time like last night, when I don’t actually really know how to deal with it, but what I don’t ever want to know is how that would have felt without all the medication that I am on now. It may have been a one off, but that really isn’t likely, I don’t remember anything being a one off for many many years, but there is always hope.