My stomach is tying itself in knots, I keep trying to work out what started these spasms that I can feel, as I just wrote, I am really beginning to believe they were always there, just so slight I was aware of them. Nothing has ever started so strongly and repeated and repeated itself over and over in a matter of hours and then on into days and now it seems the start of weeks. I woke this morning before the alarm sounded and there is was, pain, my least favourite way of waking up. My stomach felt like it was in a vice, typical spasm sensation on a small area, when I put my hand onto it, it was totally solid and my instinctive reaction to pain in that area was to slightly double myself, not an easy thing for me to do lying on my back as I don’t have the muscle strength to just pull myself off the mattress using my stomach muscles. For now,the best thing I can say about these spasms is that they are really short lived, just a matter of maybe 30 seconds, a shock reaction type spasm, next to nerve flashes, they are my least favourite experiences. The spasms I get in my arms and legs are so different, far more painful without my medication, but they always seem to start at a level where I am aware of the muscle locking up before I feel the pain. They didn’t start like that, years ago I thought the pain and the feeling of them locking were instantaneous, it took many years of them just happening for me to realise that there is usually a prelude, a feeling of the muscle getting ready if you like, small tightening actions before the final act. By then they were common experiences, things that happened not daily but every week without fail, I know now that was around the time I would have been changing from relapse remitting to progressive relapsing. These days I know it has a lot to do with the medication, keeping the pain away unless it is a really viscous one, then I know about it.
There are so many sorts of pain and it is hard to break them down into a universal language, I am sure that the words I used to describe things were very much part of the reason that my diagnosis took so long. Not in the beginning, no back then it was all mixed up with the fact I had a young family and the attitude of doctors towards women, it was a different world in the early 80’s, I was classed as neurotic and unstable, because by the time I insisted on seeing specialists, and appointments came through, I was better. But that is all beside the point, I know for a fact from just speaking to different people that we all use our own language when it comes to describing things that are happening to our bodies. Having moved around the country and mixed with people from around the world, I have first hand heard people talking about the same things, but there is no comparison between the languages they use. I was born and brought up in Aberdeen, I wasn’t an Aberdonian in the truest form, as I went to private school, but I moved to Portsmouth when I first married, I couldn’t even manage to do the shopping if I had to ask for something. Although we all were speaking English, we couldn’t understand each other due to different names for the same thing, the Butchers and Bakers shops were the worst. I don’t have the slightest doubt that if I found a 100 people from different parts of Britain and somehow managed to make them feel the exact same pain, they would all describe it differently, spread that worldwide and it would just get worse and worse.
I try hard to not use words like stabbing or clenching, without pushing it further and putting in further words like sharp or burning. No matter how hard I try, though, I am sure that I am still failing, I write daily about pain, but when I read it back I still feel that I have failed to put it into words that others will fully be able to read and lift off the page as though they are feeling it themselves. A spasm isn’t just a spasm, it depends where it is, what size the muscle is, what that muscle is capable of doing or what is was designed to do. Then there are styles of spasms, some build, others hit, or clench, smash or tear and others even just hold. Step past that and there is still more, as pain can stab, burn, twist, scream or even as odd as it might sound caress and just touch. Some start suddenly, crashing into you with a power that stops you dead, others build, from a mild tingling or holding sensation that comes and goes before suddenly it is there, or it never reaches that point and fades. Other will build slowly over a period of time, others over seconds, you just don’t know, but you do learn to recognise and to prepare, so that when it does happen, well you don’t make a full of yourself or scare the hell out of someone who is near you. When they break or hit their peak some do just vanish leaving nothing behind, those are always the mild ones, most leave an ache behind, from mild to debilitating, the majority though feel like they have left a bruise inside, something I can’t prove, but I bet is actually a good bet. Personally, I think many are behind those bruises we find but have no explanation for, just like the ones I have all over my rib cage. Spasms aren’t just about pain and pain isn’t just about what you feel, there is a whole range of emotions that are tied into them just as deeply as emotion is connected to everything else that is personal, there is nothing more personal than pain. None of us stand a really chance of explaining all of that for every pain we feel and I have just started as those where all words I could use for spasms, I didn’t touch on what nerves can do. I don’t want to scare people by painting a picture that is too strong, but the worst thing I could do is paint it too weak, I do what I can to write the truth as closely as I can, but I am never going be to able any more than anyone else can, to paint it fully as it really is.
I woke this morning because the pain was so strong, so sharp and so tight that I didn’t stand a chance of remaining asleep through it. That one pain, I can only assume started suddenly as if it had built I doubt it would have woken me, I know without a doubt that I must have pain when sleeping as I have it day in day out, so why would it stop at night. This morning it was sharp, stabbing and twisting all at the same time, it was no more than 20 or 30 seconds after I woke that it let go, leaving behind an ache that I have now had from that moment on. Almost every time I stand up, twist or stretch, it goes back into spasm, just as it has done continually for the past few days. It seems to remain quiet if I slouch slightly, just aching that all, but somehow as always there is a sharp edge even to the ache. That is all just my stomach, it isn’t the only pain or even spasm that I have had today, far from it, so as I said how can I possibly ever paint the full picture, there is just too much that requires such detail that the truth for all of us will always remain purely within ourselves, not because it’s a secret, but because no one would really want to know, before one day was over, everyone would stop listening or even reading.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 09/09/12 – Normal?
It is strange how your view of things are changed when your control of your life has been to some extent taken out of your hands. It’s Sunday to the rest of the world, children enjoy it as it is another day without school, parents as they have time to spend with their kids, workers as it is a day of rest and Christians as…..
I hope that you feel better soon x