Yesterday just sort of happened, right through until I went for my nap absolutely nothing of interest or note happened, it was just a day, as I said until I went for my nap. Lying down seems to trigger so many things, but I already had my diaphragm creating pressure all around my lower ribs, so I wasn’t that surprised that the strange sensation of having a ball shoved inside my ribcage, whilst wearing a corset. I know that sounds somewhat strange, but it really feels like there is a sphere right in the middle of my chest touching both my spine and breastbone, but where it causes problems for me is it feels like my lungs are being pushed out of the way to the sides of my ribcage, where of course it is hard to breathe as they feel trapped and every breath burns, the worst of it is directly behind the sides of my breast. Not only does it burn in my lungs, but every breath is felt in full detail from my throat downwards. It is far from the first time that it has happened, but it is one of the more unpleasant sensations, please note I said sensation as it isn’t directly painful as you might expect. It is as though everything has turned tight and compressed in every direction, the only true pain comes if I fight against it, trying to take a deep breath when it is at it’s tightest does cause pain, but if I keep my breathing steady and within the confines of what is permitted, it is more uncomfortable than painful, mind you I have never tried it without my meds and I don’t want to find out either. I have tried to work out exactly what is happening but I can’t explain it at all, as it doesn’t fit any single or even collection of muscles, it is almost as though that entire area where the sphere is, is locked in some way. Like a lot of things, there is only one thing to do and that is controlling my breathing, stay calm, relax and let it pass. Panic is the one thing you can’t do as that quickly causes muscles to tense not just around the area affected, but all over your body and that makes the whole thing so much worse.
Not panicking is something you have to learn to do quickly, from the first time you have a spasm onwards, panicking just makes the whole thing worse. Whether lying in bed or sitting here, panic is the perfect recipe for disaster, at least when I am lying down relaxation works and eventually puts me to sleep, the greatest escape there is. To date when I am attacked during the day I find the opposite works, well for most things and that is distraction. Mild everyday spasms with the medication I take to control them are actually something you can ignore if you are busy, they feel more like a tightening or pressure than how I remember them being before, just like a cramp and normally stronger. I have lived through years of them without medication and I had managed to even teach myself not to jump about like a lunatic, well at least not when there were people around. I became reasonably proficient in that deadpan face, whilst biting the inside of my mouth, strangely creating pain often allows you to deal with pain elsewhere. Yesterday was different for two reasons, firstly I don’t normally get bad attacks out of the blue like that, there is more of a build up pattern things slowly increase until they peak, but I had no warning what so ever, it was there. The only thing that made it fit in any way was my diaphragm and the fact I had just changed my position to horizontal. I didn’t realise as I eventually managed to slip into a dozing state, where most of my body no longer existed and all I that was left of me was my ribcage, was that it was just the start of it.
All evening I was in pain, despite having taken my booster pill in an attempt to keep it at bay, but my chest just wasn’t going to give in, there was hug after hug and spells where I sat silent, just hoping that Adam wouldn’t notice or start talking as I was busy controlling my breathing. I don’t remember there being much more than ten minutes of peace before something else happened, trust me it drains you having to breath slowly and shallowly. Adam was late home and went straight into the kitchen to catch up with the dishes, as a result, we had just an hour together, in an odd way it was a blessing. He worries so much about me, far more than I do, but I know that I will be fine, that this is just another part of what happens, but tell him that I can’t breathe properly and well he is off worrying, putting unnecessary stress on him and he has enough without it being added to. In a way, I was dreading going to bed, but on the other, I was so tired that I couldn’t wait, life is normally like that inside my body, totally contrary feelings, with no in between. I am sure that it took me more than half an hour to go to sleep, despite of how tired I was. Sometimes it can be a real battle getting my breathing right, my ribs can force me into taking very shallow breaths, but there is a danger in going with it if you don’t take in enough oxygen strange things start to happen. It starts with tinnitus and then hearing your pulse getting louder and louder in your head and a feeling throughout your body as though it is tingling and fading at the same time, then comes the pounding of your actual heart, all clearly not good and signs of oxygen starvation. There really isn’t any choice, I have to breath more deeply but I also don’t want the pain that goes with forcing your lungs up against a tight ribcage, it is a loose loose situation, with only one real answer, find sleep, auto pilot always works best.
I only slept until 4:30 when I woke once more in pain and bursting to go to the loo, it was in many ways the start of my day, as I only slept fit fully for the rest of the night. Right now, well it seems to have settled down again to it’s normal level for daytime, just my diaphragm tight as normal and my breathing, well because I have been writing about it, it is of course not as easy as it should be, it’s always best to find a distraction and trust me this was no distraction at all.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 10/10/12 – Thinking
Last night I deliberately delayed taking my meds as I wanted to be able to locate the source points of my pain, it was a painful experiment but one I thought was worth doing I was wrong. I have hoped that without the drugs interfering I would feel clearly what was happening rather than a numbed muddle. the result was…..