When I sat down to write yesterday I had the intention of writing a very different post than what eventually appeared. That’s not that unusual for me, my brain just runs off on it’s own plan and I land up where ever it takes me, I didn’t remember until I reached the last paragraph but there was just to much to say to add it in at that point, so I made a few notes for today, otherwise I knew it would get lost again. So today I am starting with something that has been bothering me for a while, I just for some reason hadn’t written about it. To be honest there are often symptoms that appear and I wait to see where they go or if they just simply go before I write about them, everyone ill or not get’s one off occurrence of things that don’t quite make sense or simply never happen again. In some ways I haven’t been able to get out of a habit that appeared before I was diagnosed, being so used to not being believed by anyone, I simply didn’t speak about or go to the doctor, until I was sure it was real or I had had the same thing recurringly over several weeks not just days. I did sort of start this yesterday by talking about the fact that the focus of my PRMS has moved it’s focus and is now attacking my upper body far more than it’s original focus of my legs.
About two months ago I started having more pain in precise areas of my ribcage, at first it was just in my sides curving slightly into my back, especially my left side. In fact it is there just now, which for me was one of the things that I found odd, as the worst of my pain and breathing problems always seem to be at night. Then a pain I have had at night for a while in my left side again, but in my back which I had been putting down to the way I lie in bed, I had been assuming that it was a pressure point more than anything else, but there is no pressure when I am sat up. On there own, well neither are earth shattering or so bad that I would have even considered writing about but they have brought one other thing with them that has to be added here as part of my record of what is happening. It has only happened about a dozen or so times, most when sat right here just doing what I am do daily, so there is nothing that could have triggered it, as there is no stress in daily life. In some ways I would describe it as a massive spasm, as the contracting pressure is very similar, until now the spasms in my intercostal muscles always been in single bands, following the line of one or two gaps between my ribs, so this is new. Yes the first time I did wonder if I was having a heart attack and I did sit here feeling a combination of shock and fear, but there was something stopping me from calling for help. The worst pain was in my sides, not my front or even back, a place where many women feel a heat attacks and there was no pain in either my arm or my jaw or any of the other places it could possibly appear. Some last longer than others, from under a minute up to about 5, then they slowly subside and everything goes back to normal. Relaxing and slow, shallow breathing seems to make a difference, if only to take my mind off some of the pain, as yes it is truly painful and there isn’t anything you can do about sudden pain like that, tablets don’t work fast enough, I doubt anything would.
Each attack has varied not only in length and intensity, but also in their focus, yes the pain goes right around me and it is more often most painful in the left side, but a couple have switched to the right and one it was right in the middle of my chest. A couple have happened when I was in bed actually in the process of falling asleep, put it all together and the picture is clear to me. I believe the pain in my back and left side is my Emphysema as trying to take deeper breaths makes it more painful and it is becoming part of every day life for me now, rather than just now and then. The attacks, well that I believe is my PRMS doing what the doctors warned me of over 18 months ago. It appears that it has had enough of just a couple of intercostal muscles at a time and has decided to go for them on mass, something that to me makes more sense than the singular ones. I have always struggled with the concept of the MS hug, as I would have thought that causing two separate muscles on different sides of your body to go into spasm at the same time, was some what unlikely. When you breath all your intercostal muscles work together doing their part in process, to me it seems more logical that if it was triggering the nerve that makes them work, it would be triggering them on mass. Clearly MS hugs exist, I guess then mine just wants to give me really big hugs and has become fed up with just it’s once playful ones. I was told that the danger from my Emphysema might be lessened if I stopped smoking, but there was nothing that could be done to change what was happening with my mechanics of breathing, which even then was what they thought my main issues where. It seems it has stepping up things when it comes to severity, add in the increased diaphragm spasms and I suppose it was inevitable that this is what would happen.
As I said this so far has only happened about a dozen time, but that is enough to not be able to brush it aside and say it’s not happening. I am still in between having the hugs I am used to but trust me it’s not nice to find yourself stuck in a vice that is crushing the air from you, so far it isn’t bad enough to make breathing impossible and as long as I stay calm and breath slowly until it passes, I’m fine. In some ways it is probably easier for me to deal as it hasn’t appeared out of the blue and I have been dealing with pain for years, I know how to totally relax every muscle I have control over, unfortunately, there is no controlling a spasm, large or small.
Read my blog from 2 years ago today – 12/12/12 – A test for confusion