It is one of the hardest things to do, to cause yourself pain, but it is something that I have learned often has to be done, whether it is a spasm in a major muscle like my thigh muscle or something smaller and more delicate such as my intestine. I don’t know how or why I first did, I suspect it is one of those instincts that we all have, but I know that I learned many years ago. I know from reading what others write that it is an almost universal reaction to spasms that don’t respond to a gentle massage, to then start beating the hell out of them and when that fails, to apply as much pressure as you can against the spasm. It is quite often easier said than done, especially when the pain is severe and your initial pressure actually makes them hurt even more, but if you push and push until you have no strength to push anymore, amazingly, the pain stops and blissfully dissipates into nothing, over until the next time. That is all well and good as long as the pain is in a limb or even in your neck, yes you get spasms in your neck as well, but when that spasm is deep inside you, well it just isn’t as acceptable in public to deal with some of them, trust me you can receive some rather odd looks even when it is just in your leg. The downside is often that you don’t just land up with one muscle, the one that was in spasm then suffering from fatigue, but you also land up with two useless arms as well. Often it is a case of weighing up what is needed the most and if you’re out shopping with heavy bags to carry, those arm muscles will be needed, the reason I also learned quickly to have a five-pound note that was never to be spent with me all the time, just in case I had to call a taxi.
The five-pound note wasn’t the only money I used to take with me when out of the house, money that was earmarked for emergency use only, I always also carried enough to buy myself a coffee. That was a fund that I often dipped into as when your body says stop or it is a spasm somewhere inside you, sitting down having a coffee offers you more options of how to deal with it. Sitting with a bag on your lap and quietly pushing it and it’s contents into your stomach as your intestines have managed to tie themselves in knots is another relief trick I have used many times in the past. It is far harder to push your hands alone into your body, something to do with the angle I guess, but as most cafes have fixed tables, putting a bag between you and the table edge and pushing yourself forward, is a trick to remember, much easier than lying down in the street and twisting yourself into some odd position that might just find you being arrested at worst or committed until you can be alone and explain what you were really doing. At least being housebound has that one blessing, I no longer have to find a way of covering up or a way of pretending it’s not happening at all.
In the last few days, I think I have tried almost every trick that I know to break the pressure in my upper stomach. It’s not the same as a spasm I know that, but there are a few similarities and because I still believe that I have a two fold problem, worth trying until someone tells me otherwise and can prove it to me. I am still convinced that part of the issue is down to something either constricting or pushing into and narrowing my large intestine where it goes under my ribs on my left side, as that is the point where I get most of the pain. When the pain is at it’s worst, my stools become pencil thin and only return to normal with the pain settles from time to time, something that hasn’t happened for a couple of months now. I did get some relief last night, after taking my higher dose of laxatives for the third night in a row, I woke at 2 am and headed to the loo, actually not caring in the slightest that it was the middle of the night, I was just glad that something was happening. I made two trips within 15 minutes and when the second ended in diarrhea, I was both relieved and confused. Relieved because that usually means that is all there is, but confused as neither the quantities or the internal feelings were confirming that conclusion. I went into the kitchen and sat there for a while while I had a cigarette and thought about it, I was sure that I wasn’t clear and to confirm that point while I was there, the pain started. It had been missing for nearly 48hrs, but there it was once again at the exact same points as always and there was nothing that I could do about it, other than return to bed and hope it wouldn’t be too long before that shifted too.
I didn’t have to wait long to get the confirmation that it wasn’t over, as the wind began within minutes of lying down, wind never follows, it is a prelime, not a finale . When by 9am nothing else had happened, other than the pain under my ribs on my left side increasing and increasing, I decided that I was going to try once more to apply pressure and to make whatever was still their move, I tried pushing my hands in as far as I could, curling up against my crossed arms and even lying over the arm of the settee, pressing and rolling my stomach over it. As has happened many times before I actually felt it pass through the point that I have been saying for years is part of the problem and if this doesn’t prove it, I don’t know what does. When I went to the loo during the night, as has been the case for the last couple of months, everything I passed was no thicker than a pencil, well apart from the diarrhea, it’s hard to gauge, but within seconds of my feeling things move I went to the loo and once again I was back to pencil thin stools. I know they found nothing two years ago when they searched by scan on the outside and camera on the inside, but I swear that the muscles at that point go into a lockdown spasm and nothing will release them until they are ready to let go. The diminished nerve messages no longer have the strength behind them to make the muscles in the rest of me force it open by shoving through using brute force. Three years ago, the only pain was on the left side, but as the years have progressed, so have the number of points where there is pain, I now believe that I have several points where locked down spasms are happening, forming more and more pockets each their own little pressure balloon. When the pain is one sided as it was this morning, I have had great luck by applying pressure, but when it has spread across my stomach, which it is doing now, it doesn’t seem to work, I can’t explain that one other than it is just too much to handle when there are so many stagnated sections. I simply can’t manage to get enough pressure on each of the points that appear to be in spasm and the more I try, the more it all complains about it, but when there is both internal and external pressure it is going to complain when there is nowhere for the pressure to go. It doesn’t take a genius to know that I may have shifted some today, but I am a long way from clearing it all.
Causing pain to relieve pain does work, but it is only sensible when you know you aren’t causing any worse damage, which is the reason that I hesitate when it comes to putting pressure on to a stomach that is already complaining big style. I may have been ill for 30 years, diagnosed for 14 of them, but I still don’t know enough even about my own body to go poking around into area’s I can’t see or don’t know what is wrong exactly with. Sometimes I think I should be braver, more willing to just find out, but when the pain levels just keep going up, well even someone who is brave enough to try in the first place, looses the will to try further. So right now, all I can do is wait, wait and see what happens and what eventually the outcome will be.
Read my blog from 2 years ago today – 1/05/13 – Oxygen and peace please
My body has been through a lot over the years and it isn’t unusual for pain to wear me down by the end of a day, but with medication it is rare for me now to hide away because I don’t know how to deal with anymore. That is fair enough, I have MS and that happens, I wouldn’t really expect any less, but to be driven to my bed through discomfort, not pain, well I never……