Multimorbidity

To my amazement I was wrong yesterday when I said that I wasn’t going to the loo yesterday, I did, but I now also know why I slept so well the night before. It was around 3:30 when I woke about ten minutes earlier than I had my alarm set to end my afternoon nap. I just assumed that I had woken early as that was all the sleep that I needed right then, so I just got up, dressed and got ready to go on with my day. As I dressed I noticed that my skin was clammy, the house didn’t feel any different in temperature, but I decided to only put on one dressing gown, instead of my normal two. The stretching motion required in that action triggered a stomach cramp across the top of my stomach. Stomach cramps on their own are bad enough, but as it cramped as so often happens, it put my diaphragm into full spasm. I am totally used to living with it in a semi locked position but when it locks tightly, it isn’t always easy to do the right thing and relax, not panic. The stomach cramp alone wasn’t a stop you dead pain, but one that more than just got my attention. After standing still for a couple of minutes while I did my best to let the whole thing pass, I fetched a glass of coke, I came through here and sat while my PC booted up. My plan was to spend the next hour relaxing while playing one of my games, all part of my trying to do less and relax more. Just sitting there I found myself getting more and more uncomfortable and sweating more and more as the discomfort in my stomach was growing exactly in line with it. Within 15 minutes, I had ditched the dressing gown and was mopping sweat off my body and it didn’t end there. I knew that without a doubt things were moving and they were letting me know about it. Pain levels rose and rose and then suddenly stopped. It was all in my upper stomach and worst as always on the left side below and just under my ribs.

There was another 20 minute after that, which I recognised all too well. The discomfort was moving and I found myself sitting rocking back and forward. I don’t know why I do that, but it is some kind of instinctive action that has a comfort value that I don’t understand. Then just as suddenly as it all started, it stopped. All that remained was a building pressure across the top of my stomach, which also stopped and just settled into its normal pattern of discomfort. I thought that was it, nothing else was going to happen but I was wrong as eventually, I received the message that my body was ready to ditch the results of all that pain. Actually going to the loo, is totally painless, it takes effort as otherwise the pain then starts to build again just lower down. Once I had been to the loo, I started to join all the dots that I had noted.

Every night that I have woken in the past few months had one element of that hour. The most notable other than the pain is waking in a terrible sweat. No, not the menopause, that is nicely under control, if my HRT wasn’t working, I would have sweats during the day without pain, which I don’t get. It has been that bad that on a couple of times I have had to put a towel over the wet sheet and turn the duvet over so that I don’t have to have the cold wet sheets against my skin for the rest of the night. On several times, because I sleep on my back, I have woken with pools of sweat sitting over my eyes held there by my sleep mask. I can’t open my eyes until I have the mask off and I have dried my eye socket, otherwise it stings like mad. I don’t know why I hadn’t put the two together before but I just didn’t have a reason to do so. Yes, I have had sweats during the day due to the pain, but never that bad. They are usually just short lived and vanish as quickly as the pain subsides and just like at night, I am never overheating, just sweating. All these things have been happening more and more since I started on the Psyllium. The reason is easy to see now, everything is bulked up in sizes and moves more freely as it produces a slippery sort of gel. Whereas in the past nothing moved or when it did it was sudden and very short lived, now it is all moving more and causing much more pain. If I needed proof, last night I woke covered in sweat and I sat rocking in the kitchen as I smoked a cigarette and my body normalized again. That time it wasn’t productive, just a prelim to what I hope will happen later today. Right now, I am very uncomfortable, rocking nicely and about to take a booster pill as after an hour and a half of it, I have had enough. When I saw the consultant he did say that the Psyllium would fix constipation and that the pain was something I would have to pursue the answer for, he never said that Psyllium would actually make the pain worse.

It appears that there was a rule that was written in secret a long time ago, that even doctors don’t seem to know. Change anything and you will without any doubt upset something else. It is one of the features of dealing with chronic conditions especially if you have more than one and it is guaranteed to make life difficult whenever it can. For the last few months, I have been living with the fact that all the problems that are going on with my insides thanks to my PRMS has been upsetting my COPD. Learning to breathe when your stomach is causing enough pain to double you up is hard enough without other things joining in as well. I know I am still in the early stages of this trial of the Psyllium, but it just shows how even such a small thing as adding something organic to your diet, can actually be the route of huge issues. If it had been suggested by anyone other than a doctor, I know that I wouldn’t have even tried it. I have had similar reactions over the years to so called cures and remedies that I have spent money on only to find that it made something else worse. Despite the fact that the Psyllium is working, it has also made me even more reluctant to try anything else. I am only happy to keep taking it as there is one huge fact, I have to go to the loo, if I don’t, well the outcome isn’t pretty.

The peppermint oil is already history as without a doubt it was making me vomit and was causing heartburn, something I don’t actually understand as it is used by some to cure it. My body is fighting so many different things and I live on such a fine balance that I also live constantly in fear of upsetting anything else. Multimorbidity is a horrible word and horrible thing to live with, but there doesn’t seem to be a specialist anywhere that has the ability to understand my selection of conditions and how they affect each other. Something that doesn’t surprise me as I am still learning exactly what it means and what is happening to me. I guarantee that is a complaint you would hear from every single person who equally have their own selection of conditions. We have moved on beyond living with a chronic illness, I never realised that you could, but you can, and we have.

Read my blog from 2 years ago today – 11/06/13 – Mysteries and problems

I have just come off the phone from my electricity company who were supposed to be here yesterday morning to check my meter. I know some might say that as I am housebound it didn’t inconvenience me in any way, but waiting for things that never happen is really annoying. I had at first a problem getting a morning appointment so I waited…….

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