One of my many symptoms that come and go seems to be getting worse. For years, I’ve had issues with eating. Like a lot of people with MS, I frequently get food stuck and/or choke on it. At one point, I was almost totally unable to eat, because it didn’t just make me feel sick, but ill. There is a big difference, feeling sick can be fixed by taking a metoclopramide table, every time I ate anything beyond tiny quantities, I felt as though I had a really bad dose of the flu. Eating was literally making me ill. I know that makes no sense, but I was desperate to eat but I couldn’t. My weight dropped to just seven stone and I landed up with a gastric nasal tube in place for nearly three years. The cure was as odd as the whole event, when I became housebound and didn’t have all the stress and exhaustion of getting ready for work, being in the office, coming home and undressing again, when suddenly life was relaxed and at my bodies pace, I slow managed to increase the quantities and eventually even remove the tube altogether. I still can’t eat great quantities, if I do I still feel ill, but little and often, has worked now for years. Finding myself with now an increasing range of food problems was something I didn’t expect, I really thought that I had this one licked.
The first issue I noticed was a couple of months ago when I suddenly found myself with tablets sticking in my throat again. Not just occasionally, but almost every round of meds meant I had a tablet stuck somewhere. Some of them weren’t even going down at all. I think they are gone, but by the time I move from the kitchen to the bathroom, I would suddenly find one back in my mouth. Tablets are without a doubt, both the biggest and the hardest things that I try to swallow, so I suppose it wasn’t a surprise I noticed them first. Most of my meals are either made up of soft foods, ones that are by nature both small pieces and granular, such as granola. I do eat a lot of nuts, but because I’m aware of my problems I’m always careful to chew everything well. So a couple of weeks ago, I was shocked when I found I was having problems with even the finest foods. On several occasions just like anyone else, I have swallowed the food I had in my mouth, and added another spoonful, only to find, that the food I thought I had swallowed, wasn’t gone at all, just sat in my throat going nowhere. What can you do when you have the equivalent of two mouthfuls, trying to fill the space where only one should be? On others, it has been sat over the entrance to my throat, in a way that is hard to remove in any direction. Add that to the growing number of time that my soft palate goes into spasm and I can’t even get a breath, well, eating, is now once again becoming a problem.
There is no point in my telling anyone, I have already been through all the tests, all the hours of sitting with a speech therapist being taught how to deal with it all. I have gone through all the lessons about how to eat, what to eat, to keep my chin tucked in rather than raised as it’s supposed to open everything up again, not the word supposed, it does unless there’s a spasm. I’ve been through it all, so unless it gets to the point when food is a pure danger or impossible, there is nothing to be done and I really don’t need to hear someone saying all of that all over again. By the way, our throats, are yet another thing that is controlled by the ever troublesome vegas nerve.
Last night I went to bed, with my heart filled with trepidation. It actually all started three days before when I went to the loo with no problems, well other than there was a piece of stool, trapped at the exit of my rectum. I know that I said I wasn’t going to write any more about my problem with my guts, but I said that before all this happened and this, it’s all totally new. Over the last few months, having a piece of stool I couldn’t get rid of has become quite normal, something I have learned to live with as no matter how I try, all I do is cause myself pain. Yesterday, though, well I had just had enough of it and I decided to use a suppository. A simple step I’ve used a couple of time now that removed the problem with ease and with the wind I had, I thought it was the best solution. The last couple of times, after I had cleared my bowels I had a short spell of mild incontinence, usually more mucus than anything else and it passed really quickly. I was relieved yesterday when it didn’t happen at all. The only thing that seemed wrong was the rather small amount that the suppository relieved in the first place, plus my normal pain was growing, but everything seemed fine right through the morning and early afternoon.
At 4 pm, as always, I went to fetch my psyllium pancake and a small bowl of nuts, as I was just about to sit back on this chair, I felt it, and I knew it wasn’t just mucus. I had the wateriest diarrhea I have had since I had the endoscope investigations two years ago. I cleaned myself up, but it just kept happening. Fortunately for me, I was fine as long as I sat still, (my normal life position) and didn’t have to move from one chair to another, or to get to the loo. I did what I could to clear what was there, but I wasn’t really clearing anything. By the time Adam came home, I had convinced myself that it was just some kind of extreme reaction to the suppository, so I saw no point in even mentioning it. Something that again, I admit that I do too often. Even when I went to bed, padded so that I hopefully couldn’t have an accident overnight, I said nothing to him.
When I woke in the middle of the night dripping with sweat and once again feeling sick, was the first time I began to wonder if I had made a mistake. As I leaned forward to reach my dressing gown and wheelchair, once more I felt semi-solid liquid escaping me. I freely admit that I then allowed the idea that I had a much bigger problem to enter my head. I examed my own abdomen to see if I could find any area where there was a hard mass, I found nothing. Yes, my abdomen was tender, but that isn’t anything new, it frequently is. I have been examing my stomach for years, so I am sure that if there was anything there, I would have found it. Right or wrong, I made the decision that it was just something else that I was just going to have to get on with.Yes, I woke up during the night feeling sick but a metoclopramide tablet, dealt with it and I managed to return to sleep.
Eight hours on, well, on the good side, I’m still here and nothing has gotten worse, in fact, the diarrhea seems to have dried up. There was a little there this morning, but after a couple of hours of being upright, I’m sure that that is, at least, is over and done with. I know that anyone else out there would have been to their doctors or the local hospital, but being housebound actually puts both of those things out of reach for me as I have explained many times before. I’ve written all of this because it has to be documented so that it’s here, where it belongs, amongst all the other joys of life with chronic illness. It is just another 24 hours of my life, hours I have to remember and I have to be able to tell the consultant when I see him. Whatever is going on inside me, it’s clearly getting worse.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 02/04/2014 – The 10 year root
In the last couple of weeks, I have been having problems with the internet, the download speed has dropped to a ridicules 3.7 and I had simply had enough of it. I hadn’t even been on our providers website for years, so, of course, I had forgotten my password and there was only one choice to reset, once that was done, I logged in with two things in mind, firstly to find out if we still were in contract to them and second who to complain to. Much to my surprise, I had just clicked on the complaints tab, when it took over and ran a speed test, telling me we should have a download speed or 12.5, it was our router that is causing the problems. I hadn’t even really considered the router as a possibility, although I did rebooted it just the other day, just in case and when there was no improvement or change, I put it firmly back in the “Talk Talks” domain……