Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Getting "hugged" by MS

Posting this in the off chance someone with MS reads it, gets the same thing, and is able to remain more calm...

Hmm... the continual gifts that MS brings to my life. I'm not so sure I like this. Wait, I am 100% certain I don't like this... this newest gift. Over the past 2 or so years I have had increased invisible symptoms of MS... feet on fire, legs ache beyond belief, resulting fatigue, etc. Luckily these come and go. Now there's a new one. I didn't think it was MS until I told my friend (who has MS) about it, and she gave an explanation which makes sense.

I had been working from home one day and went to pick my daughter up from a "day camp" at our local fieldhouse. As usual, I got Nemo, the wheelchair, out and wheeled into the building. I was early (it was almost 3:30) and the kids were still walking back from the park. I was expecting people at my house when I got home, but there was nothing unusual - I was calm, just picking her up, just there, waiting, until...

Ouch. Pain, all of a sudden, in one small point, in my chest, or kind of like a band around my chest. Was I imagining this? No. Definite pain. Oh no, this must be a heart attack. Let me check the other signs. No pain down the arm. Not nauseous. Let me take my pulse - it's normal. Can I breathe? Yes, I can breathe. I can take deep breaths...

(thought processes) Should I ask for help? Where is Lori? I have GOT to get out of here. Is it 3:30 yet? Who would I ask for help? Doesn't anyone care? Wait, they don't know - this is invisible. If I go to the hospital, what are the people coming to my house going to do? Where's my phone? People are looking at me (because now I'm taking huge breaths to assure myself I can breathe without difficulty and am darting my eyes everywhere in case I see Lori).

Eternity seems to pass. Lori arrives (in reality maybe 5 minutes have passed). "Mommy, guess what we did today?!!" I have got to get out of here now. We leave. I start to put Nemo in the car. Just moving a bit seems to make this go away.

Lori starts talking. The symptoms go away completely. We get home; my friends arrive with their kids. The end?

MS hug? Not sure, but I'm thinking that's it and will ask my rehab doctor when I see him next week.

If so, I don't like it and I don't like the affectionate wording of "MS hug."

Let's rename it... "MS heart attack," "MS surprise gift of extreme pain," "MS gift from the heart," "gift unwanted," "MS chest panic," "invisible knife in chest." It's definitely not a hug.

Apparently potassium helps with preventing more occurences of this. Bought my potassium!

I wonder, when I'm in the middle of strange stuff like this, why doesn't God come to mind for me? That might relax me a bit!

And so, another invisible symptom, I think. That, to me, is a hard part of MS. People see MS and think the visible is all there is. But the invisible is harder for me to take. How lucky I am to have lesions in my spine but not my brain. Unfortunately, lesions on the spine cause this - it's a spasming of little muscles between ribs, from what I read.

I'll still go with what my rehab doctor says. "We need to keep this (points at my mind) strong." Yes, he's right. But my mind keeps wondering if the new gift will come back. Can God help me to let that go?


1 comment:

Clare said...

I went through this the first time two yeas ago and I really thought I was having a heart attack. But it was the joys of a MS hug.

I get it from time to time and it does make me panic until I start to diaphragm breathing, its well worth learning.

Your not alone :) Oh the joys of MS :):)