Tag Archives: nerve pain

The Ugly Spectre Of MS

noThe Teenager collapsed last week.

As with most teenagers, he had his phone glued to his hand at the time and managed to text me in work:

‘can’t get off the floor, come and help me. I’m scared’.

I couldn’t get there straight away so sent others, who managed to pick him up off the floor.

By the time I arrived home, he was marooned in his bed, in pain and confused.

I took him to the GP and the chiropractor.

The evening before, we had been in A&E with extreme nerve pain. And were referred back to his GP.

Some tests were run.

He has been referred to a neurologist.

He mentioned a few symptoms that made my blood run cold.

He has been working out at the gym. That will be it?

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A Yuletide Pity Party

grinchI worked yesterday, although I’m sure The Boss wished I hadn’t.

I grinched and grumbled the whole day, threw an almighty strop over a designer radiator and sulked in the van while The Boss gamely measured up our new, muddy building site.

When I got home (after flouncing out the van and nearly breaking an ankle in the process), I collapsed on the sofa, before promptly falling asleep.

Nerve pain, usually kept under semi-strict control with medication, had sneaked past it and was having festive fun dancing with clogs on all over my body. Hard to describe and difficult to ignore, my body was inflamed with the darned pain. After I woke up, I lay still, wishing beyond hope that it would go away.

My stomach grumbled but I couldn’t get up. I passed a few hours like this, intermittently bursting into tears whenever a Christmas charity advert came on TV. The Teenager popped down a couple of times to ferret through the fridge and sneak a few mouthfuls of squirty cream (he denies it, but I know the sound).

Eventually I ate two mince pies without squirty cream, cried a little more and gave the cat some Dreamies before I went to bed. I slept a straight ten hours, virtually unheard of as late as I’ve also been plagued by the scariest, most bizarre nightmares. Anyway, I got up, fell on to the sofa and lay there pitying myself a bit more and watched the news about Storm Barbara (Really? Do you know how many jokes I’ve had?).

So I sulked about the storm’s name and the nerve pain cranking up again. I sulked about there being nothing on TV. I sulked when I found out The Teenager had demolished the rest of the mince pies. And then, A Christmas Miracle.

The Boss texted me. He was going to Ikea and would I like to join him? Well, I could just as easily sulk in Ikea as at home – and have more reason to – so I went. Best. Cure. Ever.

It was blissfully quiet, I got to stock up on candles and had a leisurely coffee while watching harassed parents attempt to control their over-excited toddlers. Been there, done that. Nerve pain? Still thrumming away, still painful, but with the company of a good friend and a change of scenery, just about manageable.

This lull allowed me to reflect on how lucky I am to have you guys to offload to, to grumble to and to feel part of a larger group of good mates. I love your comments and your emails and who knows what my fifth year of blogging will bring?

p.s. If I hear, ‘Barbara’s going to be very windy’ one more time, I’ll cry again …

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Standing Up For Sitting Down

sittingChristmas, I salute you.

It’s practically mandatory to sit down all day, watch old black and white films, gorge on chocolate and generally do not very much at all.

I love it.

Sadly though, I also have a short story (experimental and transgressive, gah) and a critical reflection piece to write.

Looking on the bright side however, it just means I get to sit down some more, only this time at my desk (after shoving the cat off the chair). Plus adequate supplies of chocolate and an old film playing in the background, the tv turned towards me.

Or that was the plan.

The Teenager has taken to his phone to communicate with me by text throughout the festivities and subsequent academic struggles:

‘I’m awake!!!’

‘Lovely dear. It’s 2pm’.

‘Mum?’

‘What?’

(Teenager sends through five screen shots of tops he wants to buy with his Christmas money)

‘Preference?’

‘I’m trying to write an essay’.

‘I like the red one. You?’

‘Very nice’.

‘Mum! What’s the best one? Is there toast in the house?’

‘The red one is nice. There’s bread in the freezer’.

‘Muum, muuuum, wanna make me toast? Because you wuv me? With honey? Jam if it’s easier?’

And so on and so on.

I’ve looked at all the study guides, and they recommend taking breaks after twenty or thirty minutes. So every half hour I sort out the laundry, organise the shopping list, vacuum, feed and play with the cat (I stupidly bought her a laser toy), dust, catch up on paperwork and sort out the recycling. Then I get back to the essay.

I suddenly have a wonderful idea, linking a little-known theory to my essay. I jot down notes, feel inspired, hover over the keyboard …’

A text.

I can’t help it. I look.

‘Have you seeeeen this?????’

(A short film or ‘gif’ of a rabbit doing a high-five, over and over again)

My wondrous literary thought (which could have changed the literary world) has disappeared, never to be retrieved. I save my paltry document and give in to the inevitable.

I resume my default On The Sofa position, controller handy, legs tucked up (MS nerve pain is a nightmare), bowl of chocolate within reach and a book at my side.

I scroll through my tv recordings. Ah. Aiden Turner, in an Agatha Christie locked-room mystery. Of course, I am compelled to watch it for, ahem, research. It’s based on a very, very famous novel.

I settle down.

Ping. Text.

‘Mum. Guess what?’

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Nerve-Jangling

nervesEvery late-afternoon, just as the sun begins to set, I have an overwhelming urge to take off all my clothes.

Sadly, this has nothing to do with a new-found interest in naturism or a desire to embrace my post-40 body, flabby bits and all.

I don’t find myself in front of the mirror chanting positive affirmations while gazing deep inside my soul.

It’s much more pedestrian than that – it’s an MS symptom. Mind you, that sounds quite weird so I’ll explain.

For the last two weeks I’ve had the most hideous nerve pain. I’m well-used to this in my legs, my feet and those occasions where it comes and goes in my arms and hands. It’s my constant nemesis. But this time the pain has been cranked up to the level where it hurts to have clothing next to my skin, a bit like a case of very bad sunburn.

Not only that, any kind of pressure is torture, so I spend my evenings alternating between sitting bolt upright on the sofa or wandering around the house like a lost soul, tripping over the cat.

Every morning when the nerve levels are manageable once more I think, ‘gah, must have been imagining it, tsk, silly me’. I get through the day, catch up on university reading (still struggling, still bewildered), attempt to pin-down The Teenager for more than three minutes to find out what he’s been up to (apparently we live in the same house, though you wouldn’t think it).

And just as I begin to relax, start to slough off the challenges of the day, blam, there it is. As if every single nerve ending is a burning needle. I’ve tried billowy t-shirts and baggy sweat-pants, I’ve tried a kaftan (yup, and luckily The Teenager was out that night). I’ve tried slathering myself in moisturiser as some kind of barrier cream but ended up sticking to my clothes.

I’m hoping it’ll pass and doesn’t become a permanent feature of my life. I know I quite fancied myself as a tortured writer, starving in my garret, but this isn’t quite the way I had planned it.

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Pass Me The Spanner, Numpty

beautifulA most interesting day at work, what with the higher dose of Pregabalin settling down – it was a bit like ER, with The Builder subtly creating all the drama:

‘Spanner’

‘Yup, Boss.’

‘Snips.’

‘Yup, Boss.’

‘Hammer.’

‘Yup, Boss.’

‘Tape’.

‘Well, I have The Best of The 80’s?’ or ‘Simon and Garfunkle’.

‘Plumbing tape, you numpty’.

‘Yup, Boss. Just joking.’

And so it continued. I floated around, munching on granola bars and slurping endless cups of coffee (mine was the pink ‘Hello Kitty’ mug, the Boss got the ‘Mr Busy’ one). I seem to be having a mini-relapse since upping the Pregablin dose – my hands moving a few seconds too late or too early, feet not moving properly or dragging, dropping things and generally feeling spaced out.

A few hours later, we wrapped it up and I was dropped off at home.

The most important thing is, my nerve pain has been reduced drastically and it’s a feeling that goes way beyond relief – the nagging, crawling, aching pain in my legs every evening, making the smallest tasks impossible, has been knocked back down to just my feet. Which isn’t brilliant, but a whole lot better than before.

I can now stand up properly when The Teenager gets back from school, and look semi-parent like. I no longer lie on the sofa all evening, dreading getting up. I can read a book without the constant, nagging pain pulsing away, ruining everything.

The downside is I still feel as if I’m trapped in a marshmallow cushion. I can’t concentrate. I am very, very slow. Everything is now somehow wondrous. When I cooked pesto pasta for The Teenager this evening, I spent an inordinate amount of time just staring at the sauce after I took the lid off. So green, so pesto-y, so, well, wondrous.

I’m sure it’ll pass and my mind will realign itself with my body again (by the weekend, PLEASE). But for now, as my body refuses to do what I command it to and my mind is somewhere completely different, I will make the most of stopping to pick up leaves from the garden, turning them over and marvelling at their unique patterns, and allow myself to admire the beautiful, brown, shiny spheres that are … Maltesers. Beautiful.

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