Tag Archives: nerve pain

Floating In A Most Peculiar Way

FloatingI had a consultation with my fabulous neurologist last month and we got round to discussing meds.

When the bullying started at work, I began a low-ish dose of anti-depressants (Citalopram) and they helped a lot. They got me through everything, including the legal case that followed and coming to terms with my diagnosis.

Two years down the line, I wanted to come off them as life is much, much better now, brilliant in fact, but was worried about how I’d feel. Would the pity-parties-for-one return with a vengeance? Would my Wotsit consumption multiply?

At the same time, the nerve pain in my legs and feet has increased and we discussed upping my Pregabalin dose. Luckily, Pregabalin can also be used for anxiety, so coming off the Citalopram could be a lot easier.

I then saw my GP who recommended decreasing the Citalopram gradually, i.e. moving to alternate days before cutting out completely. Sounded good?

Well, after a week I felt like death warmed up; inexplicably unmotivated, fed up, grumpy. I got worried.

Guess what? MS cog fog strikes again – I have a meds box I fill every week as I can’t be doing with faffing about with packets of pills every day. I diligently cut down the dose and popped one in the box every other day, completely forgetting I took two a day. So I basically reduced my dose by 75% overnight.

Anyway, I started the increased of Pregabalin yesterday and I don’t know if it’s psychological, but already the nerve pain has dropped dramatically. It is bliss. Unfortunately, they also made me float away quite alarmingly and lose track of where my feet where.

I went on a shopping trip with my mum. We wandered around, chatting, catching up until she said,

‘You ok dear? You seem a bit, um, odd. You’re walking funny.’

‘I’m floating! Floating. Feels kind of nice. Whoops. I meant to bump into that flower display you know. And the loo-roll pyramid.’

‘Quick, take my arm, there’s a small child in your way and you’re stumbling all over the place.’

The toddler, who was splayed on the floor, crying and drumming his feet was saved by my mum’s speedy actions. I waved at him and smiled, recalling The Teenager doing the exact same thing not so long ago.

When I got home with my shopping (a framed black-and-white picture of some empty park benches, a couple of books, a bowl and a fridge magnet), I gently bobbed on to the sofa and nodded off.

Cutting out the Citalopram is like severing the final link to a horrendous 2012 – it feels empowering. As for the floaty feeling, it’s still with me, but I’m sure it’ll settle down in the next couple of days, but for now, it’s a cushion, and it’s rather nice.

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Getting On My Nerves…

special offerIt’s been a stressful week and stress plus MS equals a spike in symptoms.

I have tried everything to stay serene and in control – deep breathing, chocolate, mindfulness, two episodes of Mad Men.

The deep breathing made me feel a bit silly, the chocolate nudged the scales up,  The ‘Power of Now’ was the ‘Power of Not-Right-Now’ and as for Mad Men, well, two episodes are never enough.

For me, it’s mostly an increase in nerve pain. Ever tried describing nerve pain to the uninitiated? Burning, tingling, numbness, crawling, aching doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Tingling sounds delightful, numbness sounds painless, crawling sounds weird and we all ache, don’t we? Just like we all get tired.

It’s been driving me round the twist all week and as always with MS, it doesn’t come alone. It’s the great MS special offer – ‘get one symptom, get three free’. So, as well as the nerve pain, there’s the fatigue, the wonkier walking, the hands that’d be better suited to a Greek taverna. Smashed plates? Yup, as well as my last proper grown up wine glass and yet another chip in yet another bowl.

I lay awake most of last night listening to Izzy miaow loudly. For a tiny cat, she’s got a huge set of lungs. The Teenager got up and shut his door and I was left to ponder the cobwebs on the ceiling and listen to a group of drunk woman sing ‘Simply The Best’ outside my window at 1.30 am. The pain was excruciating and made even more unbearable as my legs started to jerk and twitch.

I wasn’t sure if it was like being possessed by a malevolent spirit (The Exorcist sprang to mind in the wee small hours) or being stretched on a rack. Only problem was, I couldn’t get up and go downstairs as new cat Izzy would think it was perfectly normal to sit in the kitchen listening to the shipping forecast before sunrise. I was trapped and the women outside moved on to a Tom Jones medley, a tortuous backdrop to insane pain.

Action plan for the weekend – rescue ‘The Power of Now’ book from the corner I flung it in to, lie on the sofa with a huge bag of crisps and a relaxing face-pack on and chant, ‘this too shall pass’ over and over and over again…

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