Tuesday, September 20, 2016
"IT" is not always MS.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2016
This has been quite an interesting day.
It all began last night.
No matter how tired I am at the end of the day, I always read a chapter or three in my bed before turning off the light and curling around my pillow. Last night was no different. Except...
As I turned (my body) to switch off the bed side lamp, I was assaulted by a 21-gun salute of a pain that streaked up the entire left side of my body. I fought to remain calm when I could not lift my left arm and my fingers tingled to numbness.
My first thought was exactly what just came to your mind.
Unfortunately my family has a history of heart conditions. So far I have escaped the inevitable, because, you know, I'm only...
Crap, old enough to take a spot in the heart attack line of the familial. How did I get this old?
Instead of going into instant panic mode (Hey, I have MS. If I gave into every single little, or big, physical ailment, I would be a total basket case. No time for that!) I eased back on to my pillow, took a few cleansing breaths, and tested my neck and shoulder with some gentle stretches.
My chest did NOT hurt. My breath was normal. My pulse seemed steady.
But the range of motion in my left arm was null and void. And PAINFUL!
Following several shifts in sleeping position, I finally found a relatively comfortable arrangement and concentrated on sleep. I prayed that this was not my time and asked the Man Upstairs to watch over me. What more could I do?
As it turns out...nothing.
I awoke to ZZ Topp on my radio alarm and felt fine...until I rolled out of bed. Yep, the pain was still there and, if possible, even more intense.
Preparing my son's breakfast with one arm and trying not to grimace in pain (didn't work), I announced that I wold be leaving for the emergency room as soon as son and husband departed for school and work. Of course, the panic set in immediately. For them.
I hate to worry people. That's why I work hard on keeping the tears to myself and pains on the down low. Even though MS is famous for affecting everyone associated with the one with the actual disease, I do my best to take sole ownership of this intruder.
Through tears, I assured husband that I could drive myself and tried to hide any insecurities from my son with an extra waffle. (I know he was worried about ol' mom and it just wasn't fair for him to meet his Monday with this on his mind.)
With only one thing on my mind, I donned yesterday's jeans, splashed my face with water, and brushed my teeth. Fairmont Regional Hospital is only four miles away, but the closer I got the distance grew longer.
Because of the early hour I had the place to myself, which meant that all attention was focused on me. After my detailed complaint, that attention visibly concreted into Go Mode and the ER came to life with energy. In the back of my mind I realized that they, too, shared my thinking.
Blood work, EKG, pulse, even a CT scan of my neck and spine...all negative. All clear. I was the vision of health. Even if I was in severe pain. And I had a secondary concern. My morning dose of Ampyra was in my front jeans pocket and I could not reach it with the IV n my right hand and non-responsive left arm. I asked the nurse if she would dig deep for me and explained what and why I needed to take this pill. She absolutely refused and told me that I could NOT take anything until I was released. I tried to explain the importance of maintaining a strict schedule for this 12-hour released wonder drug, but she would have nothing to do with it.
Well, she was NOT going to ruin my Ampyra experience for me. Even if this was my last day on earth, I would not be denied this opportunity to bleed Ampyra for any and every ounce of improvement it was having on my body.
When I was clearly alone in the hall way outside the CT room, I stood unsteadily and cautiously worked that pill up against the deep leg pocket of my worn Levi's. of course it popped to the ground, making me cringe at the unseen terrors that lurked on that very public floor. I looked cautiously from side to side for a witness. Finding none, as quickly as I could, I reached for my horse pill and popped it in my mouth. Like a deranged addict I collected enough saliva in my to ease the pill down my throat.
I didn't see Nurse Cratchet again (That's not fair. She was just doing her job. But she was too young and inexperienced to undermine the likes of my MonSter.) until my release, but I noticed she looked at my sideways in case I showed signs of with draw. Because I just KNEW she hadn't believed my time-release explanation of aid unseen pill in my pocket.
I was delivered back to my cot after the CT and my IV became infused with a delicious assortment of fluids and drugs, so the remainder of my stay in bed three of the ER was spent making up for the sleep denied me last night.
I felt so sorry for the invisible lady in the curtain enclosed bed next to me. She was in absolute agony. I wanted to share my brand of narcotics with her, but my relaxed state wouldn't even allow the words to exit my mouth. I did, however visit her before leaving. Lovely lady. Obviously not receiving the narcotic cocktail served me. Shame. Hope she feels better soon. As for me, I'm gong home.
The pain had eased considerably and my prescriptions awaited me at a local pharmacy.
Diagnosis: Pinched Nerve
I am still shocked that I was allowed to drive myself home. I had escaped the "trips" of high school and college drug experimentation, so I could document this psychedelic journey a "first" and a definite "last". Wow.
That was my Monday. And that was the reason for my absence for my Monday blog posting. Sorry I missed you. Let's just refer to this as research.
Jodi, I will check out that knitting pattern today. I apologize for not telling you about this yesterday, but the lines on my text reply were a bit squiggly:)
One BIG thing that came out of my weird Monday, is an odd public reaction to MS. We are wrought with dozens of cautions, suggestions, criticisms, self-cures, sure-fire diets, and mind-boggling treatments, but never have I been accused of wrongly identifying MS as a physical ailment. My ER physician yesterday did just that. Although Dr. P was well-versed on bed side manner and did her best to impress me with a knowledge of multiple sclerosis, she obviously was not a scholar on the topic. During her last bed side visit, she assured me that my situation was not a result of MS and she implied that I wrongly not attach physical ailments to my disease. As if I dishonored the prestige of multiple sclerosis by assigning my current pain to the power of MS. I cannot condemn Dr. P as a medical professional. She is an ER doctor, not a neurologist. She just doesn't know. No one truly does, but in a case such as mine, I urge the medical world to pay heed to the experts. You and Me. We are the MonSter slayers. MSers pay more attention to their bodies than world-class athletes. We know more about our "parts" than anyone, even our neurologists.
So, thank you for your assistance, Dr. P., and for your time n the ER. I feel much better and VERY relieved to know that this isn't a heart issue. I already knew it had nothing to do with MS. I'm just sad to miss my morning yoga class today. Just don't want to push the trigger on my new companion Pinched Nerve.
Really? A pinched nerve? From turning off my reading light?
Oh, yeah, I am older than I want to believe.
I will talk to you later.
Have a good one!