Saturday morning I walked the dogs twice ’round the house (it’s not that big of a house), grabbed a smaller-than-usual armload of wood, and went back in. Dropped the wood in the rack and sat down. Calf muscles screaming at me like I’d just done some dead lifts of a 1960 Buick La Sabre. Lungs trying to go on strike. Nothing relieves it now. Nothing. I could do with the ‘remitting’ part really soon, okay? And if this is the new ‘plateau’ I’ll take vanilla.
Pain. It’s all about pain. Fatigue, yes. Everyone knows that’s symptom #1, but #2 is definitely pain. There’s too kinds: the severe, and the persistent.
The severe is, in a strange way, easier to deal with. It’s vicious to be sure, but it does go away. Okay, it comes back too. But the knife in the thigh, angina-esque chest discomfort, and random sensations other places that cause agony for minutes or even hours do vanish eventually. Even if they are largely unaffected by anything less powerful than morphine. As with the fatigue there is some break which allows you a few minutes to get through some small daily routine – quickly before it comes back.
The persistent, on the other hand, is just there all the time. It’s like being surrounded by whining children complaining they don’t feel well, and it comes from everywhere. Each part of your body crying for attention and trying to outdo the other bits. Again the medications do little for this, because in fact the afflicted areas aren’t afflicted at all – only the nerves think they are.
Oh the nerves. I can recall all-too-vividly having what was called “neuralgia” on the right side of my head when I was about 12 years old. Nothing helped that either, but it did go away. In retrospect it was probably this thing I’ve got trying out its boxing gloves. As an engineer I can readily understand nerves as the body’s wiring, and the missing myelin as frayed insulation allowing short circuiting. Because the wires run “both ways” (both input to the brain and output to muscles) the unintended sparks cause unreal pain as well as involuntary muscle action – or indeed inaction.
Sometimes I think it would be beneficial to be able to connect one’s nervous system to that of the attending physician, so you could ‘throw the switch’ and say “THAT’S what it feels like, doc!” Most of them would keel over from the sudden shock, but what the hell. If you get the impression they don’t take you seriously when you describe the endless randomized pain inputs you’re probably right. There is a tendency for people to say “that’s impossible” and dismiss your complaint as “whining”. I can tell you that utterly failed wiring is a lot easier to trace down and repair than intermittent faults, and this MS stuff is definitely intermittent faults – until it fails entirely. The biggest difference is you can fix wires. Nerves, not so much so.
So right now I’m stuck. I’m at a point where I can barely manage daily routine, and that with difficulty. The idea of tacking any sort of ‘project’ is right out, and that’s going to cause more difficulty. I see ugly times ahead, and even if they get ’round to giving me an official certificate of diagnosis it isn’t going to ease that problem. Let’s just say I don’t have a lot of support in my personal life and that isn’t going to change either. There is the need for a long-distance trip coming up, and there’s just no way I can do it. That is going to cause all sorts of ill will within the family, and there will be no sympathy for the devil (me). Enough said on that.
Six weeks it’s been (possibly more; I’ve lost count) since this latest relapse occurred. And I’ve just forgotten what I was about to say. Damn. Oh – something about not feeling much like writing about other subjects because of it. I will, though, or remain silent. Why? Because I’m sounding like a whiner even to me.
I need chocolate. It’s a damn two hour plus trip to and from the nearest city that has it. I don’t think I can do that either. As for the cabin … I don’t see that happening anymore either, and that will trigger World War Three around here.
I don’t need this shit happening. I really do not.