Monday, March 21, 2011

Don’t Squeeze the Charmin!

There is a symptom of MS called the MS Hug.  Up to 75% of people with MS will experience this.  It is caused by a lesion on the spinal cord and is classified as a neuropathic pain called a “paresthesia”, which is basically any abnormal sensation.  It is brought on by tiny muscles between each rib going into spasm.
It is not pleasant.  It often feels different to each person, even different on different days or times of the day.  It can be as low as the waist or as high as the chest.  It can be in one small area of the side or back, or go all the way around the torso.  It is worse when one is fatigued or stressed.
It can last seconds, minutes, hours or years.  It can be a sharp pain, dull pain, burning pain, tickle, tingling, or crushing sensation.  Some have thought they were having a heart attack or panic attack.  It has often been described as being squeezed by a boa constrictor.
When I have had it, it seems like someone is standing on your lower back and moving around to your lower abdomen.  Whether standing, sitting, or lying down, there is no relief.  Pain relievers do not seem to help.
I like to think I am handling my MS problems well and keeping my sense of humor intact.  Some days it almost seems to be impossible to do so. 
I try to read the comments from other MS patients and get their feedback on how they are doing and what treatments they use to ease some of the discomfort of the different symptoms that pop up from day to day.  There are so many different aspects to this crazy disease that it is hard to try and handle it on your own.  I am grateful for the MS “family” that is always ready and willing to help in any way possible and share what they have learned in their journey.
Until this subsides, I will wear loose clothing and keep away from the snake cage!

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