Friday, 30 December 2016

The MS Hug

So Christmas is over, in that fleeting 'oh...it's only a day' way.
Merriment was had by all. I have had too many Christmas tipples (which I really shouldn't do) and eaten my weight in chocolate (which I really REALLY shouldn't do considering what it does to my health - tingles ahoy!) and alas the whole festive period came back to bite me on my expanding bottom. I had fun for sure, but the over-tiredness and over-indulgence was just too much for me.
So the 'cheeriest' of all MS symptoms flared up – the good ol' MS hug.

Everyone loves a hug, right?

No! I don't. It's bloody awful!

This creepy symptom has been becoming more prevalent the more tired I get, and I had two humdingers over the Christmas period. The MS 'hug' is caused by a tightening of the intercostal muscles around the rib cage, so you feel as though you have a tight band around your chest. Sounds like a heart attack I know, but seen as it lasts for 3-4 hours and I'm still here, I think it's safe to say it's just a 'hug'. God, that really is the crappiest name for it. It makes it sound so pleasant.
It's massively uncomfortable and usually happens at night, making it hard to sleep. It feels like a stitch high up on both sides, coupled with a band of back pain. It makes breathing uncomfortable, and has been so nasty the last two times I've vomited out of protest.

I was hoping that Tysabri would have done away with symptoms like this, but maybe it's too early to have kicked in yet. I've been running my body into the ground again by trying to keep up with things, and have now paid the price....there's not much that would be able to stand up to that. After the most recent hug, I just couldn't get out of bed and slept for nearly a whole day. That's not right. I have to somehow curb the need to do things all the time. I just haven't been able to sit still....until I do too much and I can do nothing but sit. It's not helpful. But then, this need is surely just me wanting to live a full life? The really hard thing is admitting to myself that I can't do the same as everyone else though. There's still this need in me to be measured like everyone else by working and earning money. How things change though! In the past, staying at home and being a full-time Mum was a job enough. Now, despite knowing how utterly knackering and back breaking and flipping hard work it is, I still feel like people are going to judge me and think it's a cop-out.

No, this is precisely what I need to change in the New Year. I need to accept that my situation is not normal, nor will it change any time soon, so I need to be much kinder on myself.
I need to accept help when it's offered, and rest when I need it. No more thinking that going back to bed when Ed is at nursery is a 'waste'. No more taking the harder option. No more doing things that put myself under pressure...at least for the time being. Ed is growing up so fast, but I've found myself stressed and just wishing the days away until he's a bit older and I can talk and reason with him a bit. This has been such a hard stage. It was hard with Lib, but Ed is a force of nature. He's non-stop but not talking yet, so everything just feels chaotic. I need to take the time out to re-group a bit and take control.


Hopefully, doing that will mean a knock-on effect that will help me get rid of these dastardly 'hugs'. First things first though, it's time to prepare for a wonderful New Years Eve with friends....and finish off that box of chocolates downstairs…… ;)