My apologies. It has been far too long since I’ve last written to you. Despite the agony and pain that I have been going through you, of all people, deserve the right to know what my progress is and what is happening. This is, after all and in a way, a letter to you. I had promised to keep you abreast on all that happens in my life as a person with MS (Multiple Sclerosis). Instead, I crawled into myself and lay there whimpering for weeks at a time.
You have a right to come down on the floor with me and whimper along. You don’t have a right to try and pull me up. My letters to you are filled with the detailed aspects of my life which can oftentimes be mortifying, humorous, or sad. You know that I always try and find something positive about it all. There are times, however; like these past few weeks, that I collapse on the floor and whimper. I have earned that right and that is why I say, you don’t have the right to try and pull me up.
I need to lay there on the floor in a puddle and give in to the pain and sadness of a person with Multiple Sclerosis. You do too. I don’t write because I want to pull you up off the floor, but because I want you to know that I’m here. What have I done instead? Disappeared.
For this I offer you my sincerest apologies. I should have let you in on what is happening.
Let’s begin. I believe you already know about the pain in my legs. I have not taken at look at my previous posts. I think it’s okay to refresh yours and my memory on it all. You know how it is with us and memory.
About seven months ago I started to feel a pain mostly in my left leg. It almost felt like a person who experiences a “Charley Horse” during the night. If this happens, the following day you feel a very sore pain in the leg. Take that pain and multiply it by ten and you have what I felt like.
I hobbled around and soon I started to feel that same pain in my right leg but to a lesser degree. The pain began in my calves and then moved up to include my thighs. After a month or so of this, I landed up going to emergency and nearly screaming at people to help put me out of my misery. I was admitted on heavy doses of morphine.
What amazed me is how little general physicians know about MS! In this day and age?! Come on!
They pulled up a recent MRI that my neurologist ordered because he felt the lesions in my spine were wielding their swords of destruction on my already deteriorating spine due to age etc. They didn’t see anything to exciting there on my lumbar spine but saw all sorts of problems in my cervical spine. Lumbar being the lower back and cervical meaning the neck or upper back.
It was decided that I had lower back pains by the hospital neurologist and he ordered a heating pad, which they brought promptly.
I couldn’t believe it. This neurologist, who had hearing problems, decided that I should consult with a spine surgeon about my neck and use a heating pad for the pain in my legs. He also wanted me to consult with a pain management Doctor.
When I was released after a couple of days, I went to my computer and started reading about the symptoms that could arise from problems with neck. In several articles I did read that cervical neck problems could lead to symptoms in the leg. I was hopeful.
When I went to the surgeon, he asked me a few questions about symptoms in my hands or arms. I told him about the tingling I felt and that I couldn’t seem to hold onto anything. Everything always fell to the floor. However, I went on to explain to him the symptoms in my legs where there also was intense and painful tingling along with the excruciating pain. He reiterated that the surgery in my neck would not take away the pain in my legs. The hope that I carried with me in the office fell heavily to the floor. I stared at it as he went on to explain that he would take out two discs and replace them with a tube.
I went into surgery wondering if I should be having this surgery. I wasn’t feeling any pain in my neck except the annoying crunching sounds I would hear when I turned my neck. Still a nagging residual of hope remained that all the articles I read that said the neck could be related to the legs might possibly be true. Perhaps the Doctor was wrong.
When I woke up in the recovery room, I moved my legs. No pain! I slept a lot in my room, but every time I woke up, I would jiggle my legs. No pain! No tingling!
The following day I was still without pain in my legs but now I had to deal with the pain of recovery for my neck. I sat in my neck brace and excitedly told my husband that I had no pain after 24 hours of getting out of surgery.
When I woke up the second day, I felt a slight twinge in my leg now and then. I ignored it thinking that perhaps it was some sort of residual pain. I stayed in the hospital four days and was released home having to wear a neck brace for at least two weeks.
For the next couple of days at home, I still felt these occasional twinges of pain. For the most part, I was ecstatic but worried. My husband was happy.
I will continue this story on the next blog.