Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Arm Seizures With MS

One of the first symptoms my wife experienced at age 21 was arm seizures. Her arm would seize and flail about until it passed. This was one of the symptoms that originally spurred on the doctors to find what was causing her issues. The last few days have brought back unwanted memories from those seizures because her arm has been cramping very painfully. The cramp starts in the front of the shoulder where her arm meets the shoulder. The cramps strike with no warning and become severe very quickly. The pain was severe enough earlier to make her cry. She has had cramps quite a few times in her legs and back, but not in this way since she was in her early years of diagnosis.

We know we have been pushing her body lately. Over the past few weeks she has had cramps in her arms, legs, back and tingling in multiple areas. We are currently living where it isn't convenient to see a Pro Adjuster Chiropractor and we can tell that this lack of preventive care has really affected her everyday living. We know what has worked for my wife in the past and we know that we are not taking the preventive measures we normally do just because of living so far from that type of care. We have been discussing that we are going to have to start finding out what other options we have locally. We both feel like the arm issues are from the stress, both physically and mentally, my wife has been under for the past month and a half. She will be done with this project next week and then she will rest, rest, rest.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Muscle Cramps In Strange Places

Over the last few days my wife has had the oddest muscle cramps. After long days of standing and entertaining over the holidays, my wife had extreme cramps one night in her bicep and two nights in her shin area. Both were extremely painful and came in waves. They would hurt for a short time then stop, then hurt again. After about 4-5 minutes the cramps would quit and then wouldn't come back. The cramps in her shins were the ones that really were strange. They were in the same leg both nights, and at the top of the shin right below the knee. I have never seen a cramp in this particular area and we couldn't get it to stop. She just had to wait until it quit cramping to get relief.

My wife has had plenty of cramping in other areas of her legs, like her thighs, but never in the top of her shins. She has had shin splints before and her calves have cramped, especially after a lot of walking and standing. I know there are others out there that have cramps with Multiple Sclerosis, and I know that my wife has had low potassium in the past which we feel like has made for more issues with the cramping. My wife's body continues to baffle us with the odd issues, and so far she has not had any cramping tonight.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Is Clumsiness A Symptom Of MS?

For the last 15 years of knowing my wife she has been one of the clumsiest people I know. A day rarely goes by when she doesn't hurt herself somehow. She will misjudge the distance to something and hit it or trip and hurt herself. She has lost her balance and fell off of steps and beds and even lodged herself between two beds at a hotel. She was laughing so hard she couldn't get out. It makes for interesting times when she does some of these things. One time she thought she shut the shower glass on the tub and went to sneeze while in the bathtub. What she didn't realize is that the glass was closed on her side too, and she slammed her head straight into the glass as she tried to sneeze outside the tub. She laughed for hours about that one.

I know that clumsiness isn't a symptom of MS, but many of the symptoms of MS seem to affect her abilities to balance, walk, judge distance and a host of other things. As a teen she competed as a gymnast for 12 years so she had awesome balance and grace, but as an adult with MS, that grace is lost in translation. Sometimes the clumsiness is funny, sometimes it is scary and other times it is just frustrating for both of us. Rarely do we take a trip somewhere that she doesn't hurt herself in some way and then have a bump or bruise or headache or some other malady. There are a few things like her always poking me with her nails or not being able to see when she enters a dark room that we have just gotten used to, and there are other things that come out of nowhere and hit us. Multiple Sclerosis has taken a lot of her balance and a lot of her dignity at times, and most of the time she just laughs and goes on with life. I guess that is why I love her so much, it is never dull when she is around!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hand And Arm Tingling With MS

A few nights ago I was massaging my wife's back and started working her shoulder blade area. She has been holding a lot of tension in her shoulders and after a lot of stress, her shoulders were aching. So, I was trying to relieve some of that stress when I started to work the outside of her shoulder blade. My wife immediately commented how sore that area was from the bottom of the shoulder blade up into the armpit area. After working that area for a few minutes she started to notice that her hand and arm started to "wake up". She knew that her arm and hand had been heavy with some tingling, but hadn't known the extent of it.

A few years ago my hand started to go numb. I would feel pain up the back of my arm and all the way down to my fingers. I tried all sorts of treatments and only found relief from a massage therapist that worked the same area that I massaged on my wife. The pain that I felt was intense, but my hand and arm quit hurting and the numbness went away. I had been that way for months and had come to the point where I was adjusting to the pain and numb feeling. The massage therapist knew her job well and was able to immediatley identify what the problem was and how to fix it. She had me hold my arm in different positions while she put pressure on key areas on the outside of my shoulder blade and up around the back of my armpit area. I understood very quickly why they called her massage room the torture chamber.

With my wife, massage has to be gentle and within her pain parameters. Her Multiple Sclerosis definately affects her feelings of pain and causes her to be more sensative. I think it really surprised her that the feeling in her hand and arm was affected as much as it was by the massage. After seeing the affects of MS on my wife for the last 14+ years, it never ceases to amaze me how her numbness and pain can be helped or alleviated with bodywork and chiropractic. MS has caused numb hands, numb arms and numbness in almost every other bodypart at one time or another in my wife's life, but she has always been able to recover the feeling after the issues. We continue to find ways to help her body recoup from the nerve and muscle issues and are always open to learning more about how her body works and how it can heal itself.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Cold Has Lost It's Bite So Far This Season

It has been snowing and sleeting and just plain cold in Eastern New Mexico. Yesterday morning it was 19 degrees with a stiff wind that brought the temp down in a hurry. Normally this time of year really causes a lot of pain and frustration for my wife. What is really strange is that she hasn't had those issues with all the cold so far. Who knows if it will hit later, but she hasn't even been wearing her thermals with the cold and she is still not having any major issues. Usually this time of year her internal thermostat is out of whack and she is constantly trying to stay warm and comfortable. Last night she commented that she has been pleasantly surprised so far this season.

I have always suspected that hormones were the culprit with my wife's issues with the cold. Hormones seem to control so much from water retention to stress chemicals to sleeping chemicals, and the more in balance she is, the better she seems to be all around. In the past we have done hormone testing and my wife has used specialized creams to balance her hormones, but we are not doing anything right now to control this issue. What does that mean? I honestly have no idea, which is where I am most of the time with Multiple Sclerosis. MS is such an odd disease that always seems to be shifting and changing without any warning. This time we have been very fortunate that whatever is going on in her body, it is helping keep her from having the pain and aching that usually comes with the cold.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Can't Eat Without Becoming Sick

My wife is going through another period of stomach issues. For the last three days she has become ill after almost every meal. Timing couldn't have been worse the last few days and it has been very frustrating when these spells have hit. This morning we had a staff party that my wife had to leave because she became ill from the snacks provided. She missed the majority of the party stuck at the house sick. The same thing happened yesterday while we were at a banquet. Everything was OK until she ate, then within minutes she started having stomach cramps. We needed to leave immediately after the banquet and it took a good hour for her to feel better.

We are still not sure what causes this reaction to food. It doesn't matter what she eats or when she eats it, she gets sick without rhyme or reason. Tonight she was going to wait to eat until after a Christmas program our daughter was in, but made a plate and ate anyways. She expected to be sick within minutes, but was fine for the rest of the evening. It would seem like there would be some logic to all of this, but we have not been able to piece any of it together yet. We have tried different foods, eating at different times, resting and other things but have not had any luck yet with any of our attempts at controlling this issue. I would love to hear if anyone else has had any luck figuring out what triggers this problem. Hopefully this spell of the issue is over and my wife will be back to normal, but until then we have to be aware that our schedule may be changed based on her stomach.