Say It Isn't So

Saturday, January 07, 2006


I've been wallowing in my latest relapse for about 9 months now. That may not be the correct term for the unending pain in my left arm and perhaps I should just call it an exacerbation. About 6 years ago, before my diagnosis, I had a similar occurrence in my right arm. At the time they called it a Frozen Shoulder, and sent me off to Physical Therapy. They call it therapy. I call it torture! There really wasn't much to this activity. First the problem area is warmed up by a wee bag of pop corn that is warmed up in a microwave to just short of the popping point then it is applied to the aching area. After this warm up you partake of some stretching exercises, which become more intense at each successive visit to the clinic, but really you perform these exercises all by yourself. The staff just cheer you on, or scold you, periodically. After you've gone through your paces you get a massage. Very nice!

Last summer, when I went to my Doctor to complain about the pain in my left arm, I was told there was nothing they could do about it because it was the MS. I guess I am in their bad books because I have refused to endure one of, no make that any of, the CRAB medications. As I told my doctor, I am in my 50's and I have just been diagnosed with MS. If I were 20, 30, or even 40, I would seriously consider taking this line of treatment, but at this stage of my life I am not at all interested in depressing my immune system, or in depressing my life. At 50 something I am not depressed, I am actually a happy person. Crazy, but happy. Being over the hill has it's advantages.

If you follow my blog you might remember my post of Sept. 19, 2005, about electromagnetics and my problem Towncar which is not pictured above. The download process, which connects that particular picture in my computer to this blog, was taking way too long and making me nervous so I cut it off. Of course, because of that car, my current car is devoid of any cushy attributes, i.e., it doesn't have power windows. This has been a further pain in my left arm, as I want to drive with my window down now that the weather has cooled. So I endure the occassional pangs of pain and roll my window down anyway. So, I find myself missing all those bells and whistles, aka, cushy attributes. And my next car may have a few decadent virtues.

By the way, I have been doing my own version of the torture chamber and it is slowly improving the movement in my arm. I do the warm up in my morning shower. Then I get the cane that my husband needed 12 years ago when he had a herniated disk. I use the cane and do repitions to push the arm up, and to pull it back and forth behind me. The only thing I am missing is the massage. Things could be worse. Thank goodness it has never interfered with my ability to type. I know that I am one of the lucky ones. As my Mother used to say "Stubborn as a mule, and strong as a bull. "


The whole reason that I came up with that heading in the first place was to talk about my self cannibalistic tendencies.

When I moved to Southern California the air was dry and my lips kept drying up. There were these big flaky bits hanging off them. I would succomb to the 'nibble this' siren and make them disappear. I never wore lipstick or any other makeup. As a teen I heard that it was made from pigs fat and that was a turn off. It really tasted awful as well. After a few winters of enduring flaky lips peeling off my face, I discovered that I could handle Blistex and that it does a decent job of keeping them pliable.

There has been a hangnail dangling from one of my fingers for about a week now. It beckons to me. Come on, bite me. Make your finger look pretty again. It has been a lifelong habit. An odd method of grooming I must admit. But I am standing firm in declining the call of the 'nibble this' siren. And I wonder if the process that is causing my own immune system to attack the myelin around my nerves could in any way have been created by this past self cannibalism.


At 2:58 PM, January 08, 2006, Blogger Pris said...

as you know, i have cfids ,rather than ms, but it's odd that we've both had a very similar shoulder problem. I went to PT, also, for mine and they had me in a pool doing a hundred reps total three times a week, followed by massage to 'heal' it. Well, it froze instead and then my rehab money ran out. I just let the inflammation die down, sat in warm showers and, as you, devised my own stretching technique at my own pace. It took one hell of a long time, but I got almost full range again. Both shoulders remain vulnerable, though, so I have to be careful. Sometimes we ARE our own best doctors and yes, getting older helps us develop the common sense and courage to do that.

At 7:23 PM, January 08, 2006, Blogger mouse said...

Thank you Pris, It's good to know that a self imposed regimen can get results. Already I can feel improvement, but I don't know if it is just the phase called remission or if it is getting better because of my labours. Thanks, I will keep at it.

At 12:40 PM, January 10, 2006, Blogger mdmhvonpa said...

"The staff just cheer you on, or scold you, periodically. After you've gone through your paces you get a massage." Heh ... carrot, stick. Excuse me while I look up some quotes from Pavlov's dog.

At 3:29 PM, January 10, 2006, Blogger mouse said...

Sir Mdm, who is this Pavlov? I shall have to look him up. He has a talking dog, eh?


Post a Comment

<< Home