Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pain...the body's way of letting you know something is wrong.
Your throat hurts, you find out you have strep throat and need an antibiotic.
If you break your arm, it needs a cast, and without pain you might not have known it was broken. I could go on, but you get the point. Pain is actually important. It is your body's way of communicating with you.

Neuropathic pain is the same- it is letting me know there is something wrong.
DUH. I have lesions. In My Brain.
But what else is the pain trying to tell me, perhaps?

It is a common joke among MSers that there should be some sort of betting and/or drinking game when watching the tv show "House". For those of you that don't know, it is a show set in a University hospital, where the lead character, Dr. Greg House, MD, is the country's leading diagnostician. He takes the medical cases that no one else can solve. The weird, crazy stuff. Like MS! So anyhow my husband and I often make bets on how long into the episode someone will throw out "multiple sclerosis" as the patient of the week's diagnosis. 80% of the episodes talk about MS, at least briefly.

Anyway, I was watching an episode a few months back where a young patient on the show was actually diagnosed with MS. The patient asked what MS was. And the handsome Dr. Chase tried to sum it up in one sentence. It went something like this:
"Well, MS is a painful disease. It can affect your bladder/bowel functions. It can also affect mobility. It is incurable, but there are lots of promising treatments to prolong your quality of life..." blah blah blah. Take it all with a grain of salt - it IS a tv drama! They have to make everything sound dramatic; however, all of those things Are true about MS. And it has stayed in my mind that the writers (for whatever reason) chose "pain" as the leading symptom when sharing this character's fate with him.

MS is a painful disease. I have been sorely reminded of that fact this week.
Maybe its the summer and the heat. I also seem to be fighting some sort of head cold. And since heat and infection are both major stressors to my disease it makes sense that i feel pretty awful. I am having horrible neuropathic pain/neuralgia, which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. So while this particular pain isn't telling me anything new, it must still be trying to tell me something. To Slow down? To get more rest? To keep my core temperature down and avoid the Atlanta heat? telling me my cold needs some TLC and vitamin C and the ultra soft kleenex?

I need to be a better listener. What is it telling me?

"Go drink more water. Go to bed super early. Find something good to eat for dinner. Stop judging yourself for being angry and sad about being in so much pain. Its okay to be angry and sad. Its also okay to have chocolate on those days."

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