Did you know the most common symptom (75%) MS patients deal with according to an article written by Solaro, Trabucco & Uccelli (2013) is pain. Pain onset can happen at any point during the course of the disease or it can be a secondary symptom due to fatigue or spasticity among others (p. 319). Pain for me, I believe is a culmination of the disease itself and secondary symptoms.
Pain had always be very prevalent in my life. At an early age, I had eye surgery (1 year and 6 years). When I was 10, I had my first surgery for scoliosis. I was in the hospital for about 12 days. They put rods in my back because my curve was about 60 degrees. About 3 years after that I ended up in the hospital with a ruptured appendix and was there for more than a week. I didn’t find out until years later that I had almost died. God clearly had a plan for me, wish I knew what it was!!! Only eight months after that I had my second back surgery for scoliosis. This time we had found out my rods had broke. Going into surgery at this point, my curve was 88 degrees. The doctor showed me the X-ray. Take your index finger and your thumb and make the letter “C,” that is what my X-ray looked like. It took everything I had not to fall to pieces right then and there. I at least waited until I got out of the door of the doctors office.
For many years I was pretty much pain free, until right about the time I got diagnosed with MS. I think the course of my pain started when I threw my back out sitting on the toilet. I am not sure how someone does that? My first thought was the movie Lethal Weapon, where Danny Glover is stuck on the toilet because there is a bomb strapped to it. Ok, so I knew I wasn’t going to blow up, but it seemed like after that, my pain issues did!
According to a 2008 report referenced by Solaro, Trabucco & Uccelli (2013), there are four pain categories: continuous or intermittent central neuropathic pain (i.e., trigeminal or glossopharyngeal neuralgia, Lhermitte sign,); musculoskeletal pain (i.e., painful tonic spasms, pain secondary to spasticity, pain related to being wheelchair-bound), and mixed neuropathic and non-neuropathic pain. The majority of my pain is musculoskeletal pain. Over the years I have tried several different types of therapies.