Monday, 23 March 2015

It's Not Painless Today

I am in a ton of pain this morning, a mountain of hurt which has taken up residence in my upper arms, particularly in my deltoids, the muscles which wrap over the shoulder bones and attach to your upper arms.  My upper biceps are in pain as well. If I didn't know better, I would assume I had pulled these muscles lifting some heavy weight or chopping down trees with an axe. I can do neither of these things.

This kind of pain is not new to me; I've had it happen in other muscles on my body as they weakened with the damage from ALS. What is happening is that I am using these muscles a lot more as they weaken. As my biceps and other arm muscles are less able to do the work needing to be done, they try harder. Muscles get pulled, pain sets in. It's what happens.

What is new is the intensity of this pain, particularly in my right should. Almost all but the slightest of movements can make me wince, the stab shooting deep into my shoulder. Even the simple act of picking up a cup of coffee is enough to cause somewhat more than a twinge. The rotation of one arm over far enough to scratch the hand at the end of the other arm makes the muscles call out to me, saying "please don't do that". Adjusting my arms as I type this post causes a reminder.

The muscles in my arms have been weakening for a long time now. This is simply another stage in the process. I can still drive. I can still use my arms for the activities of daily living. All it means is taking painkillers like Tylenol or even T-3. Of course these painkillers interact with the other medications which I take, so I avoid them when possible. In the end, however, the pain is too much and I need the drugs.

I'll get through this; it will take a while. With ALS, injured muscles are slow to heal. My body is doing to much to keep other muscles alive; dying muscles don't get the signals they need to move enough so that they can rebuild; at least that's what I think. The doctors don't really know for sure. They just watch and evaluate. After all, ALS is supposed to be a painless disease.

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear Richard I am so sad that you are in so much pain. I hope you can rest a while so your muscles can have a rest too.

    Love Mom