Initially put down to potential tri-geminal neuralgia, and following countless tests & referrals, my symptoms of facial pain, neck & shoulder pain and then loss of mobility in my arm & lower leg, #Syringomyelia was labelled as a cause. Marvellous, I thought. We have a diagnosis. Treatment and a solution is bound to follow. More fool me.
Eight years on, the medical services diminish (poor, struggling NHS) and this condition progressively worsens. I know it doesn't respond to opiods because it is a #Neurological condition (as I'm told by eminent consultants) but try telling that to the billion synapses that rip through my brain with their narrative of agony like an neural electrical storm of hellish proportions.
Tonight's flare up was as epic as it was unpredictable. Breathing techniques. Tick. Mindfulness strategies. Tick. Meds. Tick. Tentative walking to distract the hypersensitive nerve endings. Tick. Oh! I'm beyond it all now.
A syringo flare up feels like a red hot poker being shoved into your spinal cord with elephantine force straight into your neck which then splinters across your shoulders and down your arms in slick, whiplash style. The hands curl up in zombie-like response and that poker cracks across the ankles in a firework lash just to ensure that any pain-free areas are exposed to the raging burning sensations that the rest of the body are consumed by. Speech is impossible.
If there was a passing lorry, I'd nip under it. Not that I could nip. I can barely breathe.
D says, "Shall I call the doctor? An ambulance? This one looks mighty."
"No point," I just about manage to respond. I couldn't bear the long wait of an on-call, over-burdened GP call-back, only to be told, "There is nothing more we can do," like last time.
I couldn't bear waiting in A & E whilst trying not to writhe in agony, then having to recount the complicated medical history, only to be told, "There's nothing we can do," like last time. Even a quick shot of gas and air (why can't we have this on prescription?) or one dose of orimorph couldn't compensate with the hell of driving to a hospital, queuing, explaining to a tired, perplexed junior doctor about the mish-mash, and quite frankly, wierd condition my body presents.
Instead, I'll try and tough it out. I'll suffer the excruciating agony and await the eventual calm. One can hope.