MS Hugs, Banding, Chest Pain

Before I was diagnosed with MS officially I had been having severe chest pressure frequently. When I was in high school I had a heart condition that required use of beta blockers. The first thing I thought when I started having chest pressure was that it was my heart again.

No, I did not go to the ER, I hate hospitals, I spend way too much time at medical facilities and doctor’s office. Instead, I made an appointment with my cardiologist. Several months of testing, EKG, ECG, Stress Test, 30 day heart monitor and so much blood work she ruled out my heart. Did she have an answer or suggestion? No, her response was that “it wasn’t my heart” and so her part was done.

More than 2 years later when I was finally diagnosed with MS I was informed that there was a lesion on my spine that was most likely causing the MS Hug. Hug my behind! From that point on whenever I have chest pain/pressure I just figure it is my MS. These hugs or banding as it is also called stopped after I got my stem cell treatment. Though I hadn’t really noted it until it came back last week.

For those who don’t experience this weird symptom of MS, it can be different for everyone. For me, it feels like a 7 pound weight on my sternum applying pressure to my chest that makes it difficult to get a full breath of air in my lungs. Sometimes there is a deep, sharp pain in my chest followed by this pressure. The weight is heavy, the pressure is firm but not heavy enough to make it feel like your bones will break. Some people experience the hug for a brief time, for others it can come and go for days, my is the latter. I have to remind myself that it’s not my heart every time it happens because it’s alarming.

When I have the moments like these, it makes me wish I have a friend in the medical field who could explain all the science to me. Our bodies are weird and mysterious and I am always in awe about how one tiny spot in a particular section of your nervous system can wreak havoc on so many parts of your body and life.

School Recess and Lunch Times

I am not sure if this is a nationwide problem or a local one, but I do know that it is a present problem.

My seventh grader has 30 minutes for lunch, that is his only break during the school day besides the 3 minutes he has to get between classes and his locker if needed. More than half of the time he says he does not have enough time to make it through the line for food. There are so many children in his grade they split between two lunch times and yet, when there’s testing they are combined. Combining an entire grade into a situation where it is already difficult to buy lunch is bananas. Yes, I know I could pack lunch for him every day, he likes the options at the school.

My first grader has two recesses, one just for playing and then one during his lunch break. He has plenty of time to eat but not a ton of play time to be outside. I personally do not understand how they expect children to focus and get enough time outside to be kids when they are stuck in classrooms for 6-8 hours a day with tiny little breaks.

I do understand they are trying to put as much learning as possible into the day; would people really be up in arms if they add an hour to the school day to include more breaks and outdoor time? I would think that adding the hour for extra breaks and time to run around would be good, there are many working parents who either have to figure out child care for after school or arrange their schedules around it. For the families that don’t get home until dinner time because of jobs it’s usually not a great time to play outside during the fall and winter months.

Of course there’s the argument for after school activities and allowing time for that and if a person is set on having outdoor time than you can sign them up for those. Here’s the thing though, those things usually cost money, not all families have the ability to pay for all the things that go along with those. My children are hyper-mobile so they have crazy ligaments that move too much which makes injuries more likely and more severe. They have been told not to play contact sports, no soccer, no football, rugby, so that really limits the options in our house.

Do you have an opinion on the current amount of breaks for kids at school? I would like to hear them!

Vaccinations and the Immune Compromised Public

New York County just banned children in public places if they are not vaccinated for the Measles. Holy cow, please do not start freaking out as I have not even said anything yet.

I am 100% for people making their own choices for their family and their kids, that being said, I am also for not becoming deathly ill because of those people’s choices. I made a comment on Facebook about how I am glad this is the case because people who have immune issues should not have to be subjected to diseases that there are vaccines for when they are going about their daily business.

In case you are unaware, when your immune system is compromised that means even if you were vaccinated for the disease it no longer matters, you are at risk because your immune system does not work the way it is supposed to.

It got so many comments, one person in particular told me I should stay inside my house forever. (Thanks for that lady, I wasn’t starting a fight I was just sharing my personal opinion.) Not once did I name call a person, call them stupid or an idiot or say that their opinion was not valid. Other people did, some were very rude actually and I get that you can be passionate about a subject but if you follow my blog than you know that I want to be a better example for my kids on how we should treat people and I do try to live what I am preaching to my kids.

Another person pointed out, rightly, that I did not choose to have the immune system I am currently blessed with, and the chemo medication I take to keep it from eating my brain. (I am paraphrasing here because I didn’t share why my immune system was compromised or that I take chemo medication.)

MS shows up differently for each person who has it, different medications work for different people and the severity of symptoms ranges widely. For me, MS shows up like a giant a-hole villain who is getting paid to make my life a living nightmare. There are days when I get questioned about why I have a service dog because I am walking normal, there are other days where I probably look like a total drunk and it’s obvious that I could not stand upright without him.

Now I think kids should get vaccinations, I am okay with whatever that looks like; the standard schedule, a longer schedule whichever. A kid just spent 2 months in the hospital for treatment of Tetanus for crying out loud, and I know that there are still people who believe these shots are dangerous but science says that is false, also the kid with tetanus cost $800,000 to cure. The shot is free with insurance!

Now if you are a parent who doesn’t want your child vaccinated, fine, please home school them and keep them in your house, because I just realized it’s your choice to make and people with crap immune systems should not have to worry more or become shut-ins because you don’t want to vaccinate your child.

We as people and/or parents, make choices every day, please be mindful of the entire human population when making choices. I vaccinate my dogs so they don’t get sick, my kids because I love them and want them to be as healthy as they can, myself so I don’t die of something stupid. Also, I don’t drive into oncoming traffic putting other people’s lives at risk because I think it’s a better way to drive.