Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Strange Episodes

 Leda And The Swan -- Wilton House
First I'll give you a description of what the first three or four of these episodes felt like:  At first it only happened if I'd been sitting at my typing chair or on the edge of my bed watching TV.  I'd stand up and feel an intense gathering of the muscles of my pelvic girdle.  The muscles would all bunch or begin to feel as if they were in a spasm or cramp.  It was instantaneous and though not exactly painful, it was the strangest sensation I've ever had.  Not exactly a cramp but a more like a muscle seizure, as if they were grabbing my hips tightly, so tightly that the next sensation I felt was the loss of mobility of my legs.  I felt my legs go useless and floppy.  I had to hold on to something just to stay upright.  I leaned on a desk or the back of a chair to hold myself upright while my legs were useless.  First the knees buckled and then my feet went floppy.  It wasn't just the muscles surrounding my hips and buttocks that were seized this way; it was the interior muscles as well as if my bladder and bowel were also in a gathered, spasmed state.  And in each case I felt I needed to head to the bathroom pronto, but had to help my legs by picking them up with my hands and helping them move forward.  My feet would flop out and then hold.  And within a few seconds my pelvic girdle would uncramp and my legs would come back online.

In the recent past I took a couple of falls.  Both falls were easy to explain.  When the first on happened I was trying to find out what was wrong with the clothes dryer (loaded with clothing fresh from the washing machine and so adding considerable weight to the dryer) so I muscled the dryer away from the back wall and then wedged myself around the side of the dryer to peer at the place where the vent hose attaches to the back of the dryer close to the floor.  It was a tight fit, me between the dryer and the short wall beside it.  I was both bending over and stretching to reach the back of the dryer when my feet lost contact with the floor and I tipped forward onto my head, neck, and shoulder.  Even to me, struggling to get my feet on the floor, it had a comic aspect.  Just tip me over and pour me out.  The other fall was my flight from the end of the movie Crazy Heart which was a kind of mad dash from my past.  I tripped and fell on my side, all the way down, from head to toe.  It knocked the wind out of my and I lay there stunned for a moment in the still dark theater.  I don't think the falling and the odd loss of the use of my legs and feet are related.  I don't think the falling was much more than clumsiness.  But I've been experiencing sever lower back pain.  This is nothing new, and it doesn't take much to tweak the muscles in my lower back.  I spent more than a year in the grip of sciatica in 2003.  Often the pain was so intense I could do nothing but weep and wait for the pain to lessen so I could climb the rest of the stairs.

But three days ago I was standing at the kitchen counter fixing myself a chicken sandwich and it happened.  I wish I'd watched the kitchen clock as it happened, so I'd know how long it lasts.  It's probably only seconds, but seems much longer since the sensation is so intense and goes through a very specific progression.  This time I was standing up.  This time I did lose control of my bladder, this time I realized whatever it is it's serious.  Leda keeps coming to mind.
Leda and the Swan
A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
    By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
    He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

    How can those terrified vague fingers push
    The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
    And how can body, laid in that white rush,
    But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

    A shudder in the loins engenders there
    The broken wall, the burning roof and tower[20]
    And Agamemnon dead.

                        Being so caught up,

    So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
    Did she put on his knowledge with his power
    Before the indifferent beak could let her drop? 


La Belette Rouge said...

Honey!!! Get to the doctor, STAT!

Utah Savage said...

I talked to the doctor after I'd had the first three episodes. Each comes after a long interval of time like a couple of weeks or a month. She had some tests done. All normal. I get blood work done in a couple of weeks. It's already in my medical records with results of the testing so far (peripheral arteries checked, blood work, bone density, stuff like that). Thus far I'm fine except for the chronic low platelet count.

La Belette Rouge said...

What are they doing for your platelet count?

Lisa said...

This is so worrisome. I know you don't think the falls and the episodes have anything to do with each other, but did you talk to the doctor after the falls?

I'm reaching here, of course.

Could these be anything related to panic attacks? The few real ones I've ever had made me feel mostly as if I couldn't breathe.

Utah Savage said...

I'm taking extra vitamin D. They've tested all my organs that might be a cause, like spleen, kidneys, liver, pancreas. All good except for the gall stones. But I'm asymptomatic for gall stones so the plan is to wait and see. Probably the next thing they'll do is a bone marrow test. I'm not looking forward to that.

Utah Savage said...

When the episodes begin I'm completely relaxed. I grow a bit panicked when I loose the use of my lower extremities. But nothing like a panic attack. Those I've had. Those are more like a heart attack.

PENolan said...

Take care of yourself.

Utah Savage said...

PEN, I was just thinking about you. I almost DMd you on twitter. I got suckered into rejoining FB and then ended up embarrassing myself with a mash note to a man I've never met nor actually seen. So odd how intense attraction can bloom out of imagination and little more. Lisa was listening in. She knows less than she thinks she does. At least in this case, or so I want to believe.

Lisa said...

In regard to your FB note, I know nothing. NOTHING.

Nan said...

If the pain and neuropathy comes and goes, it could be a pinched nerve, especially if it's something that happens when you change positions (go from sitting to standing, for example). I was having something similar happen, although not to the point of not being able to walk. Loss of bladder control can be a symptom. Ask your doctor about having a spine consult done to check for spinal stenosis. It's a condition that can be annoying to live with, but is manageable once you know for sure that's what you're dealing with.

Utah Savage said...

Thank you Nan. I have untreated scoliosis and have been brutal to my back. And since I've been through a year of sciatica and the numb leg that went along with that I realize what a pinched nerve can do. I've spent my life compensating for that one shorter leg and the tortured posture of a model and the brutality of playing polo, plus doing all the unskilled grunt work of the remodel of this place almost 30 years ago when I though I was strong enough to muscle my way forward long past exhaustion.

The strange thing about this is that the whole pelvic girdle is involved and then the two useless legs and floppy feet.

an average patriot said...

That does not sound good at all Peg. I am not going to give you anything else to think about. I just hope they know their shit take a wide variety of tests and are smart enough to do some reading and research!

Mauigirl said...

Agree it is likely to be pinched nerves in your lower back or something to that effect given your history of back problems. But it could even be some type of seizure - be sure your doc checks out your head as well as the rest of you. Hopefully that's not it but you need to rule everything else out. Best wishes, hope these episodes stop happening!

Utah Savage said...

James, thanks for the concern.

Maui, it's interesting that all you women are so helpful on this issue. I have a feeling we all do too much and ruin our backs.

I have thought there was a neurological component to these episodes. Maybe an eeg is in order.

anita said...

you might consider speaking with a chiropractor. it could be an alignment issue. and it's amazing how the alignment of your spine can affect your internal organs.

accupressure and/or accupuncture are two other things to consider.

so much pain can be traced to stress. it messes up your body as well as your mind.

but, please, definitely look into some of these things before somebody sends you to an orthopedic surgeon or puts you on muscle relaxants.