A few months ago, before my journey into the world of MS, I would have a horrible feeling of tightness and inabliity to catch my breath. I was very shallow and tiring, this breathing business. Only lasted less than an hour. But would happen intermittently for weeks and months. NO clue what the instigating factor was!
Many times. With standing or sitting, I was fine. I wasn't sure if it was positional? But it hurt like crazy, like someone was squeezing me from the inside out!
Now I am getting the pressure in my left back, squeezing, but not that horrific shortness of breath, just a dull, steady, ache ache ache. Sometimes heat loosens it up.
I'm one mixed up person and feeling on the edge of weepy today.
I've got some shortness of breath, and it feels like I'm just not getting enough air into my lungs. I breathe normally, but I can still feel a need for air at the bottom of my lungs. So I super-inflate my lungs and continue breathing at a normal rate, until it goes away.
Now, I've heard several people say that this is not an MS symptom. I've also heard several people with MS or MS-like symptoms talk about their shortness of breath. So which is it?
One possibility is that this is another aspect of the MS hug. The lung expansion is restricted, and they're not working as well as they should.
Another is that your/my diaphragm is weak, and not pushing the air in and out of the lungs properly.
Yet another is that I've got asthma, or that I'm experiencing an anxiety attack.
I don't know. I called my neurologist and they told me to call my PCP, that there was a virus going around. However, I happen to know that it's not the virus, because I've had that, and it feels different. The bronchitis virus that I caught stuck around in my lungs for a week, and made me feel very wheezy and short of breath. I could feel that there was something sticky in my lungs, but it wasn't coming out. Eventually the fever set in, and for another week I was in bed, waiting for the fever to go away. Then the next week I coughed out all the nasty stuff in my lungs, and they feel a lot better.
Now that I'm better from the bronchitis, I still have shortness of breath! So I'm going to see the doctor in a couple of days for a checkup, and it's going on the list.
I've had the EKG done on the heart. And used to have "cold-onset" asthma. And have had the experiences of bronchitis and walking pneumonia.
This was totally different. Like I was being squeezed into a too-small jacket. The not-able-to-catch-my-breath one, I don't think the rib muscles and stomach felt hard as a rock.....no, not like Craig's, poor man. :-(
Elaine, where is the thoracic area? This one now is right around / just above my bra band. Mostly left-sided. The back pressure just feels like an annoying achiness. I just want to keep rubbing it away, but nothing helps at all. It is transient, like everything else. Don't have it now.
Suzanne -- oh, and by the way, I am not shallow, even if I did make that typo up there, lol.
That sounds alot like what I was getting at the start of all this. It was pressure, like being squeezed from the inside. I would keep squirming, trying to get comfortable and couldn't. I'd keep rubbing against it, and it would feel a little better to have the counter pressure, but once I stopped it was not any better.
Usually was in my chest and upper back. Sometimes would get alot worse and would have shortness of breath with it. The thought was that it was cardiac, so I went thru that whole work up. My muscles never got hard as a rock, though. (Poor Craig - that would make it even worse I would think... )
When I saw the neuro the first time I thought he would give me the "you are crazy" look, but he had me describe it and said it's classic. Not saying that's what yours is, but it's suspicious...:) Definitely tell your doc, in case they need to rule out cardiac origin to be safe. Don't take any chances with your heart.... :)
You know, this could just be the MS hug... I've often wondered, because the tightness can feel sometimes like I've been exercising, and my chest feels like it needs air. Or I'll get a pain in my back along with the shortness of breath. I get this horrible pain in my sternum, which I've found can be relieved with a glass of water - but I think the actual pain is caused by a lesion in my spine, and not acid reflux, as my PCP thought originally.
Sorry to be so late getting back to your suggestion on my heart. (Was at an MS neuro appt., having my blood pressure raised, grr.)
Anyway, when I had the vertigo that precipitated a trip to the walk-in clinic, it was indeed my heart that I was worried about! I'd had a sharp stabbing pain in the chest the day before, then the vertigo the next day (Christmas Eve!) and I kept checking my bp. It was higher than usual and my mother suggested I get my heart checked out.
The PA guy asked me flat out "What do YOU think it is?" I was pleased that he was willing to listen to me! But my heart was fine (they did an EKG) and the PA said a sharp pain is not indicative of heart issues, a dull ache is.
Hyper reflexes led him to suggest I see a neuro to rule out MS or fibromyalgia, and here I am.
Suzanne, I suspect that I have a lesion in the spine, but I haven't had a t-spine MRI to confirm it. I know right where it is, too - right at the bra strap. From the bra strap down on the right side of my torso, I have a lot of numbness.
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