Multiple Sclerosis Community
Breathing difficulty or MS hug?
About This Community:

Our Patient-to-Patient MS Forum is where you can communicate with other people who share your interest in Multiple Sclerosis. This forum is not monitored by medical professionals.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Breathing difficulty or MS hug?

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!

Inhale, -can't

-quite-

-catch-

-my-

-breath-!!!

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.

Hypochondri-ACK-ly yours,

Suzanne
(always tries to be funny!)  
Related Discussions
13 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
338416_tn?1413581329
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.
Blank
338416_tn?1413581329
The pressure in your back might be something else besides spasticity - you'll need to have that checked by your PCP, just in case it's your heart.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Suzanne,
  Does this shortness of breath feel like someone is hugging you so tight that it is crushing you?  Do your rib muscles and stomach feel hard as a rock?

  With Craig, it starts in the thoracic area, goes around his ribs and across his stomach.  It is a crushing hug type of pain.

  Best wishes for tomorrow.
  Elaine

Blank
Avatar_f_tn
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.
Blank
338416_tn?1413581329
I think the thoracic is between the top bone of the back (at the base of the neck) and stops above the floating ribs.  So yeah, that pressure you're feeling is in the thoracic area.  

I have a recurring pain/cramp/spasm that starts just below my bra strap, and usually runs in a line from the spine to the sternum on the right side.  I'm guessing it's a variant of the MS Hug.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
You mean it runs through you?!

Wow, you can't apply heat to that or rub it away!!

Suzanne
Blank
338416_tn?1413581329
Ooh, that would hurt!  No, it's actually on the outside, following the line of the ribs.  I have applied heat to it and hubby rubs on it for me, which helps - as long as it doesn't set off a cramp!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Sorry, guess I misunderstood, lol.

Suzanne
Blank
294425_tn?1288531995
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.... :)  

Rita      
Blank
338416_tn?1413581329
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.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
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
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
You mentioned a lesion in your spine.

Do you have one? And if so, where?

I have had a brain and c-spine MRI (normal) and now have to have a t-spine MRI.

The MS neuro thinks my hyperreflexia is metabolic (low ferritin) and that the t-spine will not show MS. All other tests of mine have been normal.

Suzanne
Blank
338416_tn?1413581329
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.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Multiple Sclerosis Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
469720_tn?1388149949
Blank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Neurology Answerers
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
SarahL2491
Alagash, ME
1831849_tn?1383231992
Blank
kwarendorf
Great Neck, NY
338416_tn?1413581329
Blank
jensequitur
Fort Worth, TX
987762_tn?1331031553
Blank
supermum_ms
Australia
572651_tn?1333939396
Blank
Lulu54
Dayton, OH
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
essdipity