I am confused about the MS hugs. First, I have diagnoses of MS, Lyme Disease, Hashimoto's Disease and Hypothyroidism.
Anyway, I was on IV Rocephin and Mepron for the Lyme Disease. On my second week of the Mepron, I had what I believe was an "MS hug." I thought at the time I was having a gallbladder attack (even though I had never had one before). It came on totally out of the blue when I was finishing a conversation with a friend and had just hung up the phone. I immediately fell to the floor due to the pain and I had extreme difficulty breathing. I also lost use of my arms, right significantly more than left, although did not lose use completely. The pain was around my entire chest and felt like it was emanating from my sternum (bone). My daughter drove me to the ER, but once I got there, I felt like it was subsiding and did not actually check in. (Episode lasted about 20 minutes.) However, the next evening, almost the exact time, the same thing happened again. I was at the mall and could barely make it to my car. I drove myself to the ER, which was only about 5 minutes away, but I could not even use my arms to hang on to the steering wheel. I had to put my hands in my lap and steer from the bottom of the wheel. I did manage to hold my cell phone to my ear for just a short period to call my daughter, but I could not stay on the line with her because I could not hold it up to my ear any longer. Again, the pain was entirely around my chest with extreme difficulty breathing.
In my gut, I felt the Mepron was aggravating something in my body, and I discontinued it after the second attack. I have not had another attack since (it's been almost a year).
I read the recent posts about Montel Williams being on Oprah (which I did see), and I have to say, I was skimming his book in Barnes & Noble, and in the first chapter he describes the MS hug, and it was an exact description of what I had experienced. He describes it as if a boa constrictor were wrapped entirely around your chest/midsection and squeezing you as tightly as it could. That is exactly how I felt. In the ER they asked what my pain was on a scale of 1-10. I replied the first time it was a 15 and the second episode a 10. I was crying so hard from the pain they said I was hyperventilating. (I personally believe the "hyperventilating", i.e., difficulty breathing is what caused me to sob hysterically, not the other way around.)
I know this is a long post, but these episodes still bother me (psychologically) almost a year later. I think they were MS hugs, but not 100% sure, as people on this site talk about the hugs lasting for very long periods of time. Maybe there's different degrees of this happening??? I am concerned that they can come on so very fast and so out of the blue that it makes me anxious to go places sometimes.
One of the things that Montel Williams said on Oprah is that the #1 cause of MS deaths is suffocation and #2 suicide. Is this correct? What does he actually mean by "suffocation,"--is he referring to the MS hugs? Can you die from them? I definintely felt like I was dying both times I experienced this.