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karma292
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 7/23/2007 6:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed in 1999 with RRMS and then in 2002 with SPMS.  I have recently found this site while looking up MS hug.  I was so upset all day after receiving a phone call from my neurologist, who was returning my call after I had been to the Emergency department last night.  For the second time since April I went to the hospital with a sharp pain in my chest, a very tight pressure that went right around to my back, up into my shoulder and neck and down my arm.  After the standard tests for heart attack were done and it was ruled out the ER doctor came in and started to discuss Esophageal Spasm with me and I brought up MS hug to him.  He suggested that I call my neuro and speak to her regarding both of these items with her ASAP.
 
Well, when I spoke to her, she was quite chilly with me and said she knew nothing of this MS hug or girdling effect and that I would have to talk to my GP about the other.  She said she has been practicing for 10 years now and never has she heard of such a thing.  So basically stop wasting her time.
 
Well, I am a 50 year old mother of 2 adult daughters and 5 grandchildren who is very happily married and have a good life.  I don't have any reason to make up this chest pain and pressure for attention, Thank you very much.  I am in shock at the tone she used with me but can do nothing about it.  In canada it is not that easy to switch doctors at will.  You basically get what you get here.
 
I called my regular GP and he can't see me until next Tuesday so I am going to get as much information as possible together and go in informed as I can.  I have had a nucleur stress test done a MIBI, I believe it is called, and am scheduled for a cardiac ultrasound in September, to rule out cardiac altogether which I am sure it will.
 
Is anyone else having problems getting through to their doctors like this or is it just me?
 
Karen

mp1968
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/24/2007 8:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Karen-

I'm new to the forum, so the only part of this that I can comment on with personal experience is the MS hug part. I had this symptom when I was diagnosed in Feb. of this year, but it was not what you are describing here - much less severe - basically the heightened numbness and slight feeling of a band of pressure right below my breasts. I have no idea if it can be more severe and manifest itself as the pain that you describe - hopefully someone with more experience could comment here.

I'm sorry to hear that your options are limited there in Canada - I'm in AZ and feel blessed to have a wonderful "MS only" neuro that I have very good rapport with and a high level of confidence in. That she claims to have never heard of the MS hug is a little alarming, as even the ER intern who helped admit me to the hospital was aware of it.

It does sound like you are on top of your own research and care, though, which will no doubt help lead you to an answer on this.

Best wishes-

Marlene
Marlene
Diagnosed 02/07
CombiRX participant starting 05/07


uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 7/24/2007 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   

I'm sorry your neuro brushed you off like that!  Maybe if you talked about the MS hug as a girdling sensation, and talked about the esophageal spasms, that language would be more what she might accept, as "MS hug" is really an informal way of talking about the girdling.

It's very good that you did get checked for heart problems, as we don't want to overlook something else that might be going on, but if indeed your heart checked out fine, then it is likely the spasms that the ER doctor talked about.

When you see your general practioner, you might want to ask him if he's willing to deal with whatever MS symptoms you have, bypassing the neuro altogether.  I've had MS for 24 years now, and haven't seen a neuro for the last 11 or so.  My family practitioner takes care of all my health needs, including anything relating to the MS. If she has questions, SHE calls a neuro and consults, then gets back to me, so I don't have to deal with a second doctor visit.

I've found that specialists (and a neuro is a specialist) really aren't all that interested, sometimes, in the day-to-day treatment of patients.  Once they've made a diagnosis, they tend to dismiss patients and don't want to be bothered with routine stuff.  Maybe this is where your gp can step up to the plate and not "bother" the neuro anymore?

 


...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


karma292
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 7/24/2007 12:27 PM (GMT -6)   

Thank you so much for your input.  It helps to know that.  My GP isn't really up on MS but he is a lot easier to talk to that my neuro and I think when I have symptoms I will just deal with them myself or talk to the GP.  I will keep my visits to the neuro to a yearly basis or less often.

I am at this point not impressed as you can imagine but to give her credit, maybe she doesn't know that term but girdling she would know.  But when even the MS society of Canada in their newsletter uses the term MS hug, you would think that neuros working in Canada would be familiar with the term also.

Well, I don't feel too bad today, but very tight right under my rib cage like I have been doing situps for hours yesterday.  Very sore and tight feeling right up my chest and into my throat a bit so I think it is either the esophageal spasm or MS hug. 

Thanks again so much for your input.  Appreciate it.

Karen


uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 7/24/2007 2:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I get the esophageal spasms thing all the time. They can be very painful indeed, and scary. I can't offer any good ideas about how to deal with them, except eating slowly, drinking plenty of fluids while eating, concentrating on eating (I find that when I try to eat and carry on a conversation, for example, I'll almost always experience a spasm!). I hope your doctor can be more helpful!
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


karma292
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 7/24/2007 5:20 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for your help anyway, it is nice to hear that someone else is going through this and it is not just in my head.  ha ha.  I hope the doctor can figure it out also.  At least now I have an idea of what it could be and what it isn't.

I do find drinking water at meals does help a little but it seems evenings are the worst times of all where the tightness in my chest and the sharp pain is the worst.

thanks again.

Karen

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