Remember to buy magnesium!

by Claire

I am in so much pain. It hurts so much that I am panting a little. Every now and then I whimper like a wounded dog. I have always said that I am one of the lucky ones. Lucky because I don’t get that much pain, lucky because my only restriction to living a full life is fatigue. And for the most part that is true. Unless I run out of magnesium.

Generally supplements and herbs do exactly squat, so it is easy to sigh and regret the $70 for a tub of Bioceuticals Ultra Magnesium. But all the literature says that it helps nerve function and can assist the body in producing energy. So I take it. Of course I know that it also works wonders on fibromyalgia, but that is a secondary reason, I rarely get any pain. And the reason for this is of course because I religiously take my magnesium supplements every morning.

It always starts in my back – like the spine is all dry and out of oil – moving makes me feel like I’m grinding the rusty parts onto each other. Then the muscles in my back sieze up and get so tight. Sometimes my joints hurt, other times my muscles and sometimes even my skin screams in pain when it is touched.

Today all the muscles in my back, hips and thighs feel like they are going through extreme menstrual cramps. Not the ones so bad that you cry and can’t move, but just two levels below that. I can’t get comfortable in any position, it’s a grinding pain that nothing will relieve. My arms feel bruised and beaten, and even typing is an effort for my upper arms. The skin around my torso hurts when it is touched by anything. The pillow behind me is tough and pressing like granite. And any change in temperature is like being stabbed with a knitting needle. I bumped softly into the cold metal door handle as I was drying myself from the bath, and at the gentle touch I stifled a scream.

The warm bath helped a little. It eased the tight muscles and warmed my cold feet (the joys of dysautonomia). Every now and then some part of me would throb and the pain would increase for a few minutes before subsiding into a grinding ache. I would tense, and pant a little until it passed.

My jaw and forehead hurt too, but that’s only from the muscles being overworked as my frown and clenched jaw have been a permanent feature for the last 6 hours.

The trouble is that it takes a while for my body to work up to something like this. I’ve been off the magnesium for over two weeks, and while I’ve had a gentle ache occasionally, there was no impetus for me to go and get some more.

Of course, exercise always exacerbates any sort of pain there is. Today I played the piano for an hour, and sat in a cafe with friends for an hour and a half.

In an effort to ease the pain and relax my strained muscles I went for a walk after tea – so perfect for the two blocks towards the ocean, but the two blocks coming back were murder. Every step increased the pain, and it was all I could do to not cry when i finally made it home.

Of course the lesson here is that I need to take magnesium. I went out just as the pain was becoming very uncomfortable at around 7pm this evening. I had a double dose, and will do so again in the morning. The pain peaked at about 9pm and has been holding steady. I’m hoping to wake up tomorrow pain free, if a little stiff and sore from the tight muscles.

Lesson learnt.