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heracles

My Perplexing Malady

I wrote most of this in a zine 19 years ago, but have edited and added to it for this post:

This perplexing condition of mine seems to have begun 21 years ago (age 19), when I was in college, but a year later seemed to reach its peak intensity, when I was working the graveyard shift of a check processing center called "Systematics".  It's very hard to describe, perhaps impossible.  But I'll try.

The main bodily focal point is just right of the left shoulder blade.  It can't be described as "pain" in the usual sense of the word, but it's a very unpleasant feeling.

It seems to inhabit the very borderline between the mental and physical, so though I call it a "feeling", it isn't just a vague emotion, or perception.  It's quite physically localized.  The next main bodily point I feel it is the left top of my skull.  Other points, all on the left, are my wrist, thigh, the area above the buttock, and upper foot.  For all this time my whole left side has always felt slightly "dead", though again, this word is a poor approximation to the actual sensation.  It's a bit like one feels when a rock gets lodged in the tread of ones shoe, and your walking unevenly.  This is the more benign aspect of the condition.  The worst, often coming up in the middle of the night, is the pulsating, throbbing, streams of "quasi-pain" in the previously mentioned bodily points.  It's much like the cringing feeling many people (including me) experience when they hear and see someone scratching a blackboard with their fingernails, or the maddening sensation of having a piece of food stuck in their teeth that won't come out.  The difference though, is that (1) my "malady" has no discernible, objective cause, and (2) it's so intense, it crosses the border between a mere psychological discomfort to a palpable, somatically localized one (shoulder blade, skull, thigh, etc.)  Another way to describe it is, it feels like cornflakes, styrofoam, straw or some other similar irritant is lying beneath my scull, on the surface of my brain.

I am able sometimes to alleviate it, usually only briefly, by scratching the affected area.  Sometimes I tap my skull with a hammer, back of a hairbrush, or whatever's available, which I realize sounds like a little more extreme remedy, but sometimes seems more effective.  Strangely, running a flobee hair cutting machine over it seems to alleviate it as well.  But it's only for the time I'm doing that.

At 24 I went to a doctor about this and had an EEG.  He looked through the printout and said he found nothing abnormal.  I told my chiropractor about it but he just looked at me like I was weird.

At 58 I still have this.  Fortunately, kratom, which I started taking in the evening a couple years ago, totally eliminates it, just as it pretty much eliminates my other nagging joint pains.  But I still have it during the day, and the amount of kratom I take, 10-12 double-zero capsules, seems to becoming gradually less effective.

I doubt anybody here will have any experience with this or anything like it, but I thought I'd fire this shot in the dark and see what responses I get.

 

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I thought I remembered a post of yours from awhile back stating that you had schizophrenia?  Did you ever take any anti-psychotics?  It might be an unusual presentation of akathisia.  And I think kratom has been used as a opium substitute.  That might explain why it gives you some relief and why it is also becoming less effective over time as your body builds more tolerance.

Edited by Palladium

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Thanks.

I've said in posts here I believed I'm probably a schizoid, not schizophrenic.  My Dad was diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, but I have doubts he was.  I think he was just very depressed.  My uncle, his brother, was definitely schizophrenic.  He contracted it at about 17 and committed suicide in his mid-40's.

I don't see myself as psychotic or delusional or irrational at all.

Yes, I'm aware that you build a tolerance to kratom and that it has opium properties.  But I'm sure it's much safer.

I'll look into akathisia.  I wonder why none of my doctors ever mentioned this.  This "sensation" I've had all these years isn't really debilitating, just sometimes maddening at its very worst, and I'd just like to understand it or know if anybody else has it.  Somehow, it's seemed centered around the left eye and optic nerve as well.  I saw on 20-20 how when people cover their left eye they tend to get a feeling of well being, but if they cover their right eye, they get a feeling of anxiety.  I tried it, and yes, I get that too.  Maybe mine is more pronounced than most peoples'.

Edited by heracles

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Benadryl is supposed to help a bit with akathisia.  Maybe you could try taking some and see if it helps?

Edited by Palladium

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I skimmed and spot read the akathisia Wikipedia article and watched a few YouTube videos on it, and the symptoms don't fit what I'm experiencing.  Mine is distinctly on my left side and very different from "pain" in the usual sense.  I am often restless and fidgety, but nowhere near what I saw on YouTube.

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