My Feet Have Sole
I was waiting for my friend to come running back to the van. I kept it on since it was a quick stop. Imagine my surprise when they were back in the car and put the car in drive. It went nowhere. It went nowhere, because the van was not on. I could have sworn that I felt the engine purring, well guffawing, beneath my feet. I chalked it up to confusion and went on my way.
Then, it happened again. My feet were vibrating when the van was off. That is kind of weird. It was not until I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) months later that I started to make the connection between my "motor feet" and the chronic illness.
Multiple sclerosis and foot issues
Foot drop might be one of the most recognizable MS symptoms there is. Difficulty walking and falls are often the result of the miscommunication between the brain and the lower legs via the central nervous system (CNS). People living with MS (PLwMS) can experience this physical impairment at any time, but not initially associate it with MS. However, it can be the impetus for seeking medical help and can be a clue that MS is the cause.1
I have never experienced foot drop, so it was not something that might have given me a heads-up that I had a chronic illness. I just had this weird sensation when I was in the van. At least that is where I felt it the most. Plus, it was intermittent. No worries.
Oh, it's not wet
I was not only "foot confused" about when my vehicle was running or not. I had a new location that was telling me to pay attention to my body's signals. This new place was the bathroom floor. Now this one was really random, since I am a slipper-in-the-house kind of gal. My bare feet rarely touch that tile floor. When they did, I was alarmed. The floor was wet. Darn it! There was a leak in the bathroom.
Except there was not. The bathroom floor was simply cold. It was not wet although I would have bet my bottom dollar it was. Okay. I was confused ... again. It was only when I was touching the bathroom tile on a few occasions that it occurred to me that my brain was baffled and mistaking the cooling temperature with a cold wet feeling. It is not easily explainable, so I did not bother. Yet again, my foot confusion was telling me a story.
Feet fail me now
As with many of my MS symptoms, these foot sensations were not something I read about when I was first starting my research. I am no different than other PLwMS. We are trying to make sense of what is going on with our bodies. We analyze just about every ache, pain, twitch, itch and sensation. Once we know that we have multiple sclerosis, it becomes a normal part of life to consistently watch, wait, and look up. Issues with my feet fell under that same process.
It did not take much for me to learn that my vibrating, cold-not-wet footsies were not abnormal for someone living with MS. Your nerves are saying one thing, but the brain is hearing another. My MS lesson for the day? To remember that this chronic illness really does play tricks on you. Tricks that turn up unexpectedly in time and place. I just go with the flow. My feet still have sole. In fact, two kinds.
Were you misdiagnosed with something else before receiving a MS diagnosis?