The ghoulish side of MS

The Ghoulish Side of MS

Multiple Sclerosis can be the ultimate trick or treat experience. Just when we are cruising along and think we have this monster under control, it will jump out and scare the bejeebers out of us. I’m not quite sure what bejeebers might be, but I imagine it is closely related to other reactions that we have to things that go bump in the night. There is certainly enough spine-tingling, heinous moments in living with MS that can make it perpetually Halloween.

The noises of our bodies

We get lots of noises in our body with MS – much like the skeletons in the closet rattling their bones. If you are like me, when I lay down to sleep suddenly the sounds of my heart, and coursing blood, and ringing ears is intensified. I have to wonder if my body isn’t morphing into its own haunted house.

Then there are the gremlins – we have all encountered them at the most unexpected times. They are the little monsters who live under the floorboards and carpet and reach up just as we step across them and cause us to stumble and often fall. I’ve made more than one trip to the ER thanks to those gremlins and returned with stitches that leave me looking like Frankenstein’s kin.

Unexpected, uneventful days

Occasionally I am treated to good days with my MS. I hope everyone has many of these, where you wake, feel pretty good considering everything, and then go on to have an uneventful day. I love those kinds of unexpected treats. But it usually doesn’t take long for the Phantom symptoms to reappear and haunt me again, making me quake and quiver, and even feel as if there were spiders crawling all over my skin.

Zombies have been the rage in popular culture these past few years but originated in Haiti where it is hypothesized that local cures for illnesses caused people to fall into a paralyzed, dead-like state. When these natural cures wore off, the person would rise from the supposed dead. The brain-eating Zombie creatures of pop culture might best resemble MS in human form. They are relentless, and even when they lose the use of limbs or other body parts, they continue to march on, seeking the next victim. Zombies are only dangerous when fed salt, and lends more credibility to my idea that they are much like MS – since we now are being told to avoid salt to keep our MS quiet.

Already in character for Halloween

On way too many days, I walk like I have come straight off the big screen of the Hunchback of Notre Dame – step, drag a foot, lurch forward and repeat … step, drag, lurch. With this kind of gait, who needs props to get into the character of Quasimodo for Halloween? Not me.

And let’s not forget the Vampires of our medical providers – we all know them. The cleverly disguised people posing as nurses and phlebotomists who are really just after our blood, are everywhere. They collect so much of my bodily fluid at times it feels like they have sucked the life out of me.

Which monsters are lurking

Be cautious when you open the door to MS any time of year and not just Halloween. We have no way of knowing which monster is lurking, just waiting to be let in. May the witching hour bring you more treats than tricks.

Be well & safe,


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