Catching Feelings With 'Sensational' MS
Last updated: April 2023
Because multiple sclerosis affects the central nervous system, its symptoms can cause abnormal sensations such as the burning, numbness, or itching, pins and needles sensations (dysesthesia).
Feelings that make the skin crawl
1980... Fourth grade... recess... the lower playground. Now although I don't quite remember how long the recess period was, I do recall it was way too short. But twice I was unable to enjoy my short interval of free time. The first, while happily enjoying my recess, I felt a sudden stinging sensation on the back of my arm. Quite taken aback, I found the culprit to be a bumblebee! The second time, again enjoying the period of 'me and friends ', I remember feeling a tickle to my leg Initially ignoring the sensation, I then thought 'Is something crawling on me??' Lifting my pant leg. I did indeed - a grasshopper had found its way to make acquaintance with my leg and that feeling made my skin crawl! (No pun intended.)
Skin crawling, tickling, and burning
Fast forward to now. Sitting in my lift chair, primarily in the evening, begin the 'ants'. But the reality is that there really aren't ants - or a grasshopper- on my legs - but rather the sensation of bugs crawling on my skin and atop my head. My itching skin has no culprit - such as a mosquito bite - that I can conceivably scratch until virtually raw in an attempt to feel even a small piece of relief. With no bumblebees around, one would wonder where that stinging and burning sensation in my feet and legs comes from. I'd be remiss in not acknowledging the numbness, tingling, pain, pins and needles that I experience. The malefactor? Sensory symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis.
These sensory symptoms can be irritating and even debilitating, but their effect on daily life can be minimized and the symptoms themselves, manageable. There are medications, physical, occupational and mental therapeutic management, and exercises that can help. Everyone is different so it can be beneficial to try various options before deciding the best one for you. The primary piece of advice is to consult your doctor to discuss your symptoms in order to promote safety and avoid injury.
At any rate, I have a lifetime of feelings, emotions, sensations and countless experiences which induced them. Now, I have MS. And the myriad of feelings and sensations it brings. During my 12-year trajectory with this chronic disease, I can't say its challenges have brought about fond feelings or pleasant memories. However, I am happy with me and how I'm governing myself along my journey. With an optimistic perception, some humor, and recognizing the power of positivity, I'm not "waiting for the storm to pass, I'm learning how to dance in the rain” even amidst catching ill feelings and unwanted sensations.
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