My New Super Power
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I’m testing my new super power today. So far, I can do it once but not again until I’ve rested for days. (Insert training montage music here.)

Some people might consider it a party trick. I’ve decided, though, that it’s a super power. Although I’m not sure what purpose for humanity it will serve.

Is there a call for three excessively wiggling fingers when I clench my hand? I discovered it last week. Sometimes when I clench my hand, my middle, ring, and pinky fingers on my left hand go crazy.

I discovered this particular super power when I was describing the feeling of an MS Hug. If you aren’t familiar, that is when the muscles between your ribs tighten up and cause a pain that laughs at the 1 – 10 ER pain scale.

What number equals the desire to climb out of one’s skin? Those little sad faces on the sign do not indicate that their abdomen is being squeezed by an Inquisitioner.

Luckily, now I know what to call that particular feeling —that apparently isn’t described to the general population of ER professionals, physical therapists, or family doctors.

For 13 years, I couldn’t imagine why it was happening to me. The first time it happened, my husband and I were sure I was having a heart attack. The six millionth time it did, I didn’t care what was causing it.

And then I was diagnosed with MS.

Reading through the possible symptoms of MS, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There it was.

“The MS hug is a collection of symptoms caused by spasms in the intercostal muscles. These muscles are located between your ribs. They hold your ribs in place and help you move with flexibility and ease. The MS hug gets its nickname from the way the pain wraps itself around your body like a hug or a girdle. These involuntary muscle spasms are also called girdling or MS girdling.”1

It is a thing. A real thing. A thing that other people have. (Not that I want them to. But still. They do!)

The squeezing, breath-taking, stomach-upsetting, life-altering pain is a real thing.

Which brings me back to my superpower. The clenching, gripping pain around my ribs….oh look, there it is again. Anyone needing to be saved by three wiggling fingers?

view references
  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/multiple-sclerosis/ms-hug#overview1
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4 comments on “My New Super Power

  1. I have something similar happen to me, but didn’t associate it with the MS hug. It does it in just a part of my rib cage. I never associated it with MS, but with your descriptor I’m wondering if it’s the same thing on a smaller scale. It hurts…bad. Is this a partial MS hug? If it is, I am completely uninterested in experiencing the full one.

  2. potter says:

    I also had MS hugs before I was diagnosed, it felt like heart attack symptoms so I went to my GP and he ruled at heart problems. I had them mostly at night, so I would go to bed curled up in a fetal position and hoped I would be alive in the morning. My GP told me I was drinking to much caffeine. Potter

  3. DonnaFA moderator says:

    Hi Sharelo! Thanks so much for sharing your story and your wry humor 🙂 We’re glad you’re here! -Warmly, Donna (Multiple Sclerosis.net team)

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