In the Blog Series: My MS Stands For…, I’ve been giving you a variety of ways to view having Multiple Sclerosis as well as different aspects of your life that may be affected.
But, what does it actually feel like to have Multiple Sclerosis? How do you personally explain to someone else what a flare up feels like?
Well, I’ve come up with a few experiments (Try These At Your OWN Risk) that will hopefully give others a better glimpse into what it’s like to have Multiple Sclerosis. Some may seem a bit extreme, but we who live with it everyday know that they are all too accurate:
Symptom: PINS & NEEDLES
Take a pack of sewing needles or thumbnails and position them upright on the floor. Now walk on them barefoot. Lie down on them…NAKED (you know, so you can get the full experience). How long do you think you’d last? That’s how it feels to sleep, sit, or walk with “pins and needles”. You know that feeling you get when your foot “falls asleep”? Spread that all over your body and you’ll begin to feel what a person with MS feels on a regular basis.
Symptom: NOODLE LEGS/GAIT IMBALANCE
Next, soak a pair of jeans and a long sleeve shirt in cold water until they are drenched, then put them on. Fasten a 5-pound weight both to your left ankle and left elbow. Now, walk a tightrope line on your tiptoes with your left arm extended out and your right index finger touching your nose. How long were you able to keep your balance? Imagine walking like that everyday.
Here’s a “fun” one. Quickly eat an entire bowl of ice cream until you get that “brain freeze” feeling. But, don’t stop eating the ice cream! And, now you must also have a conversation the entire time that you have that cold, burning, frozen sensation. Is it still fun?
Symptom: ELECTRIC SHOCK
I’m sure you know about the many ways to create static electricity. It’s a big difference, though, in purposefully creating a sense of electric shock and involuntarily experiencing pulses and waves of electrocution.
Symptom: SENSITIVITY TO TOUCH
Remember, as a little girl, when your mother pulled your ponytail too tight, or that one stand of hair got caught in the elastic? Well, that’s what scalp sensitivity does in the areas where the Myelin shaft has been interrupted. However, the sensitivity is often felt in other parts of the body as well. So, the smallest, most gentle touch can cause excruciating pain.
These are just a few of the common MS Symptoms. Others may include numbness, vertigo, dizziness, chronic fatigue, muscle spasticity, cognitive impairment, bladder problems, speech difficulties, anxiety, and depression.
What other symptoms do you experience? Leave them in the comments below.