Monday, February 2, 2015

Multiple Sclerosis: What you don't see

I saw this image today on Facebook from MSstation and knew what I would be writing about today. First, let me tell you that MSstation is an educational group page on living with MS. If you live with MS and you are on Facebook, check them out. On this infographic there is a list of what we live with in MS.

Numbness and Tingling sensations are both listed and they go hand in hand. I can't sit in one position for long or my legs will give me hell. It feels like circulatory problems. According to tests, my circulation is fine. It's the MS.

Tinnitus: ringing in the ears. I don't get this one as often, but I have it about once a month.

Trigeminal Neuralgia: There's a fun one to say. It's a nerve condition that causes shooting pains in the face. I get what feels like cramps around my ears and into my jaw.

Speech and Swallowing difficulties: Oh yes. I bite myself while trying to talk and mess up words into gibberish. I also have esophageal spasms throughout the day. They make it look like I'm choking, but I'm not. They can cause actual choking if I'm trying to eat.

Optic Neuritis-Diplopia and Nystagmus: In order they are inflammation of the optic nerve, double vision and involuntary eye movements. My vision used to be awesome and it still kind of is; except when I can't focus my vision. Because this happen intermittently, glasses won't help. So my vision can come and go. May have my regular awesome vision one day, blurry the next.

Depression. Who wouldn't get depressed? I've dealt with depression all my life. This explains a lot.

Bladder Control. I definitely have to go more than I used to. I also have a stretched bladder due to my career before being disabled. Basically, I was too busy with emergencies to stop for bathroom breaks. But that's another story.

Tremors. The bane of an artist. My handwriting was never good, but it's horrid now. I used to able to write letters, but now they must be typed. I have to make a lot of adjustments for my artwork. The finer the detail I try to draw, the more it will just be a wavy mess.

Restless Leg Syndrome. My legs will kick or just shudder. Tough MS days always make this worse.

Insomnia. I definitely get sleepless nights. This can be made worse by fatigue that takes me down during the day and messes up my sleep cycle.

Nocturia. Overnight waking up to urinate. Like sleep problems weren't already an issue.

Constipation. Nuff said.

The MS 'hug'. It feels like you have a vice around your ribs and your being crushed. Mostly I just get a cramp on one side of my ribs, but it's pretty painful.

Balance issues/stumbles/trips/falls: There's a T-shirt out there that says: I'm not drunk, I have MS. Get the idea?

Dizziness/vertigo: This can be triggered by nearly anything. Sitting up, standing up, bending over, kneeling, or a jolt of physical exertion. It's hard hitting and the landscape looks and feels like it's tilting sideways for me.

Headaches and migraines. Hand in hand with everything else that happens at head level.

Cognitive Issues. I have trouble finding words and get confused over nothing at times.

Debilitating fatigue. Anything can exhaust me for no visible reason. Basic household chores have to be done in parts to make it through my day. Fatigue makes all the other problems act up worse.

A couple I'm adding:

Joint failure: Particularly in my knees. It's like having someone tap you behind them to make you dip. I've fallen a couple of times as a result. I also drop things or miss when I reach for something and smash my hand into something.

Susceptible to temperature and barometric pressure: Moderate temps are fine. Heat will sap energy fast and cold just makes everything tighten up.

Every single thing your body does is dependent on your nervous system. Without your nerves, your heart will not beat, your lungs will not breathe, your organs will not process and ultimately you will die. That's why it's important to slow the process of MS any way possible. I have injections for this and there are new medications being worked on even now.

So, for all you see on the surface, there is a war going on underneath.


Anonymous said...

Well said. I have MS and people don't understand. They think I look fine but I am far from it. My daughter doesn't understand it and looks at me like I am nuts sometimes. I try to explain but until someone is walking in your shoes they can't understand. I have all these things that you wrote about. The pain is unbearable and I have not found anything that helps. I look forward to more posts so I could share with the ones that I love so they could understand better. Thank you....

Anonymous said...

Honestly, try medical marajuana for you sleep, spasms, etc.

David Wilde said...

Thanks both.