Living with M.S.

"Living with M.S. is sort of like training for a long race. The harder you try, and the longer you keep at it, the stronger you become.
Eventually, looking back, you may be amazed at the power you possessed, even when you had no idea it was within your reach." (Linda Ann Nickerson)


That’s not the kind of hug anybody really wants

Hugs are healthy. Almost everyone seems to agree on that. Holistic health gurus and psychotherapists nearly universally agree on that point, if on nothing else.

Some folks claim each of us needs 4, 6, 8, or even 12 hugs a day to thrive. Who knows?

I haven’t done the math on that, but I think hugs can be OK.

On the other hand, hugs can hurt a lot, if they are MS hugs. Ask anyone with multiple sclerosis.

What is the MS hug?

This is the squishing, squashing, breath-busting, chest-gripping, mind-blowing squeeze that grabs hold and won’t let go.

The MS hug feels sort of like having tight elastic bands stretched to the limit. This too-small-girdle-like sensation may be localized, or it may extend from the waist to the jaw-line. Supposedly, the MS hug is neurologically based, involving muscle spasms from the spinal cord into the rib area.

It can cause tingling, aching, burning, or sharp pain for a few seconds to several hours. Some doctors recommend anti-inflammatory medications, cold or hot compresses, massage therapy, topical pain relievers, and other treatments. 

But those results can be sketchy at best.

Often, there’s not much to do but wait it out.

I have had costochondritis, a collapsed lung, and broken ribs. I’ve taken bad falls that knocked the wind out of me.

But the MS hug is in a class by itself.

Hold the hug, MonSter. You’re not welcome here.

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That’s not the kind of hug anybody really wants
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