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)

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Friday

It's not writer's cramp. It's M.S.




Ugh. I can hardly even sign my own name today. My hands are achy and sore. My palms are clammy. And I can’t hang onto a pen without dropping it.

Is it writer’s cramp? Nope. Guess again. It’s one more drawback of life with multiple sclerosis.

That hand muscle spasm, wrist weakness, finger fatigue, and overall manual clumsiness all seem to be part and parcel of MS.

Photo adapted from public domain image
 
MS can be difficult to define. Even doctors have trouble with that. (Maybe that’s why it seems to take them months, or even years, to diagnose it properly – despite the whopping battery of odd and unpleasant tests they tend to administer in the process.)

The symptoms of MS are even weirder.

MS warriors may battle any number of uncanny symptoms of this chronic neurological monster on a given day. At the same time, we might be able to accomplish quite a lot in other areas.

Here’s the craziest thing. The onslaught of MS symptoms varies, both unpredictably and randomly. 
 
Word cloud created by this user with online generator.

A single Mser can experience the entire gamut, a strange variety of symptoms, or a single one for a stretch. The symptoms may resolve without warning or persist. It’s tough to tell.

Tomorrow, for example, I am slated to run in a midwinter trail race. It’s hilly and rugged and hard. But I aim to finish. I might even log a respectable race time, at least for my somewhat advanced age group. (The entry numbers tend to diminish, as the age numbers go up.)

But I can’t write a full sentence by hand without fumbling and dropping my pen. And the words I do scratch out are barely legible. Sure, penmanship was never my strongest suit in school, but my handwriting was readable.

Wait till I try to tie my shoes.



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