Way, way back in August of 2012, when I was just a young, naive blogger and more diligent about posting my thoughts on this platform–as in more than once every 3 months (sorry)–I published a little blurb I called “Lesser Known MS Symptoms“. Since then, my condition has changed, surprisingly for the better. Just the same, every now and then a new one of those unusual manifestations of MS rears its ugly, though sometimes humorous*, head. I could just ignore them but why do that when they make perfectly good blog fodder?
Here are a few more:
Loose talk — Because MS affects nearly every bodily function, even the “sensitive” ones, we folks who live with the condition freely discuss those functions, whether they involve bladders, bowels, or reproductive organs. That’s what it’s like with MS. So don’t be disturbed if we bring up such subjects in mixed company. It’s what we do.
Anyone who has spent more than a day in a hospital understands this. We expect our dignity to be checked at the clinic door. We walk around half naked and people you hope are qualified medical personnel feel free to inspect and/or handle any body part they want. Welcome to our world.
Story redundancy — Because my memory is nearly incapacitated, I waste serious time watching the beginnings of movies (or reading the opening chapters of books) before I realize, “Oh! No wonder it sounds familiar. I’ve seen it before.”
Putting on airs — My right hand is half numb. As we say here in New England, that’s wicked uncomfortable. I try not to touch anything with my pinkie finger, not even the rest of my hand. For example, when I drink from a glass, I usually extend that finger so it doesn’t touch the glass or its neighboring digit. This makes me look like a wuss, and a pompous one at that.
Phantom fingers — This time of year presents me with yet another bizarre symptom. Because of the aforementioned issues with my right hand, putting a glove on that hand can be an adventure. It’s as if each of my fingers has a mind of its own. I slip on the glove and my fingers, the two worst ones at least, go wherever they will. Often, I simply can’t tell if all my fingers went in all the right places. I have to touch each glove finger to make certain it’s occupied. Sound weird? You should feel what it feels like. (See the photo at the top of this post for a picture of the rebellious fingers.)
Phantom phone calls — When I’m in a public place, I tend to have my phone set on vibrate so as to not annoy people around me on those rare occasions when someone actually calls me.** Worse, that “someone” is a robocaller, more often than not.
This presents a problem for folks like me whose MS has endowed them with issues of, for lack of a more accurate technical term, what I’ll call weird feelings. (You can read more about those here or here.) The fact is, at any given moment, some part of my body is always vibrating, including under my left thigh pocket where I invariably carry my phone. What this means is that I’m forever pulling the phone out, checking to see if I’ve received a call or text, and end up disappointed… and annoyed.
That’s about all that come to me at the moment. I’ll try to post new weird symptoms as I think of them. But right now I have a phone call to answer. At least, I think I do.
**Hint to those who don’t do this: No one wants to hear your ring tone in a theater or restaurant or any number of other public locations, no matter how clever you may think it is.