I woke this morning with something missing, my left foot. It was totally dead to everything, which as you can imagine caused just a few problems with getting out of my bed, it hadn’t just ‘gone to sleep’ as in lacking circulation, it was totally missing as if someone had actually cut them off. This is far from the first time but the scary thing always is will it return, I started by working out if it was just sensation or had I actually lost movement as well, luckily it was just the feeling. Standing up though when you can’t feel the ground is a very strange thing, like trying to drink coffee after being to the dentist. You can’t actually work out where your own body is, you know where it should be but there are no signals to confirm anything. I simply had to trust that it was doing what I asked and quickly as I had to get to the loo, getting across the hall was interesting to say the least, my foot just wasn’t sending back any signals to confirm where it was and as the hall was totally dark I couldn’t actually see anything either. From past events I knew that the danger was I might actually do some damage to my foot, in the past I have pulled muscles, stubbed my toes and caught toe nails in the carpet, pulling my foot free results in breaking the nail beyond the point of comfort. Today I was lucky, I can’t be sure if it was because I forced it to carry me, or it was just luck, but by the time I had been to the loo, my foot returned to normal.
I have been warned constantly by the MS nurses that I have to be careful with my feet, as lose of feeling is a common problem not just for me, but for most people with MS. Just like diabetics, it is easy to have cuts that you don’t feel and can become infected with ease. I have because I insist in walking around with bare feet had issues, but I find that I feel the floor better when I am not wearing shoes. I have lost some feeling permanently already but at a level I can work with. When my left arm died for several months, I had bruises and small cuts all the time, when you have no feeling it is a constant fact that you bang it off things and cuts gain from trying to use it to do everyday things like opening cans and jars. Not having feeling is a huge hazard, not just a disability.
When parts of your body vanish like that it is scary in the first few seconds, as always the worry is that this time it may have gone for ever. I have lost count on the number of times that I have stopped dead and just waited, totally concentrating on the dead area, just praying it will return. I know well the areas that vanish just because they feel like it and I also know that one day they may be gone for ever. I fear the most, understandably the lost of my feet, legs and hands. They daily give me reason to worry as well, for the last few days it has been both of my hands that have been numb and painful, alternatively, so my foot suddenly being gone was rather a surprise this morning. I often find myself sitting wondering how I will manage the day that I no longer have the use of them for ever. I know that I can manage with just one hand, but to loose both is something I just don’t think I could cope with. It’s hard to imagine a world were I can no longer make a coffee, carry a plate or type. It’s a future that I don’t know how well I will cope with, I know it still won’t be the end, but it is so alien that I can’t get my head round it really.
Everyone knows that MS causes pain and as bad and difficult pain is to deal with, in many ways no pain is in many ways worse. It may sound like a blessing that the pain has stopped, but the consequence of that so called blessing is something far worse.