Yesterday post set me off thinking during the afternoon, one small part of it kept going round and round in my head, how long is it since or have I ever had a body that was well? It’s actually probably is an impossible question for any of us to answer, not one of us remembers how our right foot felt and worked when we were 12. The biggest problem is the longer you live with something, the less you think about it and more you just dismiss it as an everyday happening and nothing odd or abnormal. I remember filling in an insurance form a couple of years before I was diagnosed with either my fibromyalgia or Ms, one of the question asked if I had musculoskeletal pain, it may shock you to know that I actually answered that with a no. After a life time of being told by doctors that there was nothing wrong with me, I had drawn the conclusion that therefore everyone on this planet had the same pain I did and I was just being a wimp, musculoskeletal pain had to be something far more and very different to what I was living with. It was the only conclusion I could come to, all those doctors surely couldn’t be wrong, could they? The question cost us a fortune, as once I was diagnosed we tried to claim the insurance to pay off our mortgage, they wouldn’t pay out, and even the ombudsman agreed with insurance company. What you are conditioned to believe, is incredibly powerful, regardless what your body is telling you. My diagnosis only came when my MS turned progressive and not even the worst doctor could ignore the fact that I was really ill, not that any of the helped with the insurance.
If I sit still right now and stop typing for a couple of minutes, I know that when totally motionless the skin of my hands always tingle at the least and burn at the worst. If I lift my hands slightly off the desk, my fingers start to move on their own, twitching and flicking side to side. The muscles, especially my thumbs ache and often sear as though there are razor blades cutting into them, dependant on their personal choice and neither hand has any true strength, I can’t even now form a true clenched fist. So what happens when you stop and sit still, what do you feel in just your hands, right now? It’s a question I haven’t asked anyone before, but when did you last ask anyone how their hands feel, we don’t talk about things like that, we all think we know as we have hands ourself, so why ask? Looking back in time I have no memory at all of them ever being painless or tingle free, but yes just 10 years ago my strength wasn’t too bad, as long as I wasn’t asked to carry something for a long period of time. I have chosen something small and simple, hands and I haven’t even mentioned things like dexterity or not being able to feel heat, leading to the constant problem of burns and so on. Not only do I not feel heat, my hands are normally totally freezing as though I had spent the last few hours playing in the snow. All of that, although not as bad as it is now, but I thought it was all normal, I believed that every single person on the planet had hands identical to mine.
I know that I am using my MS as the example in this but that is my main illness, I actually think there are a million questions we don’t ask, simply because we think we know, when in fact you could be walking around suffering from something that could be either cured, or at least made that bit better. I can’t be sure if part of the problem with talking to people about how you feel, both physically and mentally is partially generational, I get the impression that today’s youngsters are more open, but those in my age group and older talked about nothing personal. Clearly I have broken through that barrier, but I just wish I had done so many years ago, I spoke to no one apart from doctors and the result, well is here in this blog, someone who went through years of pain and so on, when if I had the power of knowledge, I could have argued with them and maybe things would have been very different. Yes we all have the internet now but don’t use it only, I know that finding a single symptom that makes sense with your personal experience can be really hard or even impossible.
If you don’t have the time to do it right now, them promise yourself that you will do it over the weekend. Just stop for a while and think about how each part of you feels and works at the very point in time, if you have a better memory than me, write it all down as it will be your guide, one I wish I had had, as to just how your body is and how or if things are changing. It’s not hard to do, but it really could save you years of pain and distress and if your not sure if what you feel is normal or not, well ask around and see if other feel the same or if it is just you.