I lost my right-hand yesterday, just for a few minutes, but it died. I was simply sat here typing when it started to tingle for a few seconds, then nothing. Just as when I lost the left one, I couldn’t really move my fingers, there was some tiny reaction but not enough and it was hanging rather limply at the wrist. I tried to pick up the computer mouse, as it is right here and light and I thought if I was going to be able to lift anything I could manage that. I spent about a minute trying, but although to my relief I was managing to make my fingers lie in the correct position’s my thumb wouldn’t lock, I was able to bring the mouse towards me, but I couldn’t push it away, well I could but it was more by accident than anything like control. I haven’t been able to form a true fist for a long time now, neither of my hand will actually lock with my fingers pressed into the palm of my hand. I know all to well that my grip is somewhat feeble, as my fortnightly test of trying to move the frozen and fridge foods from the hall to the kitchen, has shown me that carrier bags aren’t exactly my friends, I sort of pull them upwards to a point where I can cuddle them into the kitchen and drop them onto the counter. All I could do at that point was to try and massage it, partly because I thought it might help and partly so that I could work out what feeling I had or didn’t have. To my surprise I could feel myself touching the outer three fingers, it was really my thumb and index finger that were not right. As I was playing around with it, I started to feel parts of it tingling and slowly it spread across the whole hand and not far behind the pins and needles I found I was also able to move it.
Nearly 24 hours on and it still isn’t itself, in fact, both of them are playing up, I am being plagued with bouts of pins and needles in both of them and if I hit one wrong key out of 4, well I am actually doing OK. Right now my favourite key on the entire keyboard is the back delete, followed closely by ‘, there is something wrong with my pinky on my right hand it keeps dropping and hitting it, in all the wrong places. I have been aware over the past few days that my dexterity is all over the place, most of my tablets have been on the floor before I actually swallow them and if I left one line of what I am actually putting on to this page, for each of my last few posts, well you wouldn’t have been actually able to understand any of it. Most of all though they both just feel wrong, sort of as though they are swollen, which they aren’t, but that is how they feel, bigger and spongy, somewhat like wearing inflated rubber gloves. Apart from those few minutes when the right one died, I don’t actually remember when they last didn’t feel as though there was a mild tingle just below the skin, like a secondary life form living there, telling me it is there but always staying out of sight.
I have always had area’s of my body that feel like that from time to time, patches or limbs that just want to be scratched until bright red, but they only ever last a few hours and vanish. This is different, this hasn’t gone away, it is always there either mildly and in the background, or full force in your face, demanding attention and now getting it by dying right in front of my eyes. It is odd how although you live with differing versions of the same thing for year after year, how suddenly it will grab hold of you in a way you didn’t expect demanding your attention and not letting you ignore it. I have always known that things will get worse, some forever, some just for short spells, but knowing isn’t the same as when it happens, you don’t expect all the emotions, the thoughts that go with it or the even the fear that grabs hold of you occasionally. Strangely I wasn’t fazed for a second when I woke to find I couldn’t use my left hand, or by the fact that it took six months to return and has never been the same again, but yesterday, well I was actually scared at the possibility that it was happening again. It wasn’t so much the again bit, more that it was my right hand, I am right handed, I can cope without a left hand, you find ways around things as your left hand, well think about it, you use it mainly to aid your right, other than typing I can’t think of anything that I use my left hand alone for. Having said that, until you loose it, you don’t really realise just how much you do need it, but it didn’t scare me, not even for a moment. Loose my right and suddenly I am useless, how on earth do you cope on your own without your right hand? All the logical bits that said you will cope, you have done it before, you will adapt, learn and adjust where being overpowered by plain fear.
Emotions run fast, very fast, they overwhelm you without permission or thought, suddenly you go from a rational, sensible person, to a wreck terrified to even move just in case when you do, it doesn’t happen. My hand came back in what felt like minutes, possibly less, but it has left me with a fear of what is going to happen next. The knowledge that my nerves are more unstable than I thought, that this constant feeling of tingling is more than just sensations, but a sign that things are actively changing is more than just unsettling. I know it is like everything else, I just have to wait and see what happens, there is no point me telling anyone, calling my doctor or even my specialist as all they would say is, we just need to wait and see. MS is one long wait and see, from the day it appears you wait and wait some more, it drops clues every now and then, gives you a glimpse of what might be the future, but you just can’t be sure, as the future has to be waited for. Right now as it has been for a long time, my feet and legs are causing me pain and they to tingle, have pins and needles and periods where I want to scratch the skin away, but neither have ever died on me, now both of my hands have, are they given me a glimpse of the future, or just playing games with me? All I can do is wait and see.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 07/06/12 – The vanishing
I always love the morning after shopping day, that moment when I open the fridge for the first time that day and the wonderful smell of fresh salad and fruit hits me. It never smells the same until the next shop has passed, I could go and open it now and well it smells like a fridge. There are thousands of things in life that have to be at the right moment for them to work, or have an impact, that moment……