Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More Than You Probably Want To Know

For your MS edification. You guys are going to be so knowledgeable.

I had a great checkup at the MS clinic. Diana (the nurse I see) was impressed and proud of my weight loss, and she said I did great on walking, balance, and strength. So, yeah me!

But, and isn’t there always a “but,” I seem to have some nerve damage in my left foot.

For some of the tests she does, she uses this tool:

Not only does she use the tuning fork end to make sure I can feel the vibration, but she uses that flat-sided hammer to feel cold. She starts with the face, putting it against my left cheek then right cheek and asks, “Do you feel the cold?” Yes. “To the same degree?” Yes. And thus it continues to my wrists, top of my hands, fingertips, all the while I’m answering “Yes.”

Then to the calves. Yes
The ankles. Yes
Top of the foot. Yes
Toes. . . . Toes. . . .Um, No.

It didn’t feel cold! How bizarre is that?!? It was weird, I have to tell you. I’ve since decided that my toes were so cold that I couldn’t feel anything as cold as they were. I’m really good at finding excuses to turn things in my favor. But, I also have to admit, that’s the first time that’s happened, and my toes are always cold.

OK, so that was interesting. Then she did the test I absolutely hate. She takes the end of the tuning fork and runs it up the soul of my foot. I cringe and pull away just thinking of this. I’m so ticklish that this is almost painful, and yet, I giggle. It’s very embarrassing.

So, on my right foot when she does this, my toes curl forward as I try to pull away. But on my left foot, I flex my foot almost straight. How bizarre is that?!? She had been suspecting this at my other visits but was never able to do a decent test because I would just pull away. This time I had to look away and hold my breath. The toes didn’t flex back, but they definitely didn’t curl forward.

It’s nothing horrible, it’s just a sign that I do have a little nerve damage in my left foot. I already suspected that since I have this constant tingle in the arch of that foot, but I hadn’t had the other test results before. And it’s not affecting my gait or my balance or my ability to walk. I’m actually very lucky because this could be so much worse.

The best news is that I don’t have to come back for 6 months! Of course, I have to have an MRI then, but hey, that’s 6 months away. In the immortal words of another Southern belle, *in my best lilting southern drawl* “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

But for now, I’m going to put on my wooly socks to protect those toes.


Betty said...

Your wooly socks will sure come in handy in the next few days if you get the kind of weather we're expecting.

Ch3ll3 said...

Fascinating. Don't you think the human body is amazing (in weird and/or wonderful and/or not-so wonderful ways)?

When I found out about your MS, I did a little reading. The first thing I thought about was your feet. You see, my Mom is a Reflexologist so, naturally, I tend toward preventative and/or coping medicines (rather than all out "cures") for things that are not currently curable. Despite your ticklish tootsies, have you considered adding alternate medicines / treatments to your repetoire? Or if you have already, I'd love to know more about what you're doing.

BTW - Mom says if you rub cream into your feet every night before bed, it will help with your circulation and those chilly piggies. ;)

Kell said...

Chelle--Thank your Mom for me. Any other advice would be much appreciated. I haven't done much with alternative medicines yet. I do all the other stuff--take vitamins, work out, try to eat right--that I can do. I'm adding yoga to my workout regime to help me with core strength, flexibility and balance.

The medication I'm on slows down the progress of the disease but doesn't help the symptoms, so I feel like it's up to me to help myself with those. But since the most painful symptom is my leg muscles tightening and spasms, the only thing that seems to help is rest and gentle stretching. But I'm open to suggestions!

Thanks for the support, too. That's a big help, too.

Newt said...

Angora socks are good too. And REI sells these marvelous down filled slippersocks. Hubster got them for me last year. Oh how cozy they make the toezy.