One of the many symptoms of MS I had yet to experience has struck with full force. Those electric shock sensations, also known as l’Hermittes sign or Barber Chair Phenomenon, had up until now only fleetingly bothered me, lasting no more than a couple of seconds each time.
I was helping a friend strip wallpaper over the weekend (I know, the excitement!), when they started up. A bit like labour pains, there was some time between each to start with, but they slowly increased until it was an almost continuous pain. I won’t bore you with the details, but the sensation was so odd and so bizarrely painful, I laid down my tools, got in the car and slowly drove home, a journey made more difficult as I couldn’t move my head and a tractor had broken down in the middle of the road.
And there’s the nub. Just when you think you have MS under control, it decides to stick a hand in its big bag of symptoms and chuck another one at you. It’s amazing what you can come to regard as normal – the tiredness, the dodgy walking, the balance problems, the twitching, the numb hands, the overwhelming desire to stuff my face with chocolate – and you adjust your life accordingly. Everything is as good as it can be, until something like this knocks you back to square one again.
I have been wondering though, how did MS’ers describe the pain before electricity was invented?