Yesterday, after some lovely chicken pie, my big toe went completely numb (I’m not saying the two are connected, but we’re having lamb next Sunday).
Unable to keep this to myself, I nimbly/numbly stumbled into the living room and told The Teenager.
‘I can’t feel my big toe!! See (flick) nothing! Go on, you try.’
‘Mum. You’re weird. If you weren’t my mum, you’d be the kind of person you tell me not to talk to.’
‘Look, try this (finds a drawing pin), you be the neurologist. Just press it on to my toe.’
‘*sigh* Did you feel that?’
‘No! Weird, huh?’
‘That was my ankle. It’s fine. Give me that.’
I’m no stranger to numbness. One of my first symptoms was completely numb feet, making walking a painful and tedious exercise in tentative negotiation, often resulting in ‘hilarious’ trips, foot drop making matters even worse. I was on first-name terms with every pavement in the vicinity.
Since my last relapse, things have calmed down a bit, although my feet still constantly tingle and buzz. In fact, I can’t remember the last time they didn’t. If I could go back to that very last day of ‘normal’ feet, I’d wear
4 6 8 inch Jimmy Choos for 24 hours and dance til dawn. Then I’d box-frame them (using my glue gun, natch) and hang them on the wall.
Numbness is an odd sensation, and to other people it doesn’t even sound like a troubling symptom, but it sure makes life…..interesting. If I hold a book for too long, numb fingers. Waking up in the morning, numb arms. Sit for too long, numb legs. No wonder The Teenager calls me Numb Numb.
But as with most of MS’s weird and wonderful box of tricks, it’s surprising how much I’m used to it now, especially dropping things. I am a past master.
Like the other day when I was in a smart cafe having breakfast. You know, those places that don’t just put your beans on the plate, they serve them in dinky little chrome buckets (why?). You can see where I’m going with this. The thing flew out my hands, I caught it, smiled with relief, then it jumped back out my very loose grip and clattered across the floor. Raised eyebrows from the next table.
The waitress rushed over, ‘Is everything ok?’ It was so tempting to say, ‘pull up a chair love, this may take some time….’