Today (now yesterday) my masseuse commented that my knickers matched my walking stick. Let me explain.
a) I have had regular massages since suffering a work related shoulder injury many years ago. I wrenched something. It hurt. A lot.
b) Unusually for me, these particular knickers are patterned with red cherries.
c) I own a variety of patterned walking sticks. This is one of two recent bargain buys from Timpsons. It is bizarre how excited I now get about buying new walking sticks. Who’d have thought someone my age would get so much pleasure from a pretty stick! Not a euphemism.
I often coordinate the colours of my clothing and, to a certain extent, accessories – earrings, bags, walking sticks. This probably makes me sound far more fashion conscious than I could ever pretend to be.
Loss of coordination was one of the first symptoms to affect me when I suffered the MS relapse that led to my diagnosis. I don’t remember what I was wearing when I went into hospital (in an ambulance) but I bet it wasn’t in any way coordinated. I do remember I couldn’t write properly with my left hand. I am left hand dominant. Left-handed to you and me.
I had also started dropping things. I was already using a stick due to footdrop, balance and coordination difficulties when walking - and when standing or bending down. Sitting seemed to be ok but that doesn’t take a huge amount of coordination.
None of this is unusual for someone with MS but when you don’t know you have MS and these difficulties are accompanied by visual disturbances, extreme tiredness (fatigue), strange numbness/tingling in limbs and crushing pain round your midriff then the loss of coordination is disturbing. It was the midriff pain that landed me in hospital, It moved up to my chest and the out of hours doctor told me I had to phone 999. Best thing I did. Once in hospital I had the raft of tests that led to my diagnosis.
On diagnosis, I was told by the hospital MS Specialist Nurse that the crushing midriff pain, which felt like a far-too-tight twisting belt, is known as the MS Hug. I think of a hug as a pleasant thing. This wasn’t, and still isn’t, at all pleasant.
One of the problems with all my symptoms is that they didn’t/don’t feel coordinated. To a lay person like me, it’s like having a whole jumble of stuff wrong. So yesterday it was good to be told that one part of me was coordinated. My knickers matched my walking stick. I was well coordinated. Very important, I feel, to look your best... in case you get run over by a bus.