It's the foot wiggle. That’s my MS “tell.”
I'm not talking about the big changes brought about by MS. I'm talking about the tiny, seemingly insignificant things.
I could be watching television, talking on the phone, or reading a book. With one leg crossed over the other, my leg is free to swing, my foot is free to wiggle, sometimes at an incredible pace. It can be quite distracting if you happen to be sitting in my presence. It can be equally distracting to me, but I’ve never been able to gain control of this ridiculous habit. These days, I embrace it.
Some people would call it a nervous habit, but that’s not quite right. It's nothing more than the antics of a fidgety person expending excess energy. I read somewhere that fidgeters have a better metabolism and generally stay slim. I like to think so.
It’s something that has been part of my makeup since childhood. Sitting still was never easy for me. I had to pace when having a phone conversation. Even in the days of land lines and long, tangled phone cords, I managed to pace in circles while chatting. I’ve never been accused of being athletic, but I sure moved around a lot!
It’s the little things, the things you’ve known to be true about yourself since early on. Since my reluctant introduction to multiple sclerosis, I’ve become aware of so many of those little things. Dumb things... inconsequential things... just plain silly things.
If you should happen to catch me doing the foot wiggle thing these days, it can only mean one thing. My MS symptoms are in control and fatigue is on hiatus. Last week I was doing the foot wiggle thing, much to my delight. Crazy as it sounds, it’s like meeting your old self after a lengthy absence.
This week, I’m not displaying the full fledged foot wiggle, but there is a bit of a slow leg swing happening. That’s still something. When both the foot wiggle and the leg swing disappear, the keen observer would recognize this as the “tell.” MS symptoms are gaining on me. Suddenly, sitting still is the easiest thing in the world. To do otherwise involves great effort.
I’m writing this post on our brand new laptop, outside on our deck. The sun will set shortly and the sounds of summer surround me. It's comfortable out here. My right leg, crossed over my left, has been swinging ever so slightly. Life is good.
The big symptoms of MS are easy to spot. The little “tells” are not so obvious. What’s your MS “tell?”
Published On: July 15, 2008