I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis over 20 years ago , and have been living with MS symptoms for 30 years or more - about half my life. I was about 28 and a single mother with two sons when I had my first sign. It was numbness in my left knee that lasted several weeks, maybe six or eight. When my knee was numb, it lasted only an hour or so at a time, and it wasn’t every day. One morning at work I noticed my knee was suddenly numb for the first time. That day I was walking to lunch with friends, and about halfway there my knee felt so weak I could not continue. I had to stop, and a friend went for his car to help me back to work. The next day, and the day after, the numbness returned for just a short while. I saw my doctor. He sent me for two neurological tests, Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV). The EMG checks muscles and the nerves that control them to ensure they are healthy. NVC measures the time it takes for an electrical signal to move bet...
The neurologist asks me to bend my head forward and immediately I feel a shock of sensation travel down my arms into my fingers. It’s kind of a vibration, buzzing, or tingling more than a shooting pain. I have just shown a positive L’Hermitte's sign .
The extra buzzing I felt is called a dysesthesia since the unusual sensation was provoked by bending my head forward, in contrast to a paresthesia which describes spontaneous tingling, buzzing, partial numbness, sharp pains, or electrical shocks. I get those too.
Not everybody experiences the L’Hermitte's symptom in the same way. For some patients, it is described as an intense electric shock which feels like you’ve just shoved a finger or toe into an electrical outlet. For some, it may just be a very subtle tingling in the fingers, legs, or toes. Or for others, the wave of sensation can also travel down the truck or upwards to the head.
I have been asked, &l...
Consider the following hypothetical situations: 1. You’re at a family gathering and talking to Cousin MD.
“Cousin MD, I’ve got a question. Whenever I try to make a prayer sign behind my back, my left shoulder hurts. What should I do?” Cousin MD: “Cousin, I suggest you don’t do that.”
2. You’re at home (age 12 or so) and talking to your Mom.
“Hey Mom, I’ve got a question. Whenever I touch the hot stove, it hurts my fingers. What should I do?” Mom: “DON’T DO THAT!! You’ll burn yourself.”
3. You’re meeting a friend for lunch at a local restaurant.
Friend: “Goodness! How did you do that to your hand?” “Do what?” (looking at your left hand) Friend: “I mean THAT, look at the side of your right hand.” “Oh, I didn’t know that was there. I don’t know. Maybe I burned my hand on the iron w...
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