In the summer of 2005, one of the first symptoms of MS that I experienced was numbness. It started with a numb hand, but over the course of a few weeks, slowly spread around my body. As you might imagine, this was a fairly strange experience. Perhaps the weirdest part of it was when I tried to go running: it's a very disconcerting sensation to be running along when you can't properly feel the muscles in your thighs or feel the ground beneath your feet. For a while, I was convinced that this was going to mean that I jarred my leg so badly by missing a step that it would break. I didn't stop running though, and over time, my brain just learned to tune out the weirdness and not being able to feel my muscles as I ran became my new normal. So much so, in fact, that I barely think about it at all.
Yesterday, I went out running as usual with my running club. It was a pretty humid night, but I've been working hard to try and shake off the marathon and to get myself back up to what I would call a decent speed. I managed 4.25 miles at a pace of a shade under 8 minutes / mile and was well pleased.
Somewhere along the way, I had a bit of an itch in my left leg. Without looking, and without stopping, I had a quick scratch and carried on. As ever, it felt a little bit weird to have the sensation in my fingers and the sensation in my thigh feel so different as I scratched, but that's normal so I didn't think any more of it until I stopped and saw what I'd done to my thigh.
(and please don't worry: I am wearing shorts in that picture. I'd hate you to have nightmares.)
No real damage done, and the real story here is how I can still run at that sort of pace, but all the same, it's just another little reminder of the damage that MS continues to do to my body.
mother of all relapses: the return
11 hours ago