Thursday 7 July 2016

to the left, to the left...

I've developed a twitch.

It's not quite as dramatic as Robert Lindsay's character Michael Murray in GBH, but it's getting there.

It's my left thigh, and it seems to happen mostly in the evening.  I'll be minding my own business, sitting on the sofa or lying in bed or something, and my left thigh will suddenly jolt as the muscle contracts. If I'm sitting with my feet up on the coffee table, this will quite often send my leg flying up into the air and off the table.  As you can imagine, it's quite irritating.... not least for the cat when she's sitting on my lap.

I've had problems with my calves cramping for a little while now.  That seems to happen mostly at night, usually when I'm asleep in bed.  I'll wake up, wonder why I've woken up and then suddenly realise that my calf muscles are cramping and I'll hobble out of bed to desperately try and stretch the muscles out.  It's not much fun and I'm not sure what to do about it.  I've been taking magnesium supplements before I go to bed, and I usually have a pint of orange and tonic water with my tea because the quinine is supposed to help.  Maybe it does help, but I'm still cramping.

The muscle twitching is new and troublesome development.  My left leg is my weaker leg, of course. During the summer months, I usually spend my Wednesday evenings doing some interval training on the Embankment organised by my friends at Colwick parkrun.  It's the kind of training that you would never really do on your own. It's horrible, but fun all at the same time.  We often have lots of different exercises each week to try and keep things fresh.  This week, we some of those little hurdles that you use for quick feet exercises.  They're only three or four inches off the ground, but they're designed to work on your speed and agility.  We ran over them as part of our warm up, leading with the right leg first, then the left leg and then both feet. I couldn't help but notice that I found it significantly harder to pick up my left leg over the hurdle than I did my right.  It's only a small loss of mobility, but it's a noticeable one and I'm afraid that it might be getting a little worse over time.  I seem to be having an accumulation of little issues in my left leg.

Still.  At the moment, most of this is annoying but not much more.  I can't be spending my life worrying about what might happen and if this might all get worse, because equally it might not.  It's a total waste of time.  That's not to say that I haven't noted that it's happening though, or that I don't find it irritating, because I do.

Probably not as irritating as the cat does though...she cocks her ear at me in a most dissatisfied manner with every twitch.

I suppose there's always this....


  1. Sounds like involuntary clonus. Not sure that you can do much about this, but would check with your neurologist or MS nurse. The weakness sounds like, well…weakness due to MS. Join the club for the Chosen Many.

    After 'battling’ (ha!), ok dragging my right foot around, even after six sessions of intensive (45 minutes) one to one physio for 45 minutes (thank you NHS), I finally agreed that a significant amount of fatigue was due to the recalcitrant leg. Speed up, damn you. So FES was tried but was so painful, that was a no-no plus the on-off fiddliness would soon have grated.

    Thought would be left to my own devices, when received an appointment for Orthotics. The scarily efficient woman there gave me the ugliest contraption and told me how useful it would be. I was overwhelmed by the strap-velco-clip-snap stuff. Plus its bulkiness. But, three things changed:
    1. Goodbye skirts and hello wide jeans.
    2. Hello lace-ups.
    OK I enjoyed 1 and 2; shopping for a reason! Especially as lace-ups are on trend. What a stupid phrase. Anyway….
    3. I got a Masters in Engineering in a week.
    4. 'Tis is hard to admit: the ugly foot brace/foot-up whatever, works. Magical. Walking better, still not normal but much steadier and no falls. And fatigue so much less. Result.

    This may not be your own trajectory, of course. But should it be similar, it ain't the worst thing. If you're running marathons we're not in the same class. I lope if a car's coming. No more jaywalking: another gift from the MS treasure trove.

    Night cramps: these remedies sound crazy but they work for me.
    a. Pinch upper lip with fingers, twist if you want. hard. Very hard indeed.
    b. Put two wine corks under your pillow. Goodbye cramp with a few minutes. Seriously.
    I have corks - wine colour unimportant- next to bed. Don't want to tempt providence!

    8 July 2016 at 12:18


  2. amazing tips from Honeysuckle! i will be trying those, as i too have what i call DISCO LEG, especially if i'm sitting with my feet on a coffee table (surely there're more hygienic places to put my feet?)

    it sounds like i got a similar device from orthotics - it worked for me too, but now i need to get a new version as the elasticy bit has lost it's elastic-yness.

    one more thing: Robert Lindsay is my mum's cousin. most snarky people say that people from Ilkeston are all related in some way but i swear this is a stone cold FACT.