How are you feeling? The truth about Parethesia

How are you feeling? The truth about Parethesia

When you live with a chronic illness I think you start to hate that question. People ask it all the time but they really don’t want the actual answer. Trust me, we very rarely actually respond with the truth. My go to answer is I’m doing ok. I can’t say good anymore because that is just too much of a stretch. I just answer with a vague I’m doing ok and change the subject, how are you doing?

What is the truth? I’m not feeling, that’s a major part of my problem. Most of my body is numb to the touch. My sensations are all off on over 90% of my body’s surface. Yes I know you are touching me on that part of my arm. The feeling to me isn’t a normal response. If your tickling my arm I don’t get goosebumps because I won’t feel it like a tickle. One day it may feel uncomfortable, next day I may not really feel it and the next day it might cause a twitch in another part of my body. I have Parethesia which is one of my biggest symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

If you ever had a part of your body “fall asleep” from the way you were sitting or leaning, you’ve experienced Parethesia. Those pins and needles you feel as your body part wakes up after you’ve moved position. Everyone has had the experience, I just live with it 24/7 365 days a year and my body parts never wake up. Sometimes I can have those pins and needles feelings in certain body parts but nothing ever “wakes up”. I have that numb feeling all over my body all the time. It can feel uncomfortable at times. I want to stomp my legs to “wake them” but it wouldn’t help. They just stay in that constant state of feeling like they “fallen asleep”. I sometimes stretch and shake my hands out still thinking one day this will help and presto they won’t be numb anymore. I’ve been doing this for over 4 years, nothing has changed.

Paresthesia is an abnormal skin sensation such as tingling, tickling, prickling, itching, numbness, or burning. In people with MS, nerve damage causes these sensations to occur randomly, most often in the hands, arms, legs, or feet – but occasionally in places such as the mouth or chest. Abnormal sensations may be constant or intermittent and they usually subside on their own.

Unfortunately mine have not gone away. This is how I “feel” so when I’m asked, I usually stick with ok. Seems like a much easier answer. However, here is my truth. This is how I’m really feeling.

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