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  • Writer's picturebridget snell

Hugs and Soda Pop

It's funny to think of all the little things that will [hopefully] not be "Bridget normal" after the treatment.

I say "Bridget normal" because there are symptoms that I had that I'm only finding out the past few years that aren't actually normal.

I remember asking my sister once, years ago, if she ever gets that feeling that someone poured soda in her scalp and felt the fizzle of the bubbles on her head. She gave me a very long look of confusion and simply said "Nope." Later, I discovered this is called dysesthesia. I also get paresthesia. Think of when you sit on your leg for too long and it "falls asleep." Now imagine having it all over your body for long periods of time, including on your head. I will get soda pop tingles or the more painful version of pins and needles on my head, in my arm, leg and even torso at times. Sometimes it will be followed by numbness. 

Then there's the "MS Hug". This is a feeling described as someone hugging you too hard around your middle. You feel like the air is getting pushed out of you because your back and rib area are being squeezed too tight. A few years ago, my friend took me to ER because I thought I was having heart issues. Everything was normal. I even wore a halter for the third time in my life to monitor those weird sensations. Again, I later discovered that this was caused by MS.

For as long as I can remember (which isn't very far back, because, well, cog fog), I get these intermittent electric shocks down my neck. They come out of nowhere and it feels like the piercing shock you get when you stick your finger in a light socket. There's a name for that, too: Lhermitte's sign.

Then there's that awful pain that comes with trigeminal neuralgia. The trigeminal nerve covers your face and it feels like my mouth, sinuses and teeth are burning. I have no Bridget-ism for this one. 

I just thought everyone felt these things. These Bridget-isms. 

I am not going into this treatment with blinders. The goal is to halt the progression of this MonSter (see what I did there? Yes, we have a language. No, there's no dictionary). The doctors are very clear about this and it's important to remember that the goal is to stop it. Some patients get the bonus points: symptom reversal. 

How great would it be to have this treatment and then suddenly stop getting hugged, soda poured on me and shocked with electricity!  

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