Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lemme Tell You A Story...

I'd had episodes before. When MS first attacked, it made me tingly from the chest down. I had sooo much trouble walking! It eventually went away, but then it happened again a few years later. Only on one side of my body, it included my face though. That was strange and made me feel like that Batman villain, Two-Face. Those times, my body was pretty wacky but eventually things would get back to the way they were before.

Almost a year ago I had my last relapse. It wasn't as bad as before. The tingling wasn't all over and I thought that was a relief. Only trouble was how much of an effect it had on my hands. I had trouble doing just about anything that required a small amount of coordination. Pouring drinks, holding a fork, tying my shoes... It was so frustrating!

What really hurt was struggling to hold a pen. My writing has always been clear. Fluid. I've taken pride in that. With such near-useless hands I was writing like a child. Like a mental patient. I couldn't sign my name, not like before, and I love my signature. It was embarrassing to say the least.

After a few months I began to resign myself to the fact that, this time, things weren't going to go back to the way they were. It had been too long, longer than before. It was quite a disappointing concept to wrap my mind around. There were things I wasn't going to be able to do ever again. Holy hell, that's one of the worst feelings. Total sense of loss.

Funny things happen though. Especially when you're not worrying about them. No, the tingling in my hands never went away. Slowly though I had less trouble holding, grasping, doing the things I had so much trouble with. One day, out of sheer boredom, I absentmindedly picked up a pen and started to doodle and write. After a few minutes I realized what I was actually doing and I was shocked! That was one of the best moments. Now I can sign my name again.

Recently I was complimented by a stranger when I used my credit card and signed for the payment. "It's like an artist" she told me. I smiled, beaming and radiating so much happiness. I may have lost a sense of how my hands felt before, but I've gained an appreciation for so many things. For the ability to do little things. For the sense of overcoming things I thought were lost causes. For the little things in life. A signature may not mean much to you, but when I look at mine I see myself. I didn't lose myself.


  1. It's the little things that make people with MS so happy, and sometimes we don't realized we regained a function because we should be able to write our name without thinking about it. I'd love to be able to wash my hair without feeling like I've got 50lb weights on my arms. One day I think I will. Congratulations on your little milestone.

  2. Wow. This post almost made me cry. It's so true that the little things--wins and losses--feel so much more significant when you have MS. Especially because, often, we're the only ones who can see or feel the changes--our nasty little secrets.

    It gives me hope to read that you've got your signature back. Thanks so much for sharing this seemingly small, but beautiful, thing with us.