A Yank’s Life with MS: bumps, bruises and breaks

Trevis speakingLet it be known that due to the combination of advancing age, hip replacement scars and the weight accumulated as a result of the enlarging combination of steroid treatments and an MS-induced sedentary lifestyle, I try not to stand naked in front of mirrors.

If, however, I catch a glance I'm almost always surprised to see evidence of a recent encounter of which I may have little or no memory. Certainly I have no recollection of severity enough to leave such marks!

Like Chris, who blogged earlier this month about Mr Gravity, I too have had my bouts with what I call the ‘MS Two-Step’… Turn and FallBut these aren’t the badges of bodily collapse that I see; I’d remember a face-plant. Rather, the inscriptions of varying shades of red, purple and nasty yellow-green are caused by bumping, stubbing, running into and stumbling over my daily obstacle courses.

Apparently the combination of an unsteady gait and reduced sensitivity (which can border on complete numbness) can add up to colourful imprints - and I haven’t one clue as to their origin.

I one morning awoke to find blood stains on my foot and sheets after an overnight trip to the loo left a toe broken. I didn’t feel the break and whatever kick resulted in the fracture wasn’t even memorable. That was my most serious affliction but burns, bruises and swollen red marks seem to be an everyday part of my life with MS.

“Where did that come from?” or “I don’t remember hitting anything there” are common utterances when I do catch a look at myself unclad.

Numbness or lowered sensation can be an easy symptom to overlook. Let’s face it, pain or something uncomfortable is sure to get my attention more than something I don’t feel (or feel fully) 9 times out of 10.

The incident with my broken toe was a wake-up call for me to be more aware of what seem to be little bumps into furniture, door casings, corners and the like. I try now to be conscious of my collisions, crashes and concussions. It makes finding the beginning blushes of a contusion less a surprise and more a part of my daily inventory.

But I still try to avoid those mirrors.

How about you; do you find marks that you just can’t seem to explain? Have they ever been more serious than they ‘feel’?

Wishing you and your family the best of health.



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Hi, great blog!
I haven't had anything serious, but do get the black bruises which can't be explained.
But another odd thing I've found is that if I hurt myself the pain goes very quickly... after a few seconds. For instance I dropped a full tin of baked beans on my bare foot... hurt like hell for about 30 seconds and then stopped hurting altogether. Next day it was swollen and black but didn't hurt at all... but the other foot was really painful.
Same with burns when cooking... pain for a few seconds and then nothing... even though there are blisters. Strange!
But you are right, we should be more careful & after reading this I will try to be. Thank you.

This is exactly what I have. Blood on the carpet and sheets from cut toes, and I have no idea where the damage came from, bruises, marks, burns, the list goes on. And I get no pain.

Like you, I totally forget when I have bumped, banged, stumbled or even burned a body part. I have constant bruise marks and am frequently asked-":What happened?" and my frequent response- "I don 't know"

Now after reading about your frequent"I don't know's", I too, have to start being more careful and conscious of my happenings!

Oh yes bruises and cuts... I reckon its aliens ....... I bled from a cut when cooking and did not notice - suddenly wondered why pots were sticky\!

Apparently the combination of an unsteady gait and reduced sensitivity (which can border on complete numbness) can add up to colourful imprints - and I haven’t one clue as to their origin.

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