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matrix456 08-16-2012 03:23 AM

Another question... sorry for bothering
 
I'm sorry for coming back here with more questions, as I feel that I'm bothering you with many "stupid" questions, but can't help myself.

From what I have read about MS, legs and walking are emphasized while there's not much talk about arms. Do the arms get affected also (I would guess so)? If yes, is there any "rule" that they are affected later, or more mildly, etc.

I'm asking because my arms do not feel "normal". I can't say they are weak because I can lift things, but thy seem kind of "light" and slightly numb and get tired more easily than before. I'ts difficult to describe actually. In my case it does get better with anti-anxiety meds, but it's not going away completely.

Thanx a lot

MSJayhawk 08-16-2012 05:00 AM

Re: Another question...sorry for bothering
 
There are no "stupid questions". You are most welcome to ask.

Because your legs carry your body weight, your gait is often a noticeable symptom. Yes, arms can be affected through weakness, numbness, and/or coordination. If you use your arms often, you might find that you can get exhausted. I know I did when i was exercising my arms. While I dismissed my leg problems for 5 years, it was when I started dropping things- even light objects- from my right hand and then my right arm went numb and then became useless.

If you have MS, you may or may not have arm problems. It really varies between each MSer.

I would allow your anti-anxiety meds to keep working and to enjoy a restful vacation. You may find that this will be quite satisfying. :angel:

matrix456 08-16-2012 05:25 AM

Re: Another question...sorry for bothering
 
Thanx again for your reply.

I work most of the time in front of the computer, so I don't use the arms to do heavy physical work, but even typing a lot in a computer makes them kind of tired.

As you say, with weak legs walking becomes difficult, while with weak arms I guess you can still eat, get dressed, type in a computer, etc. Probably only in extreme cases the arms become totally useless and affect the quality of life badly.

MSNik 08-16-2012 05:39 AM

Re: Another question...sorry for bothering
 
Matrix,
Ill second that there are no stupid questions.....so ask away.

Let me tell you, I have been dx with MS for about 7 years. My onset symptom was in my hands and fingers. I have over 80 lesions on my brain and brainstem- and none on my spine. The location of the lesions is what causes problems...not how many. (lucky for me!).

I have zero gait problems and no leg problems. No muscle weakness in my legs, only the occasional tingling in my feet- and thats random; however - my arms, hands and fingers have hurt for 7 years. They tingle and burn- I have definately lost strength and muscle tone- and Im female and small to begin with. I was never a body builder or someone who lifted alot of weight; however, now , carrying in a bag of groceries exhuasts my arms. I cant play tennis any longer (used to love that) and I have learned to do quite a bit of things I enjoy with one hand, as the left side is significantly less able than the right side.

ive been a student for the past 7 years as well- in order to type thesis's and now my disseratation, we are talking thousands of pages, I use voice recognititon software because typing doesnt always work for me. I can tell my brain what to type, but my fingers dont always cooperate. Now I speak to type...and it saves me both strength and frustration. I can still drive because I can use my feet just fine; but I can no longer drive a manual transmission, because my hands dont shift the gearshift the way they should.

My point here is that everyone is different. They call MS the snowflake disease. Just like no two snowflakes are identical, youll never find any two MS patients with the exact same symptoms or progression. Its also invisiable to most people. In the 7 years Ive been dx, not one person has ever known Ive had MS unless I tell them. I can be having the worst day of my life- being cognitively all over the place and mentally and physically exhuasted- but I still work full time, still take care of my family and home- still go to school at night and on the weekends, and no one suspects a thing. Im very careful who I share my disease with. Ive learned the hard way over the years that yes, people DO judge. And they arent always kind about it.

Your questions arent stupid, and your fear is legitimite. I think we have all been there. I have gotten some terrible news about my disease recently and am juggling a whole host of emotions and fears- its good to share them with others who understand, so never stop asking about whats on your mind- just make sure you are asking people who "get it" ...we do!

Nikki

MSJayhawk 08-16-2012 06:00 AM

Re: Another question...sorry for bothering
 
Exercise has helped me, though I still have some finger coordination issues. The one thing I am most careful about is carrying things. Any suitcase/computer case is either a roller or has a shoulder strap.

I have never noticed exhaustion when at the computer, only when I have used the major arm muscles.

Your computer work should allow you to enjoy a long life career. As to typing, you mentioned you got tired. You can use short cuts, program some tasks, use voice commands, and there are eye tracking devices in place of a mouse. Exercising your arms and fingers and implementing stretching might help you. :angel:

matrix456 08-16-2012 06:01 AM

Re: Another question...sorry for bothering
 
Thanx Nikki for answering and being so kind and supportive.

It's good to know that you're able to do all those things 7 years after diagnosis. Long it may last :)

All the best

matrix456 08-16-2012 06:06 AM

Re: Another question...sorry for bothering
 
[QUOTE=MSJayhawk;5040561]Exercise has helped me, though I still have some finger coordination issues. The one thing I am most careful about is carrying things. Any suitcase/computer case is either a roller or has a shoulder strap.

I have never noticed exhaustion when at the computer, only when I have used the major arm muscles.

Your computer work should allow you to enjoy a long life career. As to typing, you mentioned you got tired. You can use short cuts, program some tasks, use voice commands, and there are eye tracking devices in place of a mouse. Exercising your arms and fingers and implementing stretching might help you. :angel:[/QUOTE]

Probably my description wasn't very accurate...in my case forearms are mostly affected. This is why typing makes them kind of tired. But it's not to a point that affects me badly. As you know I don't have a diagnosis...so there's a chance that it's something else that causing these issues.

Thanx

MSJayhawk 08-16-2012 06:34 AM

Re: Another question...sorry for bothering
 
Still, even if it is your forearms, there are exercises you can do to strengthen them. I use to milk 20 cows by hand twice a day and 60 by machine. The first few days my forearms ached, but I got stronger. :angel:

matrix456 08-16-2012 06:37 AM

Re: Another question... sorry for bothering
 
Uau...20 cows a day by hand it's a lot :)

Exercise is one thing I have to really improve...it seems difficult with the leg and arm weakness, but I know that I must find a way to do it every day.

MSJayhawk 08-16-2012 06:55 AM

Re: Another question... sorry for bothering
 
With the forearms you can do this daily just by having a hand squeezer or by holding a dumbbell in your hand while resting your forearm on your leg and lifting the weight with just your wrist. Do this palm up and palm down. Do not do this exercise quickly, just slowly up and slowly down. As you get stronger, you can add more weight. When I was powerlifting I would add weight when I could lift 15 times (15 repetitive lifts) in one set. I would do 3-6 sets each time for each particular lift. :angel:

matrix456 08-17-2012 01:50 AM

Re: Another question...sorry for bothering
 
[QUOTE=MSJayhawk;5040530]There are no "stupid questions". You are most welcome to ask.

Because your legs carry your body weight, your gait is often a noticeable symptom. Yes, arms can be affected through weakness, numbness, and/or coordination. If you use your arms often, you might find that you can get exhausted. I know I did when i was exercising my arms. While I dismissed my leg problems for 5 years, [B]it was when I started dropping things- even light objects- from my right hand and then my right arm went numb and then became useless. [/B]

If you have MS, you may or may not have arm problems. It really varies between each MSer.

I would allow your anti-anxiety meds to keep working and to enjoy a restful vacation. You may find that this will be quite satisfying. :angel:[/QUOTE]

Sorry to get back at this...but I have two questions (as always more and more questions by me):

- Maybe silly...but what do you mean by "dropping things". Is it when you try to grab something from the table (cell phone, keys, etc) and you don't grasp it well...or is it when you're holding something and suddenly drop it?

- You said the arm became useless. Did you recover from that? My understanding was that with PPMS once things get bad they don't improve. Am i correct?

Thanx again for listening to my never ending questions.

MSJayhawk 08-17-2012 04:32 AM

Re: Another question...sorry for bothering
 
Great questions!

Dropping things- For me, I was walking on campus with my briefcase when it suddenly fell out of my hands. I thought it strange, but then I started dropping little things like pencils and eating utensils. The doctors thought it was carpal tunnel, but they could find nothing.

Arm- Within 2-3 weeks of my dropping things, while I was out with my fellow USMC platoon, my right arm simply fell to my side and would not move. While I could "feel", it was not a normal feel. I lost the use of that arm for about 6 months. It was this incident which led me to the University's hospital where I crossed paths with my first MS Specialist who happened to be on call and was called in to see the "patient with weird symptoms". I did get better, though I know it was never 100%, but still I got better. Within 4 years I started to lift weights with my arm and within 6 years I started power lifting (with a spotter).

PPMS does not mean if you lose the use of something that it does not come back. I have daily problems without breaks. Some attacks heal and others do not. My left leg has never recovered fully, but I keep pushing myself forward.

I have been bed ridden for about 6 months due to MS seizures where I felt like death was near, but I fought back and spent 2 years in my power chair and nowadays my power chair spends most of the time as my desk chair. It is a nice chair with excellent seat and back cushions and it tilts and reclines. I love to use it for my naps and for the times when I need to roll when walking hurts.

MS, to me, is a series of speed bumps in life. It is not fatal and it can overtake you sometimes, but you can fight back with prayer, optimism, and patience AND avoiding any and all pity parties! :angel:

matrix456 08-17-2012 05:17 AM

Re: Another question...sorry for bothering
 
Thanx a lot for the clarifications.

I would sometime try to get my cell phone or keys from the table and would not grasp them good enough, so they would drop (mostly when using my left hand and I'm right handed). I had assumed I was "dropping things"...so it's good to know that I was wrong.

The same applies to to what I had assumed about PPMS...since my left leg feels weak or now my arms are kind of numb or tired I had assumed that if it is PPMS they would only get worse. It's good to know that it is possible to recover even if you are bedridden as was your case (I guess that's not always the case, but it means there's a chance for things to get better).

As you can see HA makes you believe always the worst case scenario.

matrix456 08-17-2012 05:24 AM

Re: Another question... sorry for bothering
 
One more thing :)

I'm reading a lot about arm or leg being numb, but I'm not sure what it means. I had assumed that you don't feel it at all (like you can pinch yourself and not feel anything)...is that right? If it's so then I never had experienced a numb limb...in my case it doesn't feel "right" but I can feel the arm or leg...

MSJayhawk 08-17-2012 05:36 AM

Re: Another question... sorry for bothering
 
No worries.

Numbness or weakness can really vary. For example, the last bad attack I had on my left leg: Hip and femur severe pain and muscle weakness, 4 cm above the knee reduced feeling, 1 cm below the knee to my toes complete numbness.

There is indeed a feeling the something is not right. Numbness can be slight to total. Much of the perception is based upon what has happening or what is happening with the nerve impulses. This is where anxiety and MS separate. While anxiety can cause this same feeling, either a VEP or nerve conduction or even a reflex test can show this.

I would urge you to lay aside MS types and leave those labels to the doctors. Dr. Internet can be a poor doctor when it comes to labeling disease types and classifying patients into certain categories. When you take vacation, leave Dr. Internet and enjoy a relaxing vacation!! IF IF IF you have MS, relax and over time your doctor will be able to see if you fit into a type of MS. While my MS might be progressive, I call myself an MSer. Progressive is written on my medical bracelet, but I rarely use it. :angel:


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