A silent, slow, hum— a vibration caused by the rush of blood running through my body is always with me. Starting in my fingertips, I feel the blood rushing through my veins straight from there up my arms, across my forehead, behind my ears, through my hips and down my legs through my feet and then back up again. It never stops. Looking down at my hands, I sometimes see the tremolos sending signals to the part of my brain responsible for focusing on the inevitable. Not an anxiety, but a reality. For just about 2 years, the vibration combined with the occasional tremor has me certain that I am the lucky girl to inherit my father’s Parkinsonian ways. If it happens in my ankles and lower calves too, does that mean I’ve got it? If it were carpal tunnel syndrome, I probably would not be feeling the blood vibration in my feet and legs too, huh?
After the Dx (that’s how it’s written in the doctor’s notes), still in disbelief, I was able to speak up, which was probably at the third appointment with the neurologist, whose personality was just starting to grow on me, I told her about the vibration. I described it as ‘that feeling you get in your hand when you touch a stereo speaker (1980’s sized) which is projecting loud music’. She giggled. The doctor giggled. I saw a sign of her actually being a human and not just a fact spouter. However, I had nothing to giggle about. Oh, yeah, ‘it always amazes me when my MS patients talk about the vibrations in their limbs–everyone describes it differently’. I backed up a bit, and told her it was more like being able to feel the blood rushing past the walls of my veins. She gave me a half-smile and told me that she had never heard it described that way before and it was probably right on target. Great. She commended me for my excellent description of an extremely annoying vibration in my body.
Could I have MS because my father has Parkinson’s? No. Doc says she’s not too worried about that and she is 100% confident with her Dx and that she is 90% sure I will get another (choose one:) flare, exacerbation, attack, episode, crisis, occurrence, bout, and/or anything else you can think of. Tells me my kids have a much greater chance (no odds given here) of getting Parkinson’s and that they only have a 2% to 5% chance of having MS. Whew! I was worried there for a moment. After hearing that, I feel so much more at ease now knowing how protected my children are. After that feeling, she asked which medication I decided on.
Her description of the medication: “Well, that’s just the thing…we don’t really know how it works, but it just does, so we use it.” The husband and I got a great laugh about that line when we got in the car.