Pins & Needles

3 December 2012

I don’t talk about this often. Partially due to some embarrassment, but mostly due to the fact that I’ve just dealt with it for so long.

Over 10 years or so, I started first started noticing it. However, it wasn’t until about 8 years ago that I was diagnosed with it—paresthesia. It’s basically a big fancy word for the pins & needles, tingling sensation.

We don’t know the cause of it, just that I’ve got it chronically, meaning it’s there pretty much all the time. It’s mostly in my hands, but also my feet. I’ve almost grown accustom to it at this point, so it doesn’t always interfere with my life. But it is an annoyance, and sometimes it does cause issues.

The biggest one is standing on the bus. I can’t keep my hands above my head to hold on, and those little holdy-loop things? Forget about it. I can’t use those; not enough stability. I end up going white-knuckled and risk locking my knees.* But getting a seat on the bus isn’t always a possibility. So I push through it. I swap hands a lot and try to focus my breathing. I flex my hands a lot. It’s a lot harder when it’s in my feet. It involves a lot of ankle and leg fidgeting, so I end up looking like a kid who’s bored in a church pew. A lot of time an anti-inflammatory helps.

As much as an annoyance this has been these past many years, I’ve come to deal with it. I’d love to know what caused it so I can eventually, hopefully, correct it… but as for now, there’s not much I can do about it. So I cope. This paresthesia, it’s just part of who I am now. You wouldn’t really know I had it unless I told you.

In it’s own weird way, this constant tingling reminds me to push through and keep a positive outlook. There’s too much negativity in this world already. And as I mentioned before, life is good and I want to keep on enjoying it.

*I’ve done that once… in college working the spot light. I was stressed from an argument with my the boyfriend, who was operating the spot light next to me, and between that and trying to control a wobbly light… I locked up. Took 4 EMTs to get me down from the booth.

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