learning about ms through my body


Our bodies are fantastic teachers. And I’m gaining more and more awareness of this the more time I spend with multiple sclerosis. I can tell you more about MS than many practitioners in the field…

For instance, it occurred to me during a recent weight training session that I probably have an unmapped lesion, in an area that was not MRIed. (Is MRI a verb? Hm. Well… now it is.) I believe that I’ve had a lesion–inactive right now–for a while in my lower mid-back, around my lower thoracic region. I’ve figured this out all through movement.

Since my official diagnosis, I’ve been working more on strength training (for presumably obvious reasons). My left side started out as my weaker side. However, my left arm has responded a lot more than my left leg; my left arm is almost identical in strength to my right (despite right-handedness) and in some aspects is stronger. My left leg, on the other hand, is still significantly weaker than my right.

This tells me that it’s separate forces at work on my upper and lower extremities… which would make sense, given that different spinal nerves branching out form different parts of the spinal cord control the two regions. When my first specialist pointed at my large lesion at my C6 vertebra and said that that was my reason for my left leg weakness… I should’ve raised a questioning eyebrow in the first place and fired them right then and there.

For sure it would lack precision, but wouldn’t it be fascinating to be able to rough-map MS activity based on where someone’s motor weakness is occurring? Perhaps postponing expensive MRIs, or knowing where, along the entire length of the spinal cord, where they can be focused? (That would be cool…)

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