So, there's this tickle-like feeling on my back.
Just a light, fluttery, tickly feeling on a very specific piece of lumbar real estate. In a certain context, this feeling could be downright pleasant. In this one, it is anything but. It's not just that it's in a place that is hard to reach. It's not even that easy access for a scratch or rub wouldn't make a speck of difference. And it's not that it's the middle of the night when I should be sleeping and the sensory distraction isn't exactly welcome.
So, what makes this tickle so very upsetting to me at this moment? Because it is a tickle I know well. The exact same feeling, in the exact same location. The same light fluttery feeling at least a few times a minute that I felt quite often during Year One of MS (aka the awful-horrible-how-did-i-ever-finish-my-masters-degree-while-battling-relapse-after-relapse-and-just-dealing-with-the-scary-terrible-diagnosis year). The same feeling, in fact, that I usually would feel as a warning symptom, before the deluge of more-debilitating symptoms made their presence known. So, you see, a tickle is not just a tickle. It's not just one of the dozens of annoying little sensory issues I deal with in relation to MS. It's that its the symptom that I seem to deeply associate with that scary what-is-coming-next feeling.
After Year One of MS and its eight or so delightful relapses, after starting Tysabri and being relapse-free for 4-ish years, I did very occasionally feel the tickle. And its warning cry brought no following deluge, so my rational mind should be able to accept that this is not necessarily an If-Then kind of situation. And, I do, mostly. But this sensory misfire always takes me back to that scary, dark frame of mind. It always reminds me that there is scarring in my brain and spinal cord. It always reminds me that, warning cry or not, something could be coming next. Lots of things could be coming next. And next could be never, or soon, or later, or now.
Talk about the tickle monster.