By Doug Ankerman

Nothing up my sleeve! It is magic I tell ya!

Magic how a disease like multiple sclerosis works from the inside-out. Hiding your symptoms from those around you.

MS uses deceptive tricks to mask your illness, prompting some to ask the dreaded, cringe-worthy question…

“But you look so good?”

Everyone has a hidden MS symptom…Or two…Or ten.

Mine is spasticity. Spasticity of my legs mostly.

Invisible SpasticityOften my legs are stiff as boards. Like a pair of wooden 2x4s sticking out of my pants. With a rusty hinge for each knee.

Termites do a double-take thinking I’d be an easy lunch.

My herky-jerky gait makes the walking dead move like Baryshnikov.

So I sit mostly, quietly keeping my spasticity to myself.

Without sharing my back-story, others would hardly know a harpist could pluck “Clair de Lune” on my hamstrings. Or how my calves are like balled-up fists that never open.

Thankfully many of the hidden symptoms of multiple sclerosis have effective treatment options. Spasticity included. I take Baclofen tablets three-times daily and also have tremendous benefit of getting Botox injections in my legs every three months.

Invisible SpasticityMy B&B routine (Botox and Baclofen) as well as a steady regimen of daily stretching and exercise works magic to soothe spasticity — my hidden and most troublesome MS symptom.

Now for my next trick, I’m hoping you find treatment for yours.

*Doug writes nonsense about MS and other stuff on his humor blog at myoddsock.com.

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About MSAA

As a national nonprofit organization, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is a leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a toll-free Helpline; award-winning publications including a magazine, The Motivator; website featuring educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; a resource database, My MS Resource Locator; equipment distribution ranging from grab bars to wheelchairs; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; educational events and activities; MRI funding and insurance advocacy; and more. For additional information, please visit http://www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

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