Category Archives: Awesome Sex

Sex and MS

I’m finally doing it, writing about MS and sex.images There’s a LOT to include. LOTS of possible sexual Dysfunctions and I am an expert on none of them so I’ll try to keep my information sharing down to what I have actually experienced. You can find everything else about this subject somewhere else on the worldwide web.

The thing I noticed early on in my MS life was reduced sensation in the vaginal area. Strangely enough, this didn’t freak me out. It was a very localized area about the size of a dime, and only on one side. Since I was having problems with numbness on that side of my body in general (leg, arm, face) this struck me as…just interesting. It helped that everything around that localized area felt quite normal. All things about this disease back then were new to me; this was just one more thing. I DID NOT, however, mention it to my doctor. It was just way too embarrassing to talk to anyone about except my husband.

One of the very first things I worried about when diagnosed was, would I live? would I walk? And, would I have a normal/healthy sex life? For me, that last one was synonymous to, healthy marriage. I was in my very early 30’s and had a long life/marriage, ahead of me. It was all so overwhelming in the beginning that I stopped with, “will I live? and, will I walk”? When I decided the answer to those two things were a resounding yes, I didn’t have the energy to worry about the third one anymore. It was just too complicated. My husband on the other hand… did.

Years later when I brought it up to him, “Honey, do you remember when?” I found out that he not only remembered but, he knew the exact name of what had caused it. I don’t know why I was surprised. He had researched it, and everything else under the sun that could possibly affect our sex life, now that I had MS. How thoughtful of him.

The Nervous System

The human nervous system is divided into two parts. The Central Nervous System (CNS) is composed of all of the nerves found in the brain and spinal cord.

In my very limited knowledge, Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the Central Nervous System. The inner organs needed for survival, are not generally affected by MS, that is the job of the Peripheral Nervous System, and because of this, generally affects the extremities. This is why MS does not directly affect our hearts ability to pump blood or our lungs ability to bring in air. This is good, yes?

The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) does consist of thousands of nerves that connect the spinal cord and the brain to our vital internal organs and the muscles that aid in their functioning, as well as to our sensory receptors. Ultimately these nerves DO need to convey their information to the brain, and they want to receive instructions  FROM the brain.(Special sensory receptors are activated by physical modalities such as visible light, sound, heat, physical contact, etc .

More to the point:

Peripheral Neuropathy

Damage to the peripheral nervous system, which again, is the vast communications network that transmits information from the brain and spinal cord, the central nervous system, to every other part of the body. Peripheral nerves also send sensory information back to the brain and spinal cord, such as a message that the feet are cold or a finger is burned, or the vagina is numb. Damage to the peripheral nervous system interferes with these vital connections. Like static in my radio, peripheral neuropathy distorts and sometimes interrupts messages between the brain and the rest of the body.

Because every peripheral nerve has a highly specialized function in a specific part of the body, the symptoms that can occur due to nerve damage is endless. Some people may experience temporary numbness, tingling, and pricking sensations (paresthesias), sensitivity to touch, or muscle weakness. Others may suffer more extreme symptoms, including burning pain (especially at night), muscle wasting, paralysis, or organ or gland dysfunction. People may become unable to digest food easily, maintain safe levels of blood pressure, sweat normally, or experience normal sexual function. In the most extreme cases, breathing may become difficult or organ failure may occur.

Even more to the point, I experienced:

Vaginal Paresthesias

In this case, temporary numbness in the vaginal area, and based on my research…this could have been much worse.

So…don’t sweat the small stuff!

Speaking of my research, these are the websites that I used. You can call me an internet snob but the truth is anyone can put up a site that says anything. For matters such as these I prefer to stick to more reputable sites like:

girlBooKimages

The National Institute of Health

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/peripheralneuropathy/detail_peripheralneuropathy.htm

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention

http://www.cdc.gov/search.do?queryText=peripheral+nervous+system&searchButton.x=0&searchButton.y=0&action=searc

The U.S. National Library of Medicine

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/

COMMENTS: Your comments are more than welcomed, they are needed. This disease can cause a million weird things to happen and nothing helps more than knowing that you’re not alone. I never mentioned this to my doctor but I DID discover on one blog post out of the millions I had read (exaggeration) that it had happened to someone else. I didn’t leave a comment and I don’t know her name but, gee, am I grateful that she hit the “publish” button.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Awesome Sex, Uncategorized

MS: My Mind-Body Connection

The house is SO quiet; I can hear the hum of emptiness. The holidays are over, and as of yesterday my husband and I are “empty nesters”… I think; does being off at college count? I’ll tell you what, it’s the first time in twenty years that we didn’t have to “close the door”. It was AWESOME!

I’ve got to take immediate action to fill the emptiness. In the three weeks that the house was filled with holiday energy and family I experienced improvement with my MS relapse that I can measure. It’s exciting and supports the Mind-Body Connection Approach to healing. As I researched this approach, I discovered that there is much more to it than I first thought.

MIND-BODY CONNECTION

(BODY)Observations at start of Holiday break: Legs extremely weak, mobility very unstable. Outside of house dependent upon cane 100%.

(MIND)Changes observed: 1st day home, daughter hugged me and told me quietly she was glad I was doing “okay”. She has clearly been worried and is now relieved. I felt an increased level of concern and compassion. Son home more and he’s very happy. He’s planning to move out, which adds to his happiness. I am going to miss him; I enjoy having his “energy” in the house. Ultimately, both children will leave.

(MS RESULTS) Symptoms observed during last week of Holiday Break: Legs still extremely weak, mobility moderately stable. I have not used my cane at all in a week. Used family members for stability (held daughters hand). Went out alone! Still have trouble with the “wobbly, drunk” walk but not enough to use my cane. Just slow down, or stop walking, recover…stabilize, and start again.

To me, this is a clear case of a “Mind-Body, Connection” and I’m excited because I have a measurable outcome. The official research is much more sophisticated, with hypnosis, guided imaginary, meditation, visualization and a few more long words. I AM a believer in many of these techniques and if they are given serious time and energy, I’m sure they can be used quite effectively in developing a mind-body approach that fits. It is NOT, I repeat…not, a one-size fits all scenario. I meditate and I just don’t think about it being a part of my M-B healing approach, but it most certainly is. Writing in my journal and on my blog are as well.

If I were my own doctor however, I would insist on more aggressive “mindful” activities. My goal is to continue the positive effects that I am seeing in my body right now. These activities are not the kind that my mind needs to “connect” with my body, for continued healing; to bring me out of this relapse! My mind needs compassionate activities that involve other people and physical touch. My mind needs lots of hugs, maybe small children; photographing a pre-school class. Teaching photography to six year-olds. An art project that I am emotionally invested in, maybe a play. See my son once a week… learn to shoot pool. It is important for me to stay as active as possible and emotionally engaged. Not at ALL one size fits all.

That’s an awful lot of work. Maybe I’ll just get a puppy. I’ve heard that they’re great for filling empty houses and…hearts.

Meet Malcolm!

Meet Malcolm!

Leave a comment; tell me what you think:
Can you put your finger on an event that might have triggered a relapse?

12 Comments

Filed under Awesome Sex, Mental Well-Being, Mind-Body Connection

Fatigue- The Anti-Sex

We hadn’t had sex in a week and he had very subtly brought that to my attention say… the last SIX days or so! With this in mind, I try to manage my fatigue today accordingly… I go to the gym and get on the bike for 15 minutes (I’ve worked up to that) and leave. I get just a few things from the grocery store making sure not to stay too long. Just enough for dinner. I’m exhausted. Damn, a girlfriend calls and I excitedly get carried away and talk to her for 20 minutes instead of 5. I’m winded. Now I’m crashing.
Its 7:00p.m., my husband is home. I don’t cook dinner. He tells me to go lay down and fixes himself soup and a salad… I sleep. I awake, have dinner, and watch some TV with him, talk about our days, the kids, and various family matters. By the time we clean the kitchen, shower and go to bed, I’m exhausted, and the fun begins.
I turn my back to him, and then comes that familiar rub on the shoulder. You know the rub. The one that makes your mind start to have a very loud conversation with itself “I KNOW it’s been a week but there’s not a cell in my WHOLE body that’s up for this…not ONE, and I haven’t faked anything in a million years and that’s awful anyway for EVERYBODY! I’ve just got to tell him, there’s no other way but HOW? I should have told him at dinner that I’m too tired again I’ll never lie or have sex when I don’t want to have you ever done that it’s disgusting I’m too special for that so now I just have to break it to him it’s going to be a week and a “…the rub continues and he moves closer! He must not hear my thoughts. There’s a problem here!
The rub goes to a full touch and he actually says something! “Kiss me,” “WHAT!?” I say. I can’t believe it. I turn over to face him in all my nakedness “WHY would you say that?” (because surely you MUST know how I feel) Him, really confused now “ummm because I want you to? because I like it?” Me “But you must know what I’m over here thinking, you MUST feel the ANTI-sex chemicals coming out of my pores, I’m sure it’s like a pheromone or something that’s attracting you. You can even actually see it. That’s weird. Don’t you think that’s weird that I’m sending off anti-sex signals and you’re mis-reading them as real sex signals?” As he backs away from me he says,”No, the more you talk, they’re coming out as real anti-sex signals.” I think this is hilarious! I allow myself to get lost in the laughter. I am turned on by his humor, patience and perseverance. We go on to have amazing sex.

4 Comments

Filed under Awesome Sex, Long Loving Marriages, MS and Marriage