Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Paresthesia or Pins and Needles?

Today is Pins and Needles Day. In 1937 it was created to commemorate the opening of a play named Pins and Needles by Harold Rome. It was a pro-labor play with the cast and crew from the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. It played on weekends only so the women could keep their day jobs, and it ran for more than 1000 performances.

Time passed and the play closed, but November 27 is still Pins and Needles Day. The meaning of the day changed with the passing of the play. Now it is a day of anticipation, maybe because children are on "pins and needles" waiting for Christmas. It made me think of something else.

One MS symptom is paresthesia, a skin sensation, such as burning or prickling. Most of the time it is called tingling, because it is awkward to say "I am experiencing paresthesia today" and that requires an explanation anyway. It is easier to skip the medical term and just say "tingling."

"Tingling" sounds rather pleasant, almost fun, but this feeling isn't pleasant, nor is it much fun. It would be more descriptive to say "I have a prickly feeling in my arm," or even "My leg feels like pins and needles."

I choose to think Pins and Needles Day recognizes MSers who have that feeling every once in awhile. Maybe, if the feeling has its own day, it will not feel so bad. We can feel a little special instead of a little bothered.

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1 comment:

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