I have this incessant itch on my upper left arm that will not go away. I try to scratch it, but oddly enough I can’t seem to find its exact location. Just when I think I’ve found it, nope…I’m wrong. I have to be careful not to scratch that area too much because my arm is completely numb, has been for a few years now, so I could easily rub it raw without even realizing the damage I’m causing.
That very thing happened to me last year. I way lying in bed scratching away when I happened to look ay my hand and saw blood. My nails had been clipped earlier in the day and I didn’t realize that a tiny sharp corner was missed. I cleaned myself up but then realized how important it was to be more aware of what I was doing.
One thing I can say for a fact is that multiple sclerosis phantom itches are a real thing. It’s one thing to have a mosquito bite you causing a defined visible welt that can be treated with some anti-itch cream and a few strategically planned scratches just to take the edge off, but to have an invisible itch caused by an invisible monster who chooses to make a feast out of the myelin hidden from view in my central nervous system thus short circuiting my nerves, well that’s just downright dirty. Trying to explain that kind of itch isn’t an easy thing to do.
Besides my arm, I have an itch that shows up from time to time on the left side of my face. That one seems to show up mainly at night and isn’t as annoying as the one on my arm which even just now is begging for attention. It almost become a mind game because it seems that the more I focus on it the worse it becomes. I have to purposely shift my focus to other things just to calm it down. It doesn’t take it away complexly but it does help. Admittedly that’s not an easy thing to do.
I have other weird sensations that defy reality as well. At times I have this feeling that there is water on my chin but when I attempt to wipe it away, there’s nothing actually there. Then there is this cold sensation on my right foot that feels almost as if an ice cube has fallen on it. It doesn’t hang around too long, but even for the short time that is does show up, well that’s enough to drive me nuts.
MS definitely keeps life interesting. Each day is a new adventure into the unknown. Just know that no matter what you are experiencing, you are not going crazy and most certainly not alone. There is someone else out there who is experiencing the same thing too.
What phantom sensations have you experienced?