Little green creatures. Gremlins.  Myth or fact?


I think they must be real.  I believe there are spasticity gremlins that live within me.

Spasticity is involuntary muscle tightening. My spasticity is now considered severe. I believe all those with MS would agree that it is frustrating when our body parts cannot obey the commands our brains send. But when muscles move on their own, suddenly straightening without warning, it is unsettling at best. The only reasonable explanation is gremlins.

As I sit still, I’m quite certain the gremlins entertain themselves by tying knots in my muscles while exchanging sinister laughter.  Then they divide into teams, gather at the end of my muscles and play tug of war (with the knots still in place). They continue to alternate these two activities.  I have medication that sprinkles fairy dust on them (picture snow falling on Dorothy and her gang as they see the Emerald City in the distance) and lulls them to sleep temporarily. But their naps are always shorter than I hope for. They wake and the games resume.

A different species, called restless leg gremlins, have been let loose in my body as well.  They want out, but never quite break through. It’s just a constant string of sporadic rushes against the walls of my feet and legs (imagine medieval soldiers attempting to break down castle doors with a tree trunk), sending portions of my limbs jerking outward with no regard to what the rest of me would like to do.  I have medication for that too, but the gremlins must be developing an immunity to it.


Recently, the two different species of gremlins have formed an alliance with the goal of taking over the body they inhabit…MINE!  They came uninvited. They work together, creating havoc inside me and accentuating each other’s work.  Combined, they have formed a type of internal torture device and their commander increases the setting periodically.  Their goal is submission of their captive so they can do as they please with no limits or borders restricting them.  The ultimate destination is my brain where pain will override positive thoughts and push my will into such a small space that it ceases to exist.

Gremlins.  I know they exist.  And they multiply within me, feeding on fear as their population grows at an alarming rate.  I attempt to fight them with exercise, but the battles intensify as they fight back.  I try to control them with medication, but they resist.  I need backup forces to restrain them.  What will send them running and contained behind their borders?  As I watch the war continue, I dream that the pharmaceutical companies will create stronger pixie dust or, better yet, an ammunition or poison that will combat and defeat them once and for all.  Until then, I will continue to battle them with an increased volume of the medication I have until they are subdued or carried off to confinement so I can be carried off to sleep.


One medical website describes spasticity this way:  “Sudden strong spasms that contract muscles in rigid positions (which can be difficult to overcome).  Muscles lock.”  

Wikipedia says:  Spasticity may be as mild as the feeling of tightness of muscles or may be so severe as to produce painful, uncontrollable spasms of extremities, usually of the legs. Spasticity may also produce feelings of pain or tightness in and around joints, and can cause low back pain.

WebMD describes restless legs syndrome as “uncomfortable sensations in the legs and an irresistible urge to move their legs to relieve the sensations. ” 




About Climbing Downhill

Wife and mother of grown kids, in my 60's and dealing with MS, making life's moments count and trying to offer something of value to others along the way.
This entry was posted in MS/Multiple Sclerosis and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Gremlins

  1. Your analogy is perfect. I am just beginning to suffer with increased spasticity. So far it has been fairly mild but in the last few months I have noticed it becoming much worse. The worst area for me is in my hand which suddenly decides to curl up into a fist so tight my finger nails dig in and almost break the skin. I have to prise my fingers open with my “good” hand and actually place them on a flat surface and put something like a book on top of it to kep the hand straight. As soon as I take the book away the hand curls up again. And the other day my cat was sitting on the stairs. Walking up and down is. Ery hard now and my leg suddenly shot out and sent my poor cat flying off the stair.

    Im sorry you suffer so horribly with this but if its any comfort at all your writing about it has helped me to feel less alone.

  2. Thank you for our comment and encouragement, I wish the nasty gremlins hadn’t taken residence in your world too. I was relieved to find a way to describe the craziness of feeling this symptom.

  3. stephen says:

    i’ve heard spasticity described as trying to drive a car with the brake and the gas at the same time. i’ve been using a marijuana tincture, formulated to only affect my body (and not mess with my head), and find it very effective. i can sleep almost thru the night! i guess gremlins don’t like herb.

  4. Stephen – interesting description, but I might add a couple of painful crashes in there along the way. I’m both humored and intrigued by your herb comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s