Monday, July 11, 2011

Lightning and MS

Yeah, I'm going to write this post.

Here's some background.  I've been absolutely terrified of thunderstorms since I was about 6 years old.  I hid behind the sofa, under the table, between my bed and the wall...pretty much anywhere I thought the storm couldn't "get" me.  I recall being on a family camping trip, playing with my cousin on a playground at the campsite when a surprise storm came upon us.  I was hysterical and paralyzed with fear.  He stuffed me inside a tractor tire swing and came up with the idea of singing what was then a cool new song, for which we knew every word, over and over until the storm passed.  The song?  "Funkytown".  Obviously, these coping mechanisms became socially unacceptable as I grew older, though I didn't fully depart from some of them.  While I obviously outgrew the inside of a tractor tire, the song was always there.  There was that time I was about 20 or so, out on a dinner date, trying to play that "act right so he asks you out again" game when a nasty storm approached.  I excused myself to the restroom, where I hid in a stall and played "Funkytown" over in my mind until I got my stuff together.  The power of Funkytown.  Who knew?

Now that I've confessed way too much, I can confidently proceed.

Lightning affects my body.  Oh yes.  I'm serious.  It's as if someone turns the paraesthesia knob to "max volume".  I feel the vibrations in my torso, and shock sensations in my head and face.  As the lightning moves out, I itch.  A lot.  All over.  My body actually feels electric in nature.  Not quite the same as when I dismount the lawn tractor and vibrate all over, but with about the same intensity.  Know what doesn't take it away?  You guessed it...singing Funkytown.

Sure, I've been laughed at, mocked, and stared at in disbelief.  To which I've said, "Mom!  It's real!  Stop!"  While my actual fear of storms has lessened tremendously over the past few years or so, my physical response is nothing less than intriguing.  It is pretty funny...Mom has a point!

Thankfully, I'm blessed with a compassionate husband.  When a storm approaches, he calmly goes to the front door and flicks the lock.  He then announces that he has successfully locked the storm out so that it cannot come in and "get" me.  He may not know the words to Funkytown, but you've got to hand it to the guy who locks a storm out of his home ;-)

Maybe he knew why I was in the restroom all those years ago?  Naaaaaah! 



Anne P said...

I *love* this post, it's the sweetest thing I've read anywhere in a long time. I feel sorry for your discomfort with storms.. I am your polar opposite; in fact I set myself up to be the idiot who won't come in out of the storm. I love the electricity in the air and the sheer power of thunder. It sure sounds like you are with your Knight in Shining Armor; you're right, it takes a special man to keep you safe from a storm simply by flipping the lock. :0)

Tina said...

Thanks, Anne!

You have much in common with my mother in that she will sit out on the porch during storms. She had a tin roof installed so that the sound of the rain would be magnified. Me? I'd take cover in a hole if I could find one!

As for my husband, you are spot on. In fact, I call him my Knight in Dented Chevy. Long story. Black ice, destroyed Chevy truck, but still must drive it...yeah.

Thanks and enjoy the storms! LOL!


the queen said...

This is WONDERFUL! I'll try singing Funkytown next time my dog or sister-in-law freaks out at a storm.

Tina said...

Do it, Queen! Unleash the power of Funkytown ;-)

Christina said...

I'm curious if you've always had the physical reaction to lightning all your life, or just when you got older and were diagnosed officially? Great blog by the way.

Tina said...

Hi, Christina!

No, I didn't react that way to lightning prior to ms. I was certainly never a fan of storms, mind you...but I didn't feel quite so strange during them. I know, it's very odd!

Thanks for reading :-)