Thursday, March 3, 2011


It's a calm, quiet night around 11:00 p.m. and I'm already half-way asleep.  I wake up to get a drink of water and go to the bathroom.  Once I get settled back into bed I am unable to get back to sleep.  A familiar sensation on my torso begins to take form.  It feels like something is crawling on me, mainly directly beneath my skin.  Oh no, not again.  I hate it when this happens.  I am unable to get back to sleep until 1:30 in the morning.  Sometimes when this happens, I get up and rub lotion all over my body.  Maybe my skin is too dry.  Other times I drink a few sips of Riesling. 
Wine often helps me settle down and get back to sleep within 30 minutes.  I don't do this often because I don't want to become dependant on any substance to relieve my symptoms. My primary care doctor recently prescribed me some Ambien 5mg.  I was somewhat nervous about adding to my list of meds and I'm skeptical abut sleeping aids because I don't want to become dependent on them or wake up feeling groggy but Ambien supposedly isn't like that.  I took one of the tiny 5 mg pills for the first time a few nights ago and it didn't take me long to get to sleep at all.  The next morning I actually felt great  much to my surprise .

There are different reason's why a person might feel this creepy, crawling sensation on their skin.  Sometimes it happens as a result of withdrawal from a drug like heroin, oxycodone, amphetamines, or alcohol.  It can also be the result of side effects from medications such as Ritalin or Lunesta to name a few.  I recently realized that this is also one of the many symptoms of MS.  I'm not sure why I didn't make that connection at first.

Diagram of nerves beneath your skin
   It's a nerve issue and we have thousands of them branching from our spinal cord to every part of our bodies from head to toe to skin.  I have googled this symptom quite a bit.  I found out that this is a rather common problem for many people.  Stress, anxiety, or lack of sleep can also cause this unwelcome sensation  to happen and it seems to be more of a night time issue for most sufferers.   The first time I had this problem, it went on for 2 consecutive weeks.  I thought I was losing my mind.  It's kind of scary when you can't figure out what your problem is and trying to describe it to someone might make you seem a little crazy or paranoid.  To add insult to injury, one night we were on our way somewhere in the car and it felt like something was crawling in my hair.  This time there really was a spider in my hair.  Aaghh, I was really freaking out and I'm so glad my husband was there to kill it with his bare hands which is typical of him.

The human body is so uniquely amazing at giving us warning signs.  Our God given instincts tell us when something just isn't quite right.  It might be a good idea to let a few weeks pass before going to a doctor but if it goes on for more than a month, I encourage you to get it checked out.  Also, be your own advocate or get someone very close to you to help you research and stay on top of your health issues.  You cannot depend on doctor's to do as good of a job as you can.  No doctor knows you better than you know yourself.  God bless you and take care of you.