Mystery Pain & Multiple Sclerosis

Feet Receiving a Massage
Neuropathy and Multiple Sclerosis

“The burning pain comes down my ankle, around the outside of my foot, and dips under my toes.” My general doctor ordered an x-ray of my back, the neurologist performed a lower back nerve conduction test, and we checked my blood sugar to rule out diabetes. 

“It must be MS pain,” the neurologist concluded. According to the Cleveland Clinic, twenty-six percent of 5,319 patients across seventeen studies reported having neuropathic extremity pain. Most patients experience moderate to severe pain that interferes with their daily life, and most sufferers are older patients with more advanced multiple sclerosis. They find relief through daily pain medication of up to 1800 mg of Gabapentin, though I manage with 100 mg on most days.

Nerve damage or “short-circuiting” is the root cause of neuropathy, according to the National MS Society. “These pain sensations feel like burning, stabbing, sharp and squeezing sensations.” If the nerve pain is facial, it is called trigeminal neuralgia, which patients sometimes believe is a dental problem. I’ve had the dentist report no medical reasons for my tooth pain; sure enough, it has gone away in time.

Melissa Cook hiking along Lake Michigan in 2022
Melissa Cook Hiking Along Lake Michigan 2022

The nerve pain you may feel in the spin, head, and up extremities when you look down is also short-circuiting in the spin and is called Lhermitte’s sign. When your muscles spasm in your limbs, they call that paroxysmal spasms, and if you feel a squeezing of your torso, that would be the MS Hug. Whichever pain you may have, consult your neurologist for potential relief. I believe no one should suffer needlessly.

Exploring the Past

As you know, I want to get the most out of my life and seek adventures whenever possible. In August, professional adventurer Aaron Lindsau visited, and we went on one such trip. We explored Kirwin, a ghost town in the mountains near our home, checking out the old mines and hiking in the mountains. Wyoming Jeepers will release our episode of the trip in a few months. However, Aaron’s show is already out. Watch it on ALinsdau on YouTube.

A Crossover Show with Wyoming Jeepers & Aaron Linsdau
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Alaska Bush Life #14 on Top Alaska Blogs

For those who don’t know, I write two blogs each week— and Alaska Bush Life. FeedSpot announced Alaska Bush Life is #14 on the 30 Best Alaska Blogs and Websites. Alaska Bush Life talks about my adventurous life in remote Alaska and is an extension of my Alaska and MS memoir. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to live in bush Alaska, check out The Call of the Last Frontier on Amazon. My author’s website includes photographs, media clips, and a link to the blog on

My disabled sister is still attempting to give her rescue dog a better life. Do you know anyone who has time for a pitbull with separation anxiety who loves to play but is depressed after years of lying on the bed of someone with narcolepsy? Contact me if you know anyone who might be a forever home for Brady.

Rescue Dog Brady Pitbull
Do you have a home for Brady?

Upcoming Appearances

October 8, 2022 High Plains Book Awards, 12–4 p.m. Billings Public Library Community Room for panel discussions and author book signings at 510 N Broadway, Billings, MT 59101 and, 7:30 p.m. Awards Presentation at Petro Theater at 1500 University Drive, Billings, MT 59101

October 25, 2022 – Thriving Over Surviving podcast interview

October 27, 2022 – Inside the Nest Podcast interview, 10:00–10:30 a.m. MST

November 1, 2022 – guest speaker on Zoom


Cleveland Clinic. “Q: How often do MS patients have pain?” (accessed September 27, 2022).

Lusina, Anete. Foot Feature Image. Pexels. (accessed September 29, 2022).

National MS Society. “Pain & Itching.” (accessed September 27, 2022).

About the Author

Melissa Cook
Melissa Cook is the author of As a retired high school teacher and school district administrator, she chooses to share her MS story in hopes of benefiting others.