Multiple Sclerosis Theme Music

by Yvonne deSousa

I don’t know what to do about my arms.   Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to have them.  But sometimes at night, I don’t know what to do with them.  I am not talking about when they decide to misbehave and go all tingly and start dropping things; that I am used to.  I am talking about when I am trying to fall asleep and they just seem to be in the way.  No matter how I try to get comfortable, one of my arms is keeping me from doing so.  If I try to lay my arms at my sides, they get all weird and restless.  Sometimes one of them decides to suddenly fly up in the air all by itself.

How come they are not able to just relax and rest?  My whole MS body wants to rest ALL the time.  But not my arms.  I think they call this spasticity and it is common for people with multiple sclerosis.  Most people get this issue in their legs but, as my MS is not your MS, it is my arms that get super spastic.

Lying in bed thinking about what to do with these arms of mine makes me think of music from my teen years.  No, I am not old enough to remember when Otis Redding recorded These Arms of Mine in 1962.   But I WAS a teen when it was included in the Dirty Dancing soundtrack in the eighties.  RIP Patrick Swayze.

Here is another bizarre thing my MS brain does; it goes on a rambling tangent.  Thinking about that song makes me wonder what other songs from my teens might describe my MS.  Start Me Up?  Maybe, but I’m not sure that really fits.  True, with my constant fatigue, I could stand to be started up, but most of the time I don’t have the energy to make the request.  Comfortably Numb?  That might work.   My brain certainly spends a lot of numb time in my MS world.  But what about my numb limbs?  That is not comfortable at all.  Maybe Pink Floyd meant to call the song Uncomfortably Numb?  That would be better.  Cruel Summer?  The heat and humidity are certainly cruel, cruel, cruel……

But I am looking for a song to describe my MS as a whole.  Thus it was, that I also rejected Superfreak, Hit Me with Your Best Shot, All Night Long, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For and Crazy Train.  And then I got it- Needles and Pins.    Not the original of course; again, way before my time.  But the version recorded by Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks is a great choice for my MS theme song.

My life is all about needles now, and between my shots at home and the constant blood work for two medical conditions (can’t the different docs ever combine the results?), I am a living pin cushion.  And then there’s the occasional pins and needles feeling in my legs and feet. Add to that the stepping on a pin feeling they also get, and Needles and Pins is the perfect song.  The lyrics even add to its MS perfection.

 “Get down on my knees and pray, that there’d come a day.  And still it begins.  Needles and Pins.  Because of all my pride, the tears I’ve got to hide….”

Now the song is blasting in my head and my MS brain has no idea how I started thinking about this.   I need to get some sleep.  Wish I knew what to do with these arms of mine…..

I would love to hear what music others with MS can relate to!  What is your theme music?!!!

About the author: Yvonne deSousa was diagnosed with relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis in 2009. Yvonne created her blog designed to help those with chronic illness laugh amid tears. Yvonne also enjoys writing about Cape Cod history and has been published on Cape Women Online and in the Provincetown Banner, and Cape Cod Times. Visit Yvonne online at or Yvonne deSousa on Facebook


About our Co-Founder: With a bachelors in Social Work, Linda is 53 years old, happily married with eight children and 17 grandchildren. Diagnosed with MS in 1995 and now having accepted and truly embraced her new reality, Linda has created She is dedicated to proving that joy can be chosen while living with Multiple Sclerosis. Linda specializes in helping others, especially those with MS attain the lifestyle, independence and happiness amid living with MS.


  1. Yvonne~
    I love it! It’s amazing how we connect music with our circumstances! For me it is Reba McEntire’s ‘I’m Gonna Take That Mountain’ ~ I am a stubborn soul! It is a challenge, a stumbling block, I might slip and I may fall, it’s overwhelming looking up, even if I have to crawl (and sometimes I do) but I’ll break through, I’m gonna leave it level with the ground!
    My new reality looks different than I thought it would, but I have leveled this mountain!

  2. Hi Yvonne,
    I feel like Arcade Fire’s ‘My body is a cage’ is my MS theme song. It definitely runs on repeat in my head when I’m going through a relapse. “My body is a cage, that keeps me from dancing with the one I love, but my mind holds the key”. Admittedly, I should find a more positive, upbeat song to get me through, but this one is good for those down times 🙂

  3. I like it- definately a fun, can do song!

  4. Leasa Marie Frederick

    My MS song is the first three verses if Viva la Vida by Cold Play.
    Someone who used to be in charge, has had thw world take away everything.

    • Leasa,
      I know Yvonne will want to reply to your comment but I need to sneak in~ I listened to the music video on YouTube~ This is beautiful, and so true~ It is so common for those of with MS to have been the movers and shakers of our community…back in the day… I know it’s not common to leave a link that takes our visitors away from our site but everyone needs to hear this…

    • Wow Leasa. I have listened to that song a bunch of times but I never really paid attention to the lyrics before.

  5. Hi Stephanie I think if the song works for you then it is a great theme song for whenever you need it! I have not heard of Arcade Fire and will be checking them out.

  6. Hi Yvonne, before reading this post i did not have any idea about what is multiple sclerosis. But now i know at least some of it here and wish to read more about it.
    I also liked the video of Needles and Pins. very well written post in impressive style of writing.

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