Thanks for your responses. I have been resting/cleaning this week and am feeling a bit more in control, mentally.
I meant to ask the neuro this question.. maybe you guys can help. If the lesions are in my brain or spine, then how does resting my arm help it? I can't seem to make the connection there about how my arm is actually affected, if that makes sense... I know it's numb, tight, and uncoordinated but if those sensations are all caused by a lesion, then it can only get better when the lesion settles down, no? I know when I overuse my arm it gets achy, that must come from the arm itself.. which leaves me more confused about how it's connected to the lesion(s). Sorry this sounds so confusing.....I guess it boils down to me wanting to know if continuing to use my arm at work so much is adding to it's problems, or if they'd be there anyway...
The lesions are indeed in your brain. And apparently they are in an area of your brain that affects the neurological signals..nerve signals..that go to your arm, and say "arm, it's time to move!" If the signal is blocked from one path, it will try to take another path.
Think about it this way: you're driving along in your car and suddenly you come upon orange barrels -- and you have to detour. The road you were on is smooth...but the detour is rough and you bounce all over the place.
The nerves are like that - -they'll follow their standard route, but then if there is a blockage -- the myelin is destroyed because of the lesion -- they'll go around, but the path is rough and the signal is weak by the time it gets to the arm. So the arm is weak, numb, uncoordinated, all that. The muscles are trying to "read" the signal from the brain, but it's not getting through properly, so the arm is weak.
Sometimes, early on, the lesion will repair. The myelin will regrow. And the signal will be strong again (and so will the arm.) But if the lesion is large enough, it wont repair, won't regrow, so the arm will always be weak, or at least affected by the destroyed myelin.
Will it further be damaged by using it? No. You'll just have to learn to cope with the weakness, and work around it. But using it as best you can won't harm it, or make your MS worse, or create new lesions, or any of that.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....