At first, I was going to reply “of course not!”, but it’s just that I never really thought of what you describe as “changing shape”. I don’t know why, it’s funny really, because individual muscles did change shape, for sure. I suppose it’s just that when I read your thread title, I imagined a different kind of shape change, such as developing a hunchback or something.
But thinking about it, yes. I was not diagnosed until 44, but on my 40th birthday, my parents came to visit, and we all had dinner, and a night at a smart hotel.
After dinner, and not a little alcohol, we went back to one of the rooms, and the conversation turned distinctly odd. My mother asked: “If you thought you might be ill, would you tell anyone/do anything about it?”
I had no idea of the context to the question (with hindsight, I now think my Dad was ill, or starting to believe he was, and they were deliberating whether to tell me).
However, coincidentally, I too was beginning to nurse suspicions about my own health.
So I answered, honestly: “I don’t really know, but now that you mention it, what do you think about this?” I was wearing a short summer dress, and indicated my legs, both of which had developed a sharply defined “groove” down the calf.
My dad, always muscular himself, was baffled, and said: “I’m not sure what you mean, Dear - that’s just your muscle, isn’t it?”
I conceded: “Yes, I suppose so, but they didn’t used to be like this!”
Actually, rather than looking withered, my muscles looked extremely well-toned, as if I’d been working out. Which would have been understandable if I had, but why would a 40-something, female, couch potato office worker suddenly GAIN muscle mass, without even trying? Yes, my legs were shapely, but I didn’t do anything to cause it. And, at the time, I knew of no disease or condition that could actually increase muscle tone, so was at a loss to explain it. Just had a sort of vague feeling of: “This is strange”.
I now know that a very definition of spasticity (a common symptom of MS) is increased resting muscle tone, i.e. muscles stiff and firm, even when NOT under stress.
So I had extremely chiselled-looking calf muscles - as if I’d worked at it - resulting in a visible dent between calf muscle and shin bone.
Dad didn’t ridicule me, exactly, but I think he thought I was - at least - eccentric, to be worrying about “shapely” calves. But I just knew it wasn’t normal for me! I’d never been fat or flabby, but I didn’t used to look like a sportswoman, either!
Of course, being preoccupied with my own strange changes, I’d totally missed the cue that perhaps one of my parents suspected their own health.
Dad turned out to have cancer - which, on that occasion, was completely cured using keyhole surgery!
Sadly, his reprieve was brief, because a year to the day after being given the all clear from that one, he was diagnosed with another, unrelated tumour (not a metastasis of the first). This one was a different animal altogether, and not a candidate for keyhole surgery. He would survive just 18 months.
Anyway, that’s an aside - Dad died before I was diagnosed, and thus never found out my suspicions had been right about the legs! I have since spoken to Mum about it, and she admitted they’d thought it “rather odd” that I was concerned about apparently healthy and well-developed muscles.
Of course, like me, they didn’t know of any conditions that can stealthily increase muscle tone, either, so I think they thought I was bonkers.
I wish I’d got answers before Dad died. Not to say: “I told you so!”, exactly, but just to explain what had been going on, and that I wasn’t nuts.
But equally, sometimes I’m glad he didn’t know, because I’m sure he’d have been dreadfully upset. Especially as, although it’s not technically hereditary, we believe it “came from” his side of the family - one of his aunts had it. He’d have been mortified that any child of his was “defective” in any way, especially if the evidence was that the predisposition was likely to be through him.
But yeah, different-shaped (in my case nicer) legs. And getting a bit of a six-pack I didn’t work for, either. It’s all to do with nerve signals to my muscles being wrong. Getting told to contract, even when they don’t need to, so they’re working hard, even when they’re resting.
Why I wake up every morning feeling as if I’ve done a really gruelling session in the gym. My muscles have been getting “squeeze hard” instructions all night, which is only partially alleviated by the cocktail of drugs I’m on.
Sadly, despite looking rather nice, my muscles are hopeless, as they’re always sore and exhausted from all the unnecessary work!