I've had symptoms for years and they've escalated. I've went to a doctor about the symptoms in my arm, for example, because it was negatively affecting me at work. He told me to go to a neurologist. That was four years ago and I never went.
Now I have what I call 'attacks' that will leave me weak and unable to swallow properly for days. My left eye twitches all day every other day, it seems, and my arms suddenly going numb in the middle of something are apart of life. My friends call my common inability to feel my hands 'gross.' I've even had somebody break up with me because some days I just don't speak correctly.
I thought maybe it was some kind of vitamin deficiency because when I started having a very nutritious diet these symptoms stopped. Now I am still eating well (haven't lost any weight despite this and exercising a lot) and my symptoms are coming back. I tried to dismiss it. Even though I'm afraid of doctors I think it's time to go and see one.
So this is what I need advice with. I'm really bad with doctors. I can't talk to them in a way that makes them take me seriously.
For anyone who reads this- were the doctors kind when you spoke to them about your symptoms? Is there anyone that suspected MS before consulting a doctor? How did you speak to them? Did they take you seriously? Are there any good books anyone recommends about MS that helped you come to terms with these symptoms? Thank you in advance for any replies.
You need to get to an MS Specialist (a neurologist who deals with MS). Back in 1977 my symptoms started, but I did not pay any attention to them. In 1982 my conditioned worsened. I think that many MSers have an "inkling" that something is "off". I would encourage you to make an appointment today.
Some of the tests can be ordered by your regular doctor while you are waiting on an appointment. MRI with and without contrast of your brain and cervical spinal cord, an evoked potential (VEP visual evoked potential is what I had), and you might also see about getting an LP out of the way.
If you are having an immediate crisis, I would suggest the emergency room where they can get you to a neuro too. Cognitive impairment can cause speech and thought processes to malfunction. This can be brought on by stress and/or mental exhaustion. You need to rest your weary mind.
Do not put things off again. See a doctor and get some answers.
MS diagnosed since October 3, 1982
MS onset circa 1977
Proud to be MED FREE!
Eternally blessed and eternally optimistic!<><
Thank you so much for your reply and your advice.
I'm not currently in immediate crisis. I've just noticed that my symptoms are getting stronger again and that usually leads up to what I call an 'attack'.
I know there's a chance that this isn't what I have, but I feel somewhat strongly that it is.
I will definitely see an MS Expert.
Getting in to see a MS Specialist can take months- up to 6 in some areas of the country. I wouldnt wait until you have an "attack" before you do so. In fact, I would make an appointment with your general physician NOW and have some prelimiary tests run immediately. There is much more of a chance you do NOT have MS, then you actually do have it.
MS mimics 400+ other diseases- things like Lyme Disease, Lupus, even certain vitamin deficiencies can present like MS does....there is no test for MS, the only way they can tell you if you have it is to go thru a battery of tests to elminate the things they can eliminate. I wouldnt jump to the conclusion you have MS......the symtoms you described could just as easily be from a pinched nerve in your neck.
A regular doctor can order an MRI- although he wont know exactly what he is looking at, hopefully the radiologist can tell if something is amiss- and then, he (your regular doctor) can send you to a Neurologist....depending on your insurance, you may need to get a referral or see a regular neuro first, before seeing a MS Neuro.
IF you want to take it upon yourself to see a MS Neuro- great idea; however be prepared for a very long history and physical asking you a ton of questions, a very thorough Neurological exam (balance tests, strength tests, reaction tests) along with some minor non-invasive tests things like MRIs, possibly EMGs and Eye exams.
Im going to honestly tell you the more common symtoms of MS, you didnt mention, and im not going to put ideas in your head by telling you what they are- but you didnt bring any of them up as symtoms....the symtoms you did bring up, really arent "standard" MS issues....so, stop jumping to conclusions...and go thank the guy who broke up with you. Imagine if you did have something chronic or worse yet disease- he wouldnt have stood by you. He was a jerk to do what he did...but thats his loss!
Seeing doctors is scary when you dont know what to expect; all we can tell you is there is no real way to prepare for anything until you know what it is you are preparing for. I will say this, if you make an appointment with a general Neurologist, its not a bad place to start; however, unless they are trained in MS, they wont know what to do for you. Most regular neuro's handle migranes, parkinsons Disease, ALS - things which are not MS. Very few regular Neuros have a large patient population of MS patients....so, choose wisely. You can call the receptionist and ask "does this doctor see MS patients?" if they say why...tell them you are trying to rule out MS. If they cant answer all your qustions on the phone, move to the next doctor on your list....but start with your general doctor. He isnt going to order any invasive (surgical) type tests- there is nothing to be afraid of. You DO need to have blood work done, to rule out alot of things...get copies of the lab results and keep them. Start a file and keep everything you can, including a journal of your symtoms, how long they last, if anything (tylenol even) helps...these are the types of questions that a Good MS doc will ask you about. Have a copy of everything! It will save time and money.