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Bit confused - need answers

Was having short bouts of symptoms for years. Then, last summer, the symptoms set in and never left … and now I have short spurts of feeling half decent during the day. Family doc finally ordered and MRI, and told me I likely have MS … while leaving no room for me to think it could be anything else. He’s referred to me to a neurologist, but I won’t be getting an appointment for approx 2 months. So there’s a couple of things I’d like to know, and am hoping someone here can help me.

  1. My most troublesome symptom is poor balance, with this awful feeling of fullness or pressure on top of my head all the time that makes me lightheaded. It’s to the point I have to actually focus on walking now. But doc said there are no lesions in my cerebellum, which controls balance, so MS can’t be the cause of my balance problem. Does that sound right? Cause my doc’s been wrong about a few things in the past.

  2. My MRI report says I have “multiple very small scattered foci” in both hemispheres of my brain, and that they’re “fairly numerous”. Does this, along with having symptoms daily for year, mean that the disease has been progressing more rapidly than in the past?

I know the answers might not be good, but I’d rather just know the truth.

Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to respond.

Morning Slingshot

A GP is not qualified to diagnose MS - only a neurologist can do that.

And it’s not what you want to hear, I know, but MS is not an easy condition to diagnosis, it can take time to get answers. There’s no ‘one’ test for MS, and to complicate matters even further, many other conditions can mimic MS-type symptoms, all of which need to be ruled out. It means it can be a bit of a waiting game, I’m afraid.

A diagnosis is made up of a combination of test results, scans, time, symptoms and relapses etc. but a neuro will not make a diagnosis without sufficient evidence, it’s more than his job’s worth.

If I could impart one piece of advice, it would be to stay away from Mr Google. Second guessing what could be causing you to feel this way will likely lead to even more stress and even more worry, and you don’t need that on top of everything else!!

Make a brief but concise note of your worst and most persistent symptoms to give to your neuro - but go through them with him/her first (and keep a copy for yourself).

It’s hard, I know, but in the meantime try to carry on as normal, and be kind to yourself. Try to keep in mind that it could be something that’s easily remedied.

Everyone here understands, and I’m sure others will come forward to add other bits ‘n’ bobs that I’ve forgotten, and to offer their support too.

Good luck

Debbie xx

Debbie,

Thanks so much for responding. Was diagnosed with cancer 18 years ago, twice in one year, and the mistakes that were made in my case make it impossible for me to stay away from Google now (Mr Google, by the way, made me chuckle, hehe).

The results from my brain MRI (not written by my doctor) mention only MS as the differential diagnosis, and nothing else. Are you aware of anything else that can maybe cause these bright signals to show up in the brain?

This whole thing is already starting to feel like the nightmare from 18 years ago, ‘we guess, we think, maybe not, yes it is, no it isn’t, oooops’ … and I really don’t like it. Not to say that anyone else does!

Thanks again. I hope you’re doing well at your end!

Hi Slingshot,

There’s no point in focussing on MS, as Debbie quite rightly says, your symptoms could be caused by any number of reasons; many of them with simple and straightforward cures.

Picking on a worse case scenario is only going to add to the stress of being in Limbo.

Stick with the Forum anyway as we can help you with the journey of getting your diagnosis.

Best wishes,

Anthony