Hi & welcome Callum
I was diagnosed about 2.5 years ago at the age of 42. I’d had a few stumbles and then a fall so went to see an Osteopath and she set the wheels in motion sending my GP a letter, the resulting MRI triggered diagnosis. They then said PPMS but I’m not sure now if they had the full picture - I’d been seeing the gastroenterology dept for about 2 years prior to this, and whilst it looks a bit like Crohns, the samples/tests never supported that. I have been told not MS the cause bowel frequency/urgency by at least 2 doctors from different departments BUT twice steroids have made all my problems go away.
So after a lot of messing about (off-license meds/referrals to London/stemcell trial that went belly up for me, my cells just didn’t grow but I hit the hardest qualification of having active lesions). I am now on a DMD but it was only my selection of Tecfidera that made my local consultant agree to try it.
The only place I can walk unaided is the corridor thru bungalow we found, when I say unaided, I still bump the walls but it really shows it’s more about balance for me not just muscle weakness, I use a stick indoors or for short walks when I’m familiar with area but crutches or walker if I have to walk more than a little way - even that isn’t fail safe so I have a chair if needed too. I still have good and bad days too and have even managed to fall just taking a single step (in living room when I stood up to greet my husband!) but on a good day I can do quite well (ironically, hospitals are great for vinyl/smooth corridors). My last fall was 2 days ago, I lost balance trying to get my keys out of my bag.
OK, my profile pic is old but I was still teaching that 3 weeks before I was diagnosed, the warm up was the difficult bit as I didn’t want to trip up in front of my girls so I’d have to instruct them verbally whilst doing my squats
I know we’re all so different but I’m pretty confident I had MS for at least 12 years before I was diagnosed but possibly for up to 20 years when you consider the weird bits like the numb toe, kicking off my right flip-flop etc. They were just weird things that I passed off as annoyances. I still became a fitness instructor with 2 qualifications when I was 38/39.
Sorry to ramble, yes we’re all different and there’s no map or guarantees but you might surprise yourself and there are so many advances going on now so at least there’s a bit more hope for all of us. I’m doubtful I’ll see a cure in my lifetime and I’m glad I found an exercise I enjoyed enough to kick my 35 year old backside off the sofa, 'm not sure where I’d be if I hadn’t done that, still walking? Maybe not I have still surprised the physios with my core strength.
I’m now 45 have to use a FES (electric shocks) to remind my right hamstring it has a purpose but I’m still not giving up, despite the bruises You’re still so young and there are absolute no certainties for any of us, so try to stay positive. It takes time to accept this diagnosis too, just take your time as there’s so much info out there but look after number one, you really need to but try not to assume the worst. I cried daily for several weeks after diagnosis, it became less frequent but I still have a real meltdown every month or two. Overall I’d have to say I’m happy - MS causes daily pain, panic, irritation etc. etc. etc. but I’m still here and life still gives me amazing husband, friends, family, love, amusement etc. etc. etc. DO NOT GIVE UP YET!!!