I find it quite reassuring that I do not seem to be the only one who cannot exactly say 'I have had MS since 19.. ' and then come up with for example the year that one was diagnosed.
Facts: I am 48 now, was diagnosed at the age of 40, but seem to think that my very first 'symptom' (a tremendous headache at the age of 11 that disappeared fairly quickly but which I still remember almost 40 (blimey!) years later because of the 'suddenness' (if you know what I mean).. 'Serious' problems during my time at Secondary School were to follow soon after (eg uncontrollable eye and shoulder movements). I started off very well but became mentally wrecked in the end, probably caused by, as I see it now, fatigue and the inability to stay focussed.
The years after seemed more under control as I got sort of used to it although the level of frustration has always been the same! (mainly caused by the thought of knowing something is not right). There were however some strange 'incidents' throughout these years which could never be properly explained (lack of bladder control, issues with my eyes, lack of concentration, dragging feet, not able to store information, fainting, etc.). And there have been times that confusion could have beaten common sense, poisoned by desparation.
When I was finally diagnosed in 2003 (after my legs gave in on a treadmill) it felt as a relieve in the first instance, as I could finally come up with reasons for certain 'shortcomings'.
This was short lived however realising the effect this was going to have on my work and family life, especially because of other serious family circumstances which had already added a lot of pressure on our family. I have been lucky however that I am blessed with a loving and non demanding partner; at least we can take care of our daughter, who has severe learning difficulties (but is quicker than I am..) while in partnership.
I have been without work for half a year now. I am still sort of mobile but because of the problems with my daughter (needs 24 hour assistance as she is not aware of danger the way we are) I am considering 'calling it the day' and to use my limited energy for the care of my daughter (as my wife works). To be continued... (and apologies for 'leaving' the original subject...).