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From ‘anomaly’ to MS diagnosis

I’ve been considering MS for 10 / 12 years so wasn’t at all surprised. In fact, it was more worrying to not have a diagnosis. There are some really nasty things out there, MS seemed the best option. But clearly things would get worse than hobbling around with one bad leg.

I had been waiting months for an appointment booked with a neurologist, and a few weeks before this, I noticed a numb band across the top of both my feet, near where my little piggies join on. A few weeks after the appointment, I fell over, or rather, fell down, 4 times, and thereinafter nothing below my waist was working properly.

I had a second opinion appointment booked, again months ahead. Obviously symptoms were not the same as before, but with NHS waiting times you have to take whatever comes your way. I got a diagnosis of MS, and still had a further appointment with the first neurologist planned for a few more months.

With a diagnosis of MS, things seem to happen quicker. I was already under the Bowel and Bladder Clinic, and now have a Community Nurse calling 3 times a week to drain my bladder using a catheter. They are training me to do it myself. Not as easy as it sounds. You men definitely have it easy.

Must go now. Back soon to see how you are all doing…

Anne.

Hello Anne

Well I’m glad you’ve finally got a diagnosis. And having been expecting it for so long, it wasn’t a shock. I’m sure the initial reaction was relief, at least now the fight for diagnosis is over. But when you get over that relief, sometimes a sense of worry sets in. Hopefully you won’t be too affected by the ‘come down’ post diagnosis.

I’m a bit bemused by the idea of a nurse calling in to drain your bladder 3 times a week. What do you do in between? Is it a retention issue? So you empty naturally as much as possible? Only mostly, we get a nurse come once, vaguely show you how, then leave you to it to figure it out for yourself. At least that’s my experience.

Have the nurses left you a supply of catheters to at least see if you can do it yourself? What I started out with was fairly rigid catheters, collection bags and a mirror. I’d sit on the bed, get my legs roughly right, then try and insert a catheter to the right spot using a mirror. Once I understood where the damn thing needed to go (!) and what it felt like, I just gave it a go sitting on the loo. And that’s how I’ve done it ever since. If you can manage to get your legs into position, I recommend at least having a good look at your anatomy.

I hope all goes well for you.

Sue