From regular to MS in two months...

Dear Forum Readers,

Having recently been diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis and following the advice of a doctor I find myself browsing your forums. I thought I should type a few lines.

My journey to this forum has been swift. Never normally ill, a forty something male, I first began noticing neurological problems in June which increased and within a few weeks prevented me from working for, now, two months – I intend to return soon. My GP and neurologist at the local hospital have been thoughtful and efficient throughout. The diagnosis was relayed verbally by a registrar ten days ago. It is thought to be Relapsing Remitting Multiple sclerosis.

I know little about this disease, about MS. I am feeling a lot better than two weeks ago and have been told my inflammation has cleared. While ill I considered myself to have been lucky with no pain, eyesight, or bodily function symptoms. Mostly balance, talking, and fine motor control, which is all steadily improving, sufficiently for me to consider returning to work imminently.

Over the two months of medical interest I had three MRI scans and one lumbar puncture – I was a virgin for both procedures – and found them easier and less troublesome than I had previously been led to believe. I deliberately did not browse either procedure on the internet beforehand. Now, from what I have read, I am surprised that some raise concerns about taking such procedures. For me, I wanted to get well and if that meant keeping still for 30 minutes; I think it was a small price to pay.

For the MRI, I found it easiest to just shut my eyes and think happy thoughts and not listen to the machine noises, much like modern popular music, both in rhythm and monotony. The room was bright, air conditioned and the attending nurses cheerful and caring. Do not fear an MRI. Be happy in yourself and relax. That’s all you have to do. The machine does the work and each session of 30 minutes passed without incident. Relaxing and a toilet trip beforehand will make the experience less irksome.

The lumbar puncture was as painless as the MRI. It took a similar amount of time and I wouldn’t need to think twice if asked to have another. Trust the nurses, follow their instructions, and it will be over before you know it. I rested in bed, at home, for the remainder of the day with coffee and cokes a plenty. The only problem I faced was not being tired later that evening and used the time to catch up on some emails until tiredness won over. I experienced no headaches or soreness. I treated my back with respect (posture, lifting) for a few days afterwards.

So, I’ve now broken my MRI/Lumbar puncture duck and don’t know what else there is to fear. Personally, a trip to the shops is more troublesome and painful than either of these procedures. And so started my journey out into a new world. It is going to be a learning experience and one I will try not to be afraid of.

Peter Brookes

Hi Peter, and welcome to the site :slight_smile:

Very pleased that your tests went smoothly. They do seem to have improved the LP procedure - I spent 5 days in hospital after mine in extreme pain and on a drip, but that was a long time ago. Unfortunately, while there are fewer problems nowadays, there are still some who experience problems so best to follow the normal advice and lie down and drink loads (including the coke and coffee of course) just in case.

It’s great that you’re dealing with the diagnosis well, but don’t be surprised if it suddenly hits you a bit like a brick wall. Talking really helps if this does happen (which of course it might not).

I hope your current recovery continues smoothly.

Karen x