Hi everyone! My name is Carlo Nieddu, I’m new to the forum so thought I would introduce myself. I don’t really use forums so this is quite new to me. I live on the Isle of Wight and have all my life. I’m 25.
I was diagnosed with MS in October last year after a long wait from my initial appointment with a doctor. Although at the time it felt like a long wait for myself, family and friends, reading other people’s journey to diagnosis I appreciate that mine was actually quite quick. I was referred to the neurologist in March but my appointment was not until the end of July. As people say you are just in limbo waiting, not only for me but for my family and friends too. I was pretty convinced though that I would end up being diagnosed with MS having researched it a lot, reading the MS Society website, this forum, the MS Trust website, anything I could find on MS.
When I saw the neurologist he told me that he thought it was likely that I did have MS and I was booked in for brain MRI scan in September. Following the scan I had another appointment with the neurologist in October where he gave me the results of the scan which confirmed there were lesions on the brain. The emotion I felt the most was probably relief because I knew I had MS and I felt there was clearly something wrong so if it wasn’t MS what else could it of been?! I was diagnosed with highly active relapsing remitting MS.
I started treatment very soon afterwards in November. I go over to Southampton once every 4 weeks for Tysabri infusions. I think this has been effective as I haven’t had any notable relapses since I started it. The nurses are all really nice and from my experience I would recommend it. I also recently started taking propranolol for the tremor in my arms and hands.
Ever since I was 16 my friends would laugh at me for having shaky hands but I laughed too and didn’t think anything of it really. My family would comment on it too but they and I just put it down to drinking too much. My first notable symptom was in November 2013 where I had optic neuritis in one eye. During this time I noticed that when I was getting drunk, my walking was becoming very difficult. Some of my friends would notice but I would try to brush it off. It was weird because it wouldn’t last too long. Then from the start of the year 2014 my hands began to feel numb. This is when I looked on the internet about numb hands and came across MS. I kept it to myself for a few months. Things then continued to get worse. I started noticing walking was difficult not only when I was drunk but other times, especially when it was dark. I eventually went to the doctors in March after my friends convinced me that I needed to. I told the doctor I had researched on the internet about my symptoms and it came up with MS and he just nodded his head. He referred me to the neurologist straight away. During the wait for the appointment my symptoms just got worse.
I feel I have handled my diagnosis pretty well. I try to see the funny side of this disease and make jokes with my friends, I believe it to be a good way of dealing with it. I have great friends and family who have supported me a lot. Without their continued support things would be a lot harder. I’m very grateful and consider myself to be very fortunate in that regard.
In some ways being diagnosed with MS has had its benefits. During my wait to see the neurologist I joined a sports club where I go swimming and use the gym. I improved my diet and stopped drinking and smoking. I think I’ve got drunk less than 10 times since which is crazy!! I would never have done these things if I didn’t have MS. Also I feel that I have become closer to some friends and family which is nice!
Thanks to anyone who has bothered to read my extremely long message. I apologise for it being sooo long, I’m a rambler!!! Hopefully get to speak to some of you soon!!