I am not yet diagnosed with MS. It has taken many years and countless GP’s to finally get someone to listen and refer me to a Neurologist. I am now awaiting the results of a brain MRI done on 7th July.
My unexplained symptoms and strange sensations had always been attributed to depression. I have lost count of the numerous anti-depressants I have been prescribed, none of which seem to alleviate any symptoms.
I moved house back in 2005 and was having a particular bad bout of symptoms. The main one was severe fatigue (to the point where I was finding it hard to speak), leg pain and stiffness, eye problems and brain fog. I had changed GP due to the house move and he was wonderful. He really took the time to listen to me and referred me to a Rheumatologist for further investigation. It was at this time, I had Uveitis in my left eye which caused severe pain when moving the eyeball and redness. I was referred to the Eye Infirmary and given steroid eye drops with no further investigation.
At that time I was told I may have Lupus (due to a positive ANA test), but as a subsequent ANA came back negative, I was told it wasn’t. All further bloods were clear and after a couple of follow-up appointments, I was discharged.
A few years later and I moved back to my local area. The wonderful GP I had found was not prepared to keep me on his books as I was out of the area. So I had to re-register with my previous GP surgery. Again, I was having unexplained symptoms and told the GP what had been happening. It seemed that I was having defined periods of feeling “unwell” and then I would have a few months of feeling “well” again. I explained to her that Rheumatology had, at one point, thought it could be Lupus, her reply was that even if it was Lupus, the only treatment was heavily toxic drugs and would I really be wanting to take those for the rest of my life?
I left feeling distressed and like a hypochondriac. I do not enjoy going to the doctors and nor am I making any of these symptoms up. In fact, I find it really hard, trying to explain what is happening to me as I do not understand it myself. I have not told any of my friends, the only people who know what it is truly like are myself and my poor partner who bears the brunt on some of my really bad days! (and no doubt, you guys!)
After several subsequent visits, I have now managed to find a lovely new GP there. I asked if the symptoms could be attributed to ME/CFS, she said they could. I was again given anti-depressants.
I went back to see her as the anti-depressants did not seem to be helping and the dose was doubled. Again, I felt no benefit.
I had my routine eye test at the Optician in May this year, my pressure has always been on the high side of normal, but the pressure had come down significantly and the shortsightedness in my left eye had got considerably better and my prescription was changed, although I was told my pupils were slow to react to light.
I have since been back to the GP who finally agreed to refer me to a Neurologist. I saw him on 11th June. During his examination he said that my knees were dry (painful and clicking on movement) - a symptom that has since disappeared! and I had no feeling in the bottom of my feet. He said my symptoms could be due to CFS, the side effects of the anti-depressant medication or MS.
He referred me for a brain MRI on 7th July and I am still awaiting the results. The most overwhelming symptom I have is the fatigue. On some days, I could easily sleep through the whole day. I find it difficult to speak, get up to go for a drink or make any food. I know that there is something “wrong”, I just don’t know what. My legs are so heavy and stiff. My muscles seem tense most of the time and I find everyday tasks hard to cope with because of the way I feel.
Anyway, I am so sorry for waffling on, I just needed to get it all off my chest, I hope you are still awake! I just really wanted to know if these symptoms could be attributed to MS and whether any of you have felt any benefit from taking anti-depressants, which up until now, seems to be the only (really can’t think of the right word!) answer I have been given.
Thank you for listening!