Forum

How do you know?

Hi,

I wondered red how you know when to go to the doctors for symptoms?

There is a fine line between checking symptoms and becoming one of those people that goes to the GP for a chat but at the same time how do you know if a symptom is serious if you don’t get it checked?

I wondered how those of you that have had MS for a while distinguish between the 2?

What symptoms would you always have checked ?

Thank you all

I think it’s down to how much it’s bothering you and whether you actually want anything done about it.

In theory, you should always report a suspected relapse, as it may influence not only eligibility for treatment, but which particular treatment(s). However, I’m not sure I treat even that literally. Even a few days of a tingling finger is technically a relapse - albeit a very mild one. However, I’ve told them in no uncertain terms I won’t be reporting in every instance of tingling, if nothing more serious materialises.

I think situations where I’d feel there’s no option but to report it are MAJOR loss of function - e.g. sight, walking, continence - or “unearable” pain - but “unbearable” is subjective. “Unbearable” to some maybe merely miserable to others.

I had some exruciating cramps recently, which I did discuss with my neuro (but only because an appointment fell due anyway). After a bit of a chinwag, we nevertheless decided not to do anything about , because the drugs he might consider were moving slightly up the risk/side-effect scale from those I’m already on, and would need regular blood tests, and things like that, and increase the risk of undesirable side-effects, such as excessive sedation (I already struggle to complete a day without taking a nap). Also as this symptom is occasional, rather than continual, I was a bit reluctant to take permanent medication for it.

So, was it worth raising at all, given that we’ve decided I’ll just bear it when it happens, as painful as it is? I don’t know. I suppose the only advantage is we’ve explored all the options, and decided none of them is a clear winner over just leaving it.

I’m not sure it’s an exact science. Is a problem deeply distressing, or a mere nuisance? Are you keen to embrace treatments, or someone who prefers to be on as few as possible?

You should always report things if you’re at all suspicious they might not be MS. So far, I’ve felt quite confident things I experience always are, but I couldn’t really explain why, and I accept I might be wrong. I suppose, mentally, I’m assessing how similar or different they are to things I’ve had in the past, and if it’s quite clear they’re similar to other MSy things, I normally feel quite safe accepting they’re all part of the same thing. If I had a very unusual pain or problem, that didn’t resemble anything I’d ever had before, it might put me on alert it wasn’t MS - although I’d probably ask here and research a bit before dashing off to the doctor, in case it’s a really common MS thing, that’s just a first time for me.

I don’t think there’s a strict rule about it, any more than about when to go to the doctor if you didn’t have MS. Only you how bad it is, or how worried you are. If bad/worried then go. Otherwise not.

Tina

Hi Sammy

I have built a good relationship with my gp. If I have concerns about my health, she is happy for me to make an appointment to see her or a telephone consultation.

Other than that, the practice has a procedure were all patients are reviewed every so many weeks/months.

Anything that is causing you undue worry/distress with regards symptoms of your MS should be checked out with your gp or MS nurse if you have one.

Good luck xx

hi sammy

you could ring your ms nurse and leave a message saying what has been happening.

also see your gp just to make sure it is logged on your medical records.

make sure that you don’t have an infection because that could cause a pseudo-relapse.

i’m a fine one to talk though because i have had a terrible few weeks and can’t get an appointment because of that flaming ring at 8.00 am rule. if i’m not sleeping well it’s almost impossible to ring at 8.00 am. grrrrr!!

carole x

Hi, I don’t like going to Doctors which drives my husband mad, went the other day I seems to know more than him about MS went for Sativex he told me it wasn’t legal in france yet(I live in france) its been legal since January and I didn’t get luck with anything.

Hi Simone

Perhaps it would be better for you to search around for a more informed gp to look after you. If Sativex is available in France then an up-to-date well informed doctor would know this.

Good luck x