Putting it all together

I’ve had a number of problems over the past couple of years. I’ll point out I am diabetic which could explain some of this. I don’t know if Dr Google has made me make a big deal of problems which could have a simple explanation.

The first is the sciatica. Numbness and tingling down one leg which then spread to the other and is currently in both legs and arms, also coldness in legs and foot. I saw a physio who said it wasn’t sciatica, then changed his mind and said it could be sciatica. He said my muscles were weak and stiff and I needed to use them more. I did try the exercises he gave me but they did nothing. He was pretty useless to be honest, I told him I was doing the exercises but no improvement and he said I was doing great and discharged me. I was then sent to vascular surgeon for appointment in Jan who said my pulses were fine but couldn’t rule out a vascular problem completely. I am overweight which I know doesn’t help things but it shouldn’t be this bad surely.

The second is incontenence. It started off with losing control of my bladder overnight with very occasional problems during the day. I saw a pelvic health physio who diagnosed overactive bladder, said my pelvic floor muscles were both weak and tight. I was given tolterodine which helps and it seemed to clear up completely for a while.

I had been doing better, I had been swimming a couple of times a week, lost some weight and increased my fitness a bit. Then last week out of nowhere I seem to have gone downhill again. Extreme exhaustion and muscle pains all over my body but especially in my legs. Stiffness to the point I’m struggling to walk very far and forget walking up stairs without having to stop. I was telling myself it was because it was cold, but really it’s not that cold and at my age (42) I shouldn’t be affected like that. I wet myself twice during the day Friday and ever since have lost control of my bladder every night and had to start using the pads again.

I don’t know how I ended up on a site with symptoms of MS but it seemed to all click into place. The weakness and stiffness in legs and pelvic floor but also other things like the constipation which I had put down to a side effect of the tolterotine. The fact my brain just doesn’t seem to work quite as well as it used to (I do have a history of depression and do take antidepressants) The complete exhaustion which has made functioning normally this week impossible.

Also balance problems. I was putting this down to possible sciatica and numbness in my feet. I could barely walk at all in the snow and ice where before it wouldn’t have been a problem before. I noticed I was walking in town near the wall so I had the option of putting my hand out to steady myself. I see how other people my age function and that I’m very different.

I made a GP appointment for next week. I sat by the phone this morning going to make myself an emergency appointment cos I didn’t think waiting till then was a good idea but then talked myself out of it. I think I’ve not realised exactly how bad things were but when I put it all together it’s pretty terrible.

Fat and unfit and depressed or something more serious?

I’ve got an interview on Friday and thinking of cancelling it because I’m worried about walking round a big building and having to answer questions.

It’s hard to tell what is wrong with you though an Internet forum! But I have similar symptoms to you and I am a young, healthy- weight female, yet I have problems walking around. So who knows?? I am waiting for my MRI results, so not diagnosed with anything.

Definitely make sure the GP is aware of how badly the symptoms are affecting your life and that you think it needs investigating. I wouldn’t mention MS, but you could suggest you are worried it might be a problem with nerves or systemic etc. Try to describe symptoms in detail- how they feel and then the GP can judge what sort of problem it might be too.


I am sorry you are having such a worrying time with so many unpleasant things happening. A talk with the GP definitely sounds like the right thing to do. You might find it helpful to jot down a few key points to take to the consultation with you - it is so easy to forget things when there has been lots of odd stuff going on over time, and it isn’t easy for us civilians to know what is important and what isn’t. Good luck with the GP discussion - I hope it goes well.