Hi All,

I would really appreciate an opinion on whether or not I have had a second relapse.

I had what was diagnosed as ‘clinically isolated syndrome’ (CIS) a year ago. I had numbness on my right side with stiff arm, lack of dexterity and fatigue. MRI found a lesion on my spine and lumbar puncture found oligoclonal bands. My symptoms recovered in around 7 weeks and I was left with numbness in my finger tips. I had a 6 month MRI scan which was clear so I was told there was only a 20% chance of anything happening again (at which point I could be diagnosed with MS).

A month ago I had a 2 week spell of dizziness (not experienced before) and numbness spreading in my right hand to forearm where I had had it before. The dizziness has pretty much subsided, though not totally, and the numbness hasn’t got any worse but I have been left with numbness to my entire hand. Also experiencing slight L’hermittes which I had previously.

My question is - is this a second relapse? I thought that they needed to last at least a few weeks. I am worried because I am going on a skiing trip in just over a week (my first ever!) and I feel concerned that something might happen while I’m away. I also need to buy insurance for my trip and don’t know if I should declare an existing condition.

Any advice gratefully received.

Many thanks,


Hi India, I’m not sure if you’re suffering a second relapse, it may well be. They can be both long, a few weeks, or short, maybe a matter of hours, everyone is different, you probably know. Could you check with your neuro? Your insurance needs to be notified because if anything happened you’d be unable to claim as you haven’t disclosed your true medical history.

Rosina x

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Hi Rosina,

Thanks so much for your reply. I don’t have a direct link back to my neuro, I will have to go via my doctor again I think. Might be worth checking in with him. I wasn’t sure what exactly to notify the insurance company of without an official diagnoses of MS, but I will look into it and make sure I notify them of what I can.


Hi Janie

I too had a dx of CIS in December 2013 ad although I peek at te form periodically I have been trying to crack on with life.

I posted on the New and Before DX page this morning as I woke early this morning with what I can only describe as a weird cold sensation running through me from the roof of my mouth to my toes.

It is now just my legs but they have felt very cold from the inside out all day although they are warm to touch.

I suffer dizziness, pins and needles and stabbing pains most days but this is new. Like you I don’t know whether this is a relapse. Tried to get a doctors appointment but no joy so need to try again on Monday and hope for a cancellation.

Hope you feel better soon.



These things can be considered to be a relapse, if you want to call them that. But you don’t have to if you don’t want to - one of the many annoying things about MS is how woolly all the definitions are. Here’s the definition of a relapse, from this website

"What is a relapse?

A relapse is defined by “the appearance of new symptoms, or the return of old symptoms, for a period of 24 hours or more – in the absence of a change in core body temperature or infection”. Symptoms you have experienced before, or perhaps grown used to dealing with, might appear in a different part of the body.

In relapses, symptoms usually come on over a short period of time – over hours or days. They often stay for a number of weeks, usually four to six, though this can vary from very short periods of only a few days to many months."

I agree that you definitely should tell your insurance what’s happened - be aware that they will probably raise your premium, but you need to make sure you’re covered in case anything happens. You won’t be covered if you haven’t told them.

Hi BlondeGirl,

Thanks for your reply. I guess this is what they call being in limbo. I have been getting on with things too and not thinking too much on health issues this year (as advised by my neurologist). Especially since my follow up in the summer, I thought I was pretty much in the clear.

It is so odd to just wake up one day with new symptoms, I guess that is the nature of MS though. It kind of makes it hard not to worry about things and just get on if you are aware that tomorrow morning you might wake with some bizarre new symptom!

I’m sorry to hear you have been experiencing some odd sensations today. I hope you get into the doctors ASAP to get it checked out. Have you had a cold lately or anything that would cause your body temperature to change? I am still questioning whether I had some sort of ear infection I wasn’t aware that caused the dizziness??

Think I will get myself to the doctor as well, for some peace of mind at least.

Take care :slight_smile:

Hi Sewingchick,

Thank you for your message.

I have been looking at the various definitions of what a relapse is (though it can sometimes be confusing with all the different/conflicting information out there!). I guess according to the definition from this website what I had would be classified as a relapse. I think I was questioning whether I may have had an infection of some sort (or an adverse reaction to the cold weather!) that may have caused my symptoms, rather than any sort of new disease activity.

Thanks for your advice on the insurance. I think I will just outline exactly what has happened, though I can’t provide them with a condition name as such.

Take care.

I wouldn’t tell the insurer anything unless you have a confirmed, professional diagnosis. But it does sound like a relapse.

(Having said that, i am not a professional ‘diagnoser’… and i do hate insurance companies.)

Janiejones, you need to be up front with your insurers. When I was still awaiting diagnosis, my insurance company wouldn’t renew my policy. They asked if I was undergoing any medical investigation. Once I had a diagnosis, I could get insurance. I declared my MS. If I wanted to be covered for MS related illness abroad, then I needed to pay an extra premium.

PLEASE don’t travel without proper insurance. I used to work for the consular service in the foreign office and have people get into huge financial difficulty when faced with huge medical bills and no insurance to cover it.