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Too scared to ask my doctor for help.

I’m terrified posting on here because I’m unsure what exactly is wrong with me. For the past 8-10 years (since I was a teenager/ in my early 20’s) I’ve had various symptoms and been on a huge range of medication. I’d get phases of being exhausted to the point where it seemed impossible to get out of bed. My doctor put this down to being a teenager, then depression, then my lifestyle, then simply something I need to put up with. I’ve lost a couple of jobs because I’ve called in sick from this. I urinate a lot especially at night which i’ve been put on a variety of tablets for. I have pain in my eyes, I’ve seen an optician and my eye sight has got slightly worse but there’s nothing wrong. I have phases of numbness and tingling in my legs and arms, dizzy spells and a feeling unbalanced. Now and again I have fallen over for no aparent reason. I never linked these symptoms up until about 6months ago when my friend mentioned MS. I’m terrified of asking my doctor because I feel ridiculous linking these symptoms and coming to such a serious conclusion. But I also feel over the past two years these things have gradually got worse. The exhaustion is such a difficult thing to ‘deal with’. Some days it’s a struggle to pick up a cup because my body feels so weak, having a shower can be exhausting. Other days I can make it through an exercise class! I lost a job again in January because I had had too many sick days. I have lost friends because I don’t have the energy to go out with them. I started helping a relative with deliveries but stopped because I was having dizzy spells and felt very unsafe driving. I went to my doctor 2months ago and explained all this and he put me on anti-depressants again despite me insisting I’m not depressed, I’m just fed up off feeling like this and not knowing why. I feel like a silly girl considering that MS may be a possible cause and can’t face suggesting it too my doctor. I don’t know what to do.

Hi Anon,

There are literally hundreds of other things it could be, so I would certainly not march into the doctor’s demanding an investigation for MS, if I were you. I do think it’s premature to be thinking along these lines, and that your friend’s input might not have been as helpful as she (or he) probably imagined.

I think perhaps you need to consider a change of doctor, though. It doesn’t seem satisfactory that this has been dragging on for years, with no real explanation. A different person might have a completely different perspective on things, and be able to try things that haven’t been tried, or investigate things that haven’t been investigated.

Again, I must stress that I wouldn’t mention MS whatsoever. Just express your concern that this has been going on for an awful lot of years, and you feel you are no further forward - on the contrary, that you are getting worse.

It’s actually very unlikely to be MS, as rates in the UK are estimated at 1 in 800 to 1 in 100 people: that’s a fraction of a percent! Obviously, a lot of people on this forum have been diagnosed, so we ARE that fraction of a percent. But the chances of any particular person having it are really small. They’d look at hundreds of other things, before they’d even consider MS.

As well as trying a different doctor, it might help to consider what it is you are afraid of. You’ve already lived with “it” - whatever “it” may be - for a number of years, so it’s clearly not rapidly fatal. Why are you scared of learning what it might be? You wouldn’t be a different person - you’ve already had it for years anyway. But knowing what it was (regardless whether it’s MS or something unrelated) might help you make better decisions about how to deal with it.

Tina

hi there

its a lot to deal with.

you dont need to mention ms just ask your gp if it could possibly be a neurological condition.

make sure that he hears you saying that you’re not depressed.

although some anti depressants just level your emotions, my gp put me on citalopram when i started going throgh the diagnosis procedure.

at your age, i’d be surprised if you werent a bit depressed.

good luck

carole x

Sorry, I did mean to say 1 in 800 to 1 in 1000!

Your chances of having MS are definitely NOT as high as 1 in 100.

Tina

Hi,

I’m saddened to hear you have been suffering for so long and that your GP has not dealt with the symptoms you are describing to him. These are worrying symptoms and your doctor should be doing more to find out what is wrong. Ask him for a referral to a Neurologist as someone else needs to look into this for you and do something to help you. If its not MS then they will have to do other tests to find out what is wrong. If it is MS the diagnosis will get you more help to deal with the symptoms. Either way you need help and a referral to a Neurologist is the first step in this process/

Best wishes, Mary

It must be hard honey not to feel your taken seriously. As this has gone on for sometime, I feel your doctor should start to take you more serious, and start to ask more questions eg sending you to a specialist.

At least then you will feel more satisfied that things are moving forward.

Good luck x

Hi, like everyone else who has replied to your post, all I can suggest is that you dont say MS or anything as specific, to your GP. Besides a GP wont say MS either, as it isnt their job to diagnose it, but it is their job to refer you to some kind of secialist for tests and opinions.

I think you`ll have to persevere and keep asking. If you feel you cannot ask the current GP, then is there another at the same surgery you would like to see?

I spent years seeing different neurologists.

Good luck.

luv Pollx

Hello, Everyone has covered what I would have said. I must however reiterate what Pat has said about the anti-depressants. I was prescribed them for years and years for no good reason, a lot of what you have said resonates with my younger life and it pains me to read your story. Please please do not let your GP fob you off with depression. I like you knew I wasn’t depressed but I took the pills hoping it would help with the fatigue. It was life changing fatigue and I had awful times over the years with employment too. The tablets made things worse. I had no joy and after 20 years of unnecessary drugs, therapy and begging people to help, I saw the Nurse Practitioner and asked for her help. She worked alongside my GP so I put her in an awkward position but once she sat and actually listened, she knew I needed help. 3 years later, I got my answer, thanks to her. Don’t mention specific conditions, it will work against you, but ask for a proper investigation into why you have this fatigue and all the other symptoms. If you were a close family member of this GP, guess what would happen? They would be properly investigated. You deserve the appropriate tests. I know how fatigued you are, it’s hard to fight when you feel so poorly but please do it. Sam x