What can I do for my son?

My football mad son was starting complaining about his balance went off suddenly now and then over last 18 months ( he didn’t told me before as he thought it was normal when playing football). He is only 15 years old. It prompted me about my dad and I both got MS since mid 1990s. I had first MS symptoms when I was 18 and he was 50s at that time. We were told that between us doesn’t mean that we got faulty gene. But now, for my son, I would take him to GP but I don’t want to frighten him if I mention about my MS family history to GP especially during the lockdown at same time. From my experience, my local GPs were not really helpful as I felt they were fobbed me off so many time until later I went to Uni. What can I do?

This is a tough decision for you to make. Perhaps you’d be as well waiting a while, maybe until the current Covid crisis is more under control (please let that be soon) and there’s a possibility of your son being able to actually see a neurologist?

It seems to me that it might be a bit harsh to frighten him when it might just be that he’s going through a clumsy phase. After all, your GP won’t be able to reassure him (or you) that it’s not MS, all s/he could do is refer to a neurologist for an appointment some time in the future.


My guess is that if you took your son to the doctors you would be told to keep an eye on things and if the symptoms worsen then to go back to the gp.

So for now I would do nothing but quietly keep an eye on him because at this stage the doctor is unlikely to refer him to a neuro.

Do you think your son may be worried that he will develop m.s. - has he been googling it - ?

I understand 14/15 is a clumsy time particularly for lads their brains haven’t adjusted to having taller, heavier bodies and they’re still probably growing which could contribute to issues with balance. Which is why they frequently break stuff accidentally, they underestimate their size and strength.

but there’s also other non sinister causes like inner ear problems that are easily corrected.

Just remember that if you “hear hooves think horses not zebras” I’ve thought in the past about my niece and nephews when they’ve had health issues in the past but they’re now all in their 30s and I have to remember that there’s two sets of genes that they’re made of.

also football is (when played well) extremely fast moving often played in slippery conditions if he’s not losing his balance when in stable conditions he’s maybe right, it’s just something that happens during the game, I’ve seen players, well trained adult professionals falling over on a pitch.


What an awful dilemma.

My tip, if people think they have MS is to keep a symptom diary. What the symptom was, when it stated and when it ended.

Another dilemma, do you keep one of your son’s symptoms.

As you probably know a diagnosis of MS can take a very long time. Let’s hope your son is just going through the gangly teenage years.

Take care.