Monday, December 7, 2009

There were signs

My neurologist wanted me to write down anything that might have been a sign & symptom of MS.

Looking back there have been quite a few signs, it is funny that it all seems so apparent now, but I easily wrote them off when they occurred. I can see why MS is so hard to diagnosis, because all of these things could be something else and not obviously a chronic disease.

1) My first sign was IBS. Now this is something a lot of people get "diagnosed" with, but could be a sign of MS, food intolerance, other auto-immune diseases, etc. My doctor told me that 1 in 4 women are diagnosed with this (so do not worry, it isn't always a sign)
2) The year following my marriage (2004 - 2005) I was having these vertigo spells. If I moved my head at all I would feel dizzy and faint. I went to the doctors and she thought I was having these issues because my blood pressure was so low (60/90 at the time). So I was told to take in more salt and after around 7-8 months it went away.
3) Fast forward 3 years and I was training for my first AK marathon (this was 2008). I had done my 20 mi run on a really HOT day and afterwards my skin on my entire right side (from head to toe) went numb. I even posted something on my tri club forums to see if anyone else had this happen and people told me to go to the docs. I did, and all he said was that I had a pinched nerve in my shoulder and I received some PT exercises for my neck and back. After a couple of months I got all feeling back. My neuro gave me a vibration test (see below) and I passed with flying colors.

4) Then two months ago in Oct is when the migraine followed by optic neuritis occurred. Of course I was unable to ignore the fact that I lost vision in my left eye and I was forced to really confront what was happening to me.
5) Other signs
  • Fatigue - I am always tired and never feel like I get enough rest, this has been happening for years and mainly responsible for the 4-5 cups of tea and coffee I drank a day.

  • Heat Intolerance - I get zapped if there is any running in the sun or heat; in fact my husband makes fun of me because I am sweaty and red before we even begin to run

  • Falling/Stumbling - I am always falling (running, hiking, walking). My trail-running partner last year was always commenting about how I am always falling. Of course I have considered myself clumsy since a little kid.

  • Memory - this is my most annoying sign. For awhile now I have had trouble recalling words, memories, names, etc. I just thought it was typical, but now, not so much. Nothing like having beginning Alzheimer's at the age of 28.

  • Tight Muscles - I have had chronic tight calf muscles. At first I chalked it up to running, but I have not been running much this past month and they hurt every morning.

  • Shaking - I always joked that I could not be a surgeon, now I know why my hands shake so much. They just got worse after this last attack too.
So this is just the beginning of signs, it will be interesting to see what I "pick-up" along the way.

1 comment:

Em said...

Wow. Just for you.

But wow, for how well you are sharing your story. This is good.

I love you.