I am hoping to get some insights about everyone's experience with MS, in particular the early diagnosis process.
Just a bit of background: for the last three years I have been having recurring symptoms that last about 1-3 weeks and occur every 6-9 months. The symptoms seem to have gotten progressively worse and include fatigue, malaise, numbness in hands, cold insensitivity, night sweats, and depression. Recently they have included really bad vertigo/dizziness, extremely blurred vision, and seizures... All to the point where I am unable to drive or work. They seem to come and go, and they get better before getting worse.
I have gotten a few brain scans and a bunch of other tests, but the doctors have not reached a diagnosis yet. I know MS is tricky to diagnose, but I am becoming more convinced it may be behind my symptoms. I'm also experiencing pretty bad psoriasis, and my neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio is always testing really abnormally high (which indicates inflammation or something odd with my immune system).
I have appointments lined up with some neurologists in the coming weeks, but I was hoping to get some thoughts and feedback from the community beforehand. Do these symptoms sound or feel familiar? If so, what specific questions should I ask/tests should i request? I don't intend to just be searching for a diagnosis online, but I'm becoming more convinced that it's some sort of autoimmune issue affecting the CNS. It just seems to fit with my symptoms.
Any thoughts are much appreciated. Thank you!
Hi Eric, MS can be a tricky disease to diagnose as many other conditions can present with similar symptoms. In addition, no two people experience the disease exactly the same, making it even harder to diagnose! I'm glad you have an appointment set up with a neurologist, I would encourage you to express your concerns about the possibility of MS to make sure that this is ruled in or out. This is a link to the information on our website that talks about Diagnosing MS and the basic tests and criteria used: https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/Diagnosing-MS
I hope this information is helpful and you get some answers soon!
MS Navigator Ashley
Thank you for the information! I'm trying not jump to any conclusions, but it has just been a frustrating procecss of my PCPs implying that I'm essentially imagining my symptoms. I'm not discouting the fact that the symptoms may actually "all be in my head" in the sense of some form of psychosomatic issue, but I know for a fact that the symptoms I am experiencing are indeed real (and my wife has actually been able to pick up on them almost before I do).
One additional quesiton I had was about an initial MRI I had before sustaining a fall down the stairs. The MRI/brain scan was noted as unremarkable, but the notes did include the following statement: "There are small nonspecific punctate areas of T2-weighted and T2 FLAIR weighted signal abnormality in the deep frontoparietal white matter that most likely represent small vessel ischemic disease." A few questions: 1) could this type of abnormality cause the symptoms I have been experiencing, and 2) Is it normal to have indications of small vessel ischemic disease in an otherwise healthy 31 year old male?
I realize I am being impatient as I do have appointments scheduled in two weeks: I just currently have a bit too much time on my hands since I am currently on short-term disability due to my symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, vision loss, depression, etc!