My first major symptoms happened in 2011 but there were smaller symptoms as early as 2007 such as a slight tremor in my hands and some fatigue. After a long period of stress, I crashed in March and began sleeping eighteen hours a day while not being fully awake during the remaining six. All of my endocrine levels went haywire. My adrenal level was a two at one point. Despite copious lab tests nothing really presented itself. I was sent for an MRI. The first was a donut MRI without contrast which showed some darkness on my pituitary that they believed to be a small tumor but the resolution wasn't strong enough. At that point I was sent for a nuclear to get a better look. The MRI was done with and without contrast. The supposed tumor wasn't there but the pituitary was concave. So with nothing else to pin it on, they said it was hypothyroidism. I was treated for it but got no relief and still had severe fatigue. A few years ago I decided to stop taking my medications and sure enough when I was tested months later my thyroid levels were perfectly normal. They remain normal to this day.
Ever since my first crash in 2011 I have dealt with fatigue. Sometimes severe, sometimes mild enough to allow me an almost normal daily life. I have never fully recovered the energy level I had before the crash. Since fatigue was my main symptom for a long time I never really got anywhere with finding answers. And sometimes the exhaustion of repeatedly being told I was completely healthy according to my blood work, while I knew that I wasn't, caused me to not want to keep looking.
In 2014 I got my first clue that pointed me to MS. I was working as a cashier at a hardware store. I had a bit of a stressful day off and when I went to work the next day my left knee began suddenly and without warning giving out. I couldn't walk at any speed faster than a shuffle without it giving out, which is hard when you have a fast paced job and a scary manager. Any time I had to walk any sort of distance that day it was like my feet were tied to together by a short rope and I had to actually THINK about the mechanics of walking. At one point I was rushing back to my register because of the aforementioned scary manager and as I came around the side my knee gave out. I managed to clumsily catch myself on the counter and my manager, looking surprisingly concerned, asked if I was okay. I told her I was and she looked at me with her eyebrows raised and asked if I was sure. The next day everything was back to normal. This was the first time I considered the possiblity of MS. I told my doctor, who ordered an MRI. It was done without contrast in a tunnel MRI. When I was done, I asked the technician if she saw anything and after some hesitation she said that she didn't. Because I didn't want it to be MS, I didn't pursue it further and I didn't even follow up on the results.
Now, I have been again confronted with MS only this time it's been snowballing. The summer of 2018 I noticed an occasional pronounced tremor in my right hand. In January of this year my mother had to be hospitalized and could have died because of the flu. I knew my energy level would plummet as a result and it did. But unexpectedly in March I began experiencing neurological symptoms. My hands began shaking more. I had episodes of extreme weakness, during which I felt strangely feeble. It felt like I'd had a few when I hadn't had anything. Pin pricks, something I've had since at least 2007 but hadn't really paid attention to, have become more noticeable. Muscle spasms, another symptom I've experienced mildly since 2007 but never paid attention to, have become frequent and more pronounced. I've had numbness in random places throughout my body, most notably in my ear canals. My eyes shake from side to side rapidly or roll when I'm tired and I try to focus on something. My near vision is now blurry without my glasses (I am typically near-sighted) and is slightly doubled at times. One day we went to eat Mexican and after finding the food strangely bland I realized that I couldn't taste any Umami (savory; meat, refried beans, etc) flavors at all. The next day my taste was back to normal. These are just a few of the myriad of strange symptoms that lead me to ask for MS screening. I have had an MRI that found nothing wrong but my GP at the Indian Hospital refused to order one with and without contrast or order a scan of my spine as well. I suspect the MRI machine wasn't strong enough and I pushed for further investigation. He gave me a referral to a neurologist but since I have no insurance it has to go through channels to be approved. So now I just have to wait and hope the neurologist that I'm sent to can help me.