Getting an accurate diagnosis – World MS Day Part I

Happy World MS Day!

In honour of this auspicious occasion there will be two posts – first, this one, a serious one, and then later a reporting on our World MS Day event!

This Guardian article reports on an article from the UK MS Society that 4 out of 5 people with MS are misdiagnosed. Shocking, eh? But not surprising. Many of the early symptoms can seem pretty benign when described – tingling here, pain there, feeling “really tired”. It’s only when things become more severe and clear cut that a diagnosis can be made, unfortunately. The additional stress that this places on people who know there’s something wrong but can’t get any one to join the dots is huge. And stress is bad for MS. It also leads to depressive thoughts, feelings of low self worth when you’re just too tired to do what the family want you to do, that you take another day off from work and you worry what your co-workers think of you.

My own diagnosis was pretty straightforward, as I’ve already written about. Feelings start on Monday, can’t walk properly by Thursday. Anyone who knows me would know that this is probably the kindest thing MS has done for me. I don’t think I could have dealt with the slow drip drip drip as well.

It’s easy now to look back and see other clues. Of course I have always liked to sleep. A lot. And there are very few people who haven’t witnessed me falling over somewhere, for no reason at all. Ian always said I could fall over a blade of grass on a flat floor on calm day.

Then there was the time I passed out at my first grad ceremony in Kelowna, on stage, in front of 500+ grads and their family, which of course started the gossip flying. I’d lost a lot of weight – eating disorder?!? Pregnant?!? How to make sure the ceremony is memorable…


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