diagnosis

26Nov12

On October 8, 2012, I would say that my world changed. But really, I received confirmation of a fear that had sat in my back pocket for years, something that I hoped would never come to fruition.

You see, back in 2005, I had a brain MRI done to take a peek at my chronic migraines. The radiologist’s report said there was likely some demyelination. I, being the anatomy/phys teacher, pointed those words out to my then-neurologist–mind you, a well-respected guy–saying, this is a hallmark of MS, right? I still have a copy of the report he gave me, where he told me not to worry, he sees this pattern in frequent migraineurs all the time.

So when my left leg went weak in all muscle groups this September, I could think of nothing else but that MRI (what else could cause weakness in my femoral, sciatic, and peroneal nerve?). In terms of possible explanations for my symptoms, aside from MS, everything else I could come up with was very far-fetched, such as a tumor perfectly placed in my lumbar spine. (Yeah, right.)

My current neurologist–another well-respected physician–looked at my 2005 MRI on October 8 and didn’t need but a few seconds to interpret the lesions as likely to be MS, and sent me for another series of MRIs, pronto. Most patients would be left with their jaws hanging open, but I just sat nodding in confirmation.

That’s not to say that I took it in stride. I spent the following days and weeks wondering what the new normal would be. I learned that most MS follows a relapsing pattern, and that many people regain most of their function after a flareup… but 3 weeks into a flareup, and my symptoms hadn’t subsided that much. Heck, I couldn’t even run across a street without worrying about a car hitting me. Fear of the unknown.

Glad to say that in the following two weeks, I did return to near-baseline functionality–or at least what I remember as baseline prior to the recent relapse. That has eased my stress significantly.

Interestingly, though, according to my October MRI, I have apparently had active lesions in my brain for years and have not been symptomatic. Wow. More on that next time…

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One Response to “diagnosis”


  1. 1 there is only forward… lessons from ms, again. | In Search of My New Normal

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