I think it’s well known that multiple sclerosis has MANY “mimicking” diseases… such as Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and many others… I was not diagnosed with any of those prior to getting my diagnosis of MS, but I was however diagnosed with a few other things…

At the beginning I was diagnosed with Stress.. Said I was hyperventilating on the monitors and such… Well yeah I was freaking out, my limbs and face kept going numb… but they didn’t think anything of it… I was just “stressed”. Which, who ISN’T stressed these days? Oh and I just have to say that I LOVED being tested for a stroke each and every time I explained my symptoms...

After being told it was stress for over 6 months… my facial numbness began to increase and I went to see my Primary Care, she diagnosed me with Bells Palsy, and referred me to a general neurologist. While waiting to see the neurologist, my primary care had given me a prescription for oral steroids… I started to feel better after a little while, go figure.

So it’s coming up on a year since I first started noticing the numbness, and I see the neurologist, he doesn’t say much on the evaluation, but sends me off to get an MRI that weekend. So I go on Saturday to get my MRI, Sunday morning I wake up and I’m a walking sober “drunk person”… literally.

That Monday I walked in to his office w/ out an appointment and asked him what was going on … I had been thinking I have a pinched nerve or something… or maybe a tumor? Nope, sits me down and tells me I have MS… but doesn’t elaborate on what it is.

So, once he gave me a packet for a medication to start… (yes I said GAVE me A packet, as in one, I didn’t get to research and choose a medication)… I started on Avonex about a month after I was diagnosed. After receiving the IV steroids, followed by Oral Steroids… I’m doing a little better. (This was in August/September 2010, by the way)…. In October, I can’t see straight and I can barely walk… turns out I’m in a flare… so I get a spinal tap done (lumbar puncture)… If you have had one of those, you know why I cringe with the name.

I was stuck… FIVE times in my neuro’s office to try and get my spinal fluid, and TWO more times in Radiology, before they finally were able to get my spinal fluid… I had asked why he was doing this, if he already confirmed my diagnosis with my MRI’s… he said that he wanted to make sure he didn’t “misdiagnosis” and that there wasn’t anything else going on … Well that’s real reassuring

**I am NOT seeing that neurologist anymore, by the way**

So, the point of that little story of how the beginning of my MS journey began, you can see that I was misdiagnosed with two things, before being diagnosed with MS. I’m wondering if it’s common to misdiagnosis like that… I mean, it’s not like they know the CAUSE of MS… so I’m guessing making a diagnosis on it, is difficult as well.


Ashley Ringstaff

Follow me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

So my question is… Before you were diagnosed with MS, were you misdiagnosed with something else?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

For trips, which means of travel do you prefer and why?