My MS Diagnosis

Last updated: September 2022

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis on October 30, 2013. From that day forward, my life was never the same. But getting there was harder than even hearing the diagnosis.

The things I heard before the words multiple sclerosis

Before I got the official MS diagnosis, I was called crazy, overworked, or having anxiety. I have been told I was just getting old ( I was 40 at DX), I have been told I had sleep apnea, I had been told I was a diabetic, and I had even been told that I had had encephalopathy (a brain infection) by Drs. I even had one neurologist move my appointment by 1 month for 3 consecutive months, refusing to see me because my MRI was not typical for MS. He even had his secretary (yes the woman who answers the phones with zero medical training) tell me as she was rescheduling me again that I did not need to see this Dr because I don’t have MS!

The first symptoms I noticed

It wasn’t until I reached out to the one person that I knew that had MS that I got in front of the right doctor and got a spinal tap to confirm the diagnosis. I had spent the last two years with indescribable fatigue. With what I would describe as “crashing” every six weeks. My right leg would just give out on me, or I’d hit the wall with the right side of my body even though I saw the wall. I was working in manufacturing/production, and numbers were my life. In the last year, I had noticed it was becoming harder and harder to recall the numbers and work with the numbers my job depended on. Spreadsheets were taking me hours. What used to take me maybe 20 minutes was now taking hours.

Getting the diagnosis was harder than hearing it

While the diagnosis was a kick in the gut to say the very least and eventually I had to give up my job; getting a diagnosis was even harder than hearing it. To have to convince someone who is looking at you as if you are lying, yet they are the only ones who can help you find the answer is nothing short of heartbreaking when you realize you are not being believed. I would often replay these appointments in my head and as I cried I would ask myself what I could’ve done different, what I should’ve emphasized more of, or what I should’ve said less of. Perhaps if I had dressed differently perhaps if hadn’t shown them my list of symptoms or argued when they spoke to me as if I was two years old. Once I Got in front of the right doctor everything changed. I was treated with steroids right away but more importantly with respect. I seek treatment at the Univ of Wa MS center in Seattle Washington and I’m grateful that I do.

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