The start of the MS Journey
Let’s go back to the start of my multiple sclerosis journey.
It’s July 2018 and the country is basking in a long summer heat wave. I was enjoying a few weeks break between leaving my old job and starting a new one, using the time to catch up with friends, train for the Great North Run and Great Scottish Run and clean up the garden. Life was good.
One Friday night I met up with my friend Graeme that I hadn’t seen in a good few months. We had a few beers, a curry and generally put the world to rights before going out separate ways, agreeing that we shouldn’t wait as long until the next catch up.
As it turns out, this particular Friday was the 13th, maybe that should have been a clue. The next morning, I got out of bed and my balance, for lack of a better description, felt a bit weird. It wasn’t dizziness (or a hangover!) but something felt strange.
Come the Monday, I was sore and balance still wasn’t quite right. It was the traditional Glasgow Fair weekend so my local doctor surgery was closed but as luck would have it, I had an appointment arranged for the next day for something that would turn out to be the least of my problems. I left the GP surgery with a letter in hand and instructions to head for the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. I wouldn’t get home again for five weeks.
In that time, it was suggested it could be a stroke or a brain tumour, neither of which are exactly appealing options. Being told such things is something I found extremely hard to process, rather it left me in a state of shock. These were slowly eliminated through a series of tests, which included (deep breath) two CT scans, two MRI scans, two SPECT scans and two lumber punctures. Two must be my lucky number.
It was after four weeks that multiple sclerosis was first mentioned as a possibility and after five weeks of tests, examinations, questions, and general uncertainty I was discharged with “it looks like an unusual presentation of MS”. Quite what that meant was unclear, but one thing was obvious; my life was about to change. A new journey had just begun…