So it was about two weeks into my new job where the pins and needles sensations in my arm increased, I kept wondering what was happening and still had no results from my Scan taken a week earlier. I shared with my new manager what was happening as I just could not carry on, I was tearful and scared. She immediately send me to our Emergency department where I saw a lovey ED Consultant, who took a full history and then set off to chase my MRI results. I went back to the office to wait for a phone call.
I did not receive a call, but a visit to my office from the ED Consultant. I obviously thought immediately the worst. As a Health professional its so hard to separate your clinical head and your own health, I knew before he opened his mouth there was something found on the MRI and I was right.
I can remember clearly that bench in the hospital we sat on outside, he informed me that there was a area that was ‘lit up’ on my MRI of the cervical spinal cord that could indicate some inflammation and could be MS. He immediately referred me to the hospitals Consultant Neurologist who saw me three days later. I was given a diagnosis at this appointment as ‘Myelitis’ and a short course of high does steroids to see if this would alleviate the symptoms. I did not fully meet the MS diagnosis criteria which in some ways was great but in others not as there was no further treatment apart from symptom relief medications for my painful sensations in my arms and now leg. It was about 18 months later now when I had a second opinion as my symptoms were just not improving. My scans were stable during those 18 months with no further plaques/areas of inflammation on Brain or spine. I had endured a lumbar puncture to aid diagnosis in that time and had a CSF leak following due to the traumatic procedure. This required a blood patch to rectify in theatre which was like someone had waved a magic wand over my excruciating headache and dizziness. My CSF was negative and no IgG oligoclonal bands detected in spinal fluid, more positive evidence against MS. Apparently around 90% of MS patients have them in their CS, could I be one of the 10% without?
The 2nd opinion appointment came through, I was to be on another journey of further investigations…..