Posted by: Thixia | July 18, 2008

Quest for a Diagnosis 1 of 2




The first MS symptom that I experienced was double vision.  In the early 80’s I saw a shadowy outline of all distant objects.  Sometimes the object separated into two distinct items, one lighter than the other.  The shadowy outline seemed to float to the left and up a little.  I mentioned this to my doctor and my optometrist off and on, for a few years and then I stopped.  I realized that they were not as concerned about this as I was. 


In the mid 1980’s I was diagnosed with a mood disorder.  (I have discovered that mood disorders can also a symptom of MS.)  I went to a new optometrist and mentioned my vision difficulty.  She tested me with a special instrument and verified that I did indeed see double.  She prescribed prisms for my glasses.  It was nice to see single objects again. 


I started to experience strange, disappearing symptoms.  These symptoms were well and active at home but hid themselves from my doctor.  I did not experience all of the symptoms all of the time.


Some of these ever, changing symptoms were: 


  • fatigue
  • blurred or double vision
  • eye pain (quick stabbing pains that disappear soon after they arrive)
  • muscle weakness
  • muscle spasms
  • restless leg syndrome
  • foot drop (one foot drags along the floor when walking causing one to trip, stumble, or fall
  • numbness and tingling in my left arm
  • itching in one spot for no reason
  • the feeling of bugs crawling along my arms
  • uncoordinated
  • imbalance
  • tremors of my left arm and leg
  • urinary incontinence
  • slow word recall
  • forgetfulness
  • short-term memory loss
  • other cognitive problems
  • impaired speech production
  • sensitivity to environmental heat 


In the summer of 1992 the symptoms were more intense and stayed longer.  I started to have times where I experienced greater imbalance difficulty.  My right foot started to drag as I walked, this is called toe-drop.  My left hand and arm developed a tremor. Fatigue started to debilitate me.  That summer seemed to be particularly hot.  Up to that point in time I had always enjoyed the heat.  I had loved hot baths, showers, sauna etc.  Not any more!


From 1992 on the heat made me extremely fatigued and dizzy, and also brought on these awful symptoms.  I mentioned these problems to my doctor.  She had me do the touching my nose thing, hold both my hands out and close my eyes, and she looked into my eyes as I followed her hand up, down, right, left.  (I will explain the purpose of these tests in greater detail at another time.)  The day of that appointment it was a good day for me, and I had few symptoms.  I received the figurative pat on the head.  I mentioned these problems to her off and on for another year or so.  I felt ignored.  I felt that my concerns were not validated.  I felt that she was saying, “This is all in your head, my dear.” 


In the spring of 1995 I started to experience intense, sharp, shooting pains in my cheek.  These pains always brought unbidden tears to my eyes. These pains moved like lightening bolts from my right temple into an area of my cheek and chin, repeatedly.  Soon I had greater problems with imbalance. I started to veer to the right when walking. When I walked with someone I usually bumped into them if they were on my right.  If I was walking alone on a sidewalk I would lose my balance when I suddenly found myself teetering on the edge of the sidewalk.  I was always able to catch myself before I fell outside.  I fall in the house, though, and I actually broke a toe twice.  I could no longer stand up in the shower. 


Then during the heat of that summer many of those old symptoms started to bother me again, plus a few more new ones.  My jaw was tingly, the tip of tongue tingled, and I had tremors in both feet and my left arm.  I started to know, without a doubt, that I had MS.  (Years before I had worked for the MS Society.)  I was determined not to tell anyone about my suspicions.  I did not want my self-diagnosis verified in any way.


Next, the neurological assesment, it was awful.



  1. i’ve been diagnosed with ms for about 5 years now . could handle that but this trigeminal neuralgia this is something else . the first attack clamp like my lower jaw left hand side witch lasted for 30 min.december2008.upped my medication attacked again injan 2009. but this time electric shocks lower left .also upper left .but only lasted for couple of mins but very just seems im getting attacked all the time. no remission .

  2. I’ve been diagnosed with MS for about 5 years now. I could handle that but this trigeminal neuralgia this is something else . The first attack clamp like crush. In my lower jaw left hand side which lasted for 30 minutes in December 2008. I upped my medication attacked again in Jan 2009, but this time electric shocks lower left and also upper left, but only lasted for couple of minutes but very painful. It just seems I’m getting attacked all the time. No remission.


    Hi Gerald,

    I hope the information on my other blog: will help you.


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