Dec 11, 2010

Could it be MS?

I saw my third internal medicine specialist this week. My PCP, prompted by my recent high ANA level, decided my case was worthy of another look.

After taking a detailed history, the specialist told me that she didn't think my symptoms sounded like lupus, she said they made her consider MS.

Holy crap.

I have only known two people with MS, one spent two decades in a nursing home, the other spent most of her life in a wheelchair. That is scary, scary stuff.

Still, whatever is wrong with me is what it is. Discovering it -naming it - isn't going to make it worse.

Of course, she may come back with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which is just as good as Fibromyalgia for ensuring that you will be laughed out of most doctor's offices, and have eye rolls going behind your back.

The power of diagnosis. I wonder if physicians appreciate how much rests on having a name, a reason other than 'all in your head' to explain why you aren't fully participating in life?

1 comment:

  1. Awesome that your doctor was willing to take another look and not write it off to "all in your head." Sucks that it might be MS.

    I live in an area with a higher than average incidence of MS. I personally know seven people with MS. One always uses a cane; three sometimes need a cane but usually walk without problem; three I had no idea had MS because they walk perfectly. One of the perfect-walkers and two of the sometimes-cane-users hike for recreation. One of the people is the mayor of a nearby town and is able to perform all of her duties regardless of her diagnosis; five of the others are employed full-time. The only one who isn't employeed volunteers about 30 hours a week (and was offered a job, but declined because she wants to set her own hours).

    Sorry so long-winded. I was hoping to provide a little encouragement that there are treatments for MS; you're not doomed if that's what it is.