Monday, 5 January 2009

My MS History - Part Three

For the story so far see My MS History - Part One and Part Two

I was now on the books of a consultant neurologist - Dr G.

After re-capping my symptoms with one of his grim-faced registrars - Dr S - I spent 45 minutes undergoing the usual tests. I did my trick of not being able to walk heel to toe with my eyes closed, I watched a pen travel in front of my face from left to right and back again, I had the soles of my feet tickled, and the tops pricked with a pin, my reflexes were tapped with a hammer, I had to read an eye chart, walk a distance in a straight line, remember a phrase, say what day of the week it was, resist having my arms lifted and pushed against... all sorts of tests to ascertain what was wrong with me and how serious it was.

Only when I returned to Dr S's office, did I voice my fears.

I was fixed with a stern look: "It's not a brain tumour. Don't worry."

Instant relief... Phew!

Apparently there were a number of reflections on the CT Scan which might, just might possibly be inflammation caused by MS... Maybe... and if it was MS, which it might not be, to remember that a lot of people with MS lead long fulfilling blah.. blah.. blah..


Is that all!

I can deal with MS!

Hang on though, who do I know with MS?...

"Ermm... my old neighbour had MS, and she was a bit crazy, like talking to a little girl. No short term memory at all. Kept repeating herself..."

"blah blah... advances in treatment... every case is different... blah blah..."

It's not a tumour then - I can deal with MS.

The upshot of the meeting was that further tests needed to be done before anything could be confirmed, starting with an MRI scan.

A couple of weeks later, I found myself in the MRI suite of the hospital, with all metallic objects removed and a new pair of Primark trakkie bottoms on (with the metal eyelets cut out of them) that I haven't worn since. It being Sheffield, a number of pieces of paper were blu-tacked to the wall warning ex-steel workers of the damage that might be done to them with a large electro-magnet and the accumulation of metallic dust in their systems.

The very amiable MRI bloke asked me if I wanted some music while being scanned: "Rolling Stones or Beach Boys?"

"Er, Beach Boys please."

So there I was awaiting polarisation with headphones some padding and a metal cage wrapping my head so close it made contact with my nose.

"OK - this first scan will take two minutes, don't worry about the noise, if you are uncomfortable or anxious at all press the buzzer"



Lying perfectly still, afraid to swallow in case it mucked up the scans, I spent an hour in a noisy white tube, a little claustrophobic, but OK because I could press a buzzer and I could occasionally exchange comments with the radiologist. All this, while the intricate inner workings of my head revealed themselves on a computer screen just beyond the window of the adjacent room.

part 4 >


  1. Hello Dave,

    Thanks for sharing getting diagnosed read part one to three.

    I too thought I had a brain tumour and was going to die quickly.

    When I saw the neurologist for the MRI results we waited for one and a half hours and then in five minutes were told that I had primary progressive MS and not to look it up on the internet I should wait til the next appointment when he would give me all the information on MS.

    Within minutes we were back in the hall, stunned, shocked and both crying.

    Not a shred of sympathy or compassion nothing
    Months later the same 'kindly' doctor gave me a ten years out of date book to read.

    Luckily we had looked it up right away and had not waited for the doc to tell us.

    Cheek of the man telling me to stay ignorant.

    A very unpleasant man even nasty to his own colleagues.

    The last time I saw him was last April, by then I was fulltime in a wheelchair and he actually asked me how I had managed to get into a wheelchair so quickly!

    Don't see any neurologists anymore as there are no drugs for me and they can't make a diagnosis something that makes them nervous and unhappy.

    My GP is good which is a bonus, she is very supportive of me and Richie and it's good to be able to talk with her. By the the way my partner says he remembers being in Chesterfield and talking to some locals who took him to the irish pub, he has pleasant memories, he loved the countryside.

    Will look in at your blog regularly, going to add you to the link list.
    Take care.

    Ps came via Lisa’s blog
    Richie's blog is

  2. Hi Dave,

    Just came by to say hello.
    Have a good Sunday.


  3. Hi,
    Came by to say hello and wish you well.
    Hope you are having a good day.