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Friday, April 27, 2012

Daggy Dad & MS

Easter 2011...

My sister said...

"Sounds like you should see a general practioner [medical doctor:GP]"

This was her reply to my telling her of a weird feeling in my left leg when I nodded my head, like when you knock your elbow, but repeatable, and without pain.

So I booked a consultation with the local doctor. The next nine months was a time of some uncertainty, and inevitably, a [probable] prognosis of multiple sclerosis. A new road: Daggy Dad & MS

Possible symptoms as I look back or any sign before Easter 2011?

90's to 2006

When I think about me, I think I am fit enough for a fifty something bloke. I do not do anything like gym workouts, or jog, or any sports apart from windsurfing or speedsailing on my windsurfers. Or trying to teach it. The career change of raising kids and then doing that and having a part time delivery job instead of working on a drilling rig as an oil/gas exploration geologist leaves me plenty of time to stay fit. Leaves.

I think back and try to see whether MS was coming on earlier with any recognisable signs. My dad's sister, who I have never called "Aunty" or "Aunt" as far as I can remember anyway and is about twelve years older than me, was diagnosed in the mid 90's, [as my late grandfather told me c.a. 1999], from memory. So maybe it is in the family.

In the late 90's, I noticed I was tending to easily get sprained ankles, is that a symptom? I dunno, but I was pretty care full at work and when windsurfing after that time. I once half filled a fresh jar of coffee with boiling water instead of my mug, but I was trying to do two things at once, as I told my sister who was on the phone at the time... Not a symptom really, but funny at the time.

2006 to 2011

During the late noughties:

  1. I had funny numb spot near [one ] of my knees, I thought that was weird, but not worth telling anyone. I could tell I was brushing my leg, but it felt different from the same spot on the other leg, skin wise anyway..
  2. Numb spot on a left hand finger- weird, but, a/a.
  3. I noticed that I was seeing colours differently between left and right eyes. Red colours were not as bright with the right eye compared to the left eye, and overall vision was greyer(?) as well in the right.
  4. When I walk down steps, I have an odd stance or feeling, like I am not bending my knees enough or properly- but I do not want another ACL or joint scraping job done either.


With the colour thing, I told my optician on the usual "I dropped a twig in my eye doing the garden" visit, who sent me off for a special batch of tests in the big smoke, which resulted in Nothing Out Of The Ordinary Sir...

February 2011

I was sitting  at work in my delivery van, bent my head down to switch radio stations, and BANG! there was a strange feeling down the left leg from bum to foot in a couple of spots, like if I had hit my elbow and got that same strange feeling, but it was in a few but only finger wide spots. That is, I could touch the spots, not like a line down the leg in it.

As well as the feeling [twitches?], I had a sore neck at the time too, relieved by some rolling the noggin around and back stretches and cracking the spine, and sometimes relieved by a chiropratic session.

In addition was an occasional weird sound that could be tinnitus in the left ear. Like a mis-reading of a CD, a sort of random on/off static  or clicking like sound, not annoying, but there.

Easter 2011 at The Gurk, I was telling people about it, the eye trouble was a repeat from a previous year, with no comments as to what it was, apart from my sister. Ree said, see a GP, soonish!

Seeing the doc

Well, I was later that month at the local clinic, the doctor was new to me, the usual family GP was not in. Start the spiel...

After describing a few things to her, she wanted me to get x-rays and an MRI. Just in case there was something going on.

From the x-rays done on my neck, it looked like there might have be a boney growth in a neck vertebrae nestling up too close to the spinal cord.

The doc said, "Easy, we can get in there and get rid of that".

Wow, "we" are not comfortable with "us" diving in with a file there!

In any case, the doc wanted me to see a neurologist on the clinic's list of available specialists, and one was at Monash in The Big Smoke. [great, more travel...]

After buggerising around, as the guy she had on her list was actually in another state, the clinic people at Monash finally got around to sorting that problem out and booked me to see Dominic, mid year.

Unfortunately, I had my fan club with me (my twin pre-teen gels) when I saw Dom. Which, was not a problem just I felt odd. We talked over what was going on with me, what was odd and sorting out age and MS related symptoms and all that, and Dom said that I should get a MRI scan done soon.

Well. There was good and bad with that. The lesions in my neck from the x-ray were enough, a possible solution with out surgery!

Lucky enough, there was the 'portable' MRI on a Semi-trailer visiting the local country hospital in a month or two (...!) and I was booked in. 

In the mean time I was booked back into the Monash neurology clinic for some tests a few weeks later.  Okay then. I wanted to get to the bottom of it all.

Another two hour city bound trip for... a thirty minute eye test! As a scientifically interested person, it was fun to see in action how my brain was working. Or not.

next consultation

From the MRI images it "looked like MS" to Dom when I saw him again in September. They were not excellent images according to Dom, as if the radiologists in the portable unit were useless! But readable enough for him to confirm what he thought was clear indications of a slight to mild case of MS.

The eye test was also a confirmation too, there was definitely a problem with the right eye signals, and maybe a little bit with the let one.

I was to start thinking about possible treatment courses. Two types, one with some side affects

My aunt told via Skype when she was travelling in the US, to get on to a treatment as soon as possible, as that she regretted not taking it up as soon as she could have.

Latest consultation

In February 2012, I saw Ernest, a neurologist specialist in MS at the Monash MS Clinic in the Big Smoke. Another city trip for a twenty minute consult. Half the day gone in travel.

Yep, he told me I had a slight to mild case of MS. Daggy Dad & MS, the new road.

Hmm. Do I need to go to medication? A treatment plan?

No was the answer. Not until a definite progression over the next year can be seen, i.e. from another cranial MRI about August and another consult next February [2013].

Ah well, a new adventure.
PS my sister thinks she might have it too, a numb tongue...








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