Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Symptom Profiling?

Multiple Sclerosis is known to share symptoms that many other diseases have. It is for this reason why it's hard to diagnose and easy to misdiagnose, so it can cause us to blame MS for everything. Pain, fatigue, memory, and everything under the sun is experienced by MS patients, but it is also experienced by people who do not have MS.

For two years I've been having pain in the left side of my chest, I ignored it but after a while it started becoming more frequent and painful. I told my general practitioner that I've been having chest pain and had an EKG, chest x-ray, and an ultrasound. All of them came back normal. I explained it to my neurologist and he predicts that its an inflammation in the cartilage of my ribs. I asked if it was MS related and he said he wasn't completely sure. I'm paranoid that one day I will have a chest pain and ignore it, assuming it is MS related, and it could be something more serious. My girlfriend also experiences this symptom but she said she couldn't explain it so who knows if that was MS related or not or if it was the same thing I experienced.

It is easy to assume that an elder person with memory problems may have Alzheimer's but could in fact be caused by MS, or it could even be caused by nothing at all. My point is almost every symptom you can have with MS, also happens in regular people who don't have MS. Everyone gets fatigued, experiences pain, and can be forgetful. I noticed in my teens I was increasingly becoming more forgetful. I joked around that I had teenage Alzheimer's.

The general public and your peers will even assume that symptoms may or not be caused by MS. I was pulled over for speeding onetime and while I was talking to the officer my speech was slurred. I've had slurred speech even before I knew I had MS. He asked me if I had any drinks that night and I said no sir. He made me get out of my car and do a walking test. Of course I failed because I have bad balance. I told him that I wasn't drinking and he asked why my balance was bad and that I had slurred speech. I told him that I had MS and told him I could prove I wasn't drunk by performing a breath test. I passed the test obviously with a 0.00 and he let me go with just a warning. Also, I called a friend one day if he could help me move some furniture and he assumed I couldn't because of MS, but the fact of the matter was the furniture was really heavy for even a body builder.

For the most part, I blame everything on MS but the realization is that it might not be caused by MS. So from now on if I something bothers me, I don't tell people I have MS I just tell them the exact symptom I'm experiencing just so that people's assumptions won't run rampant!