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Why It’s Important to Promptly Address Changes in MS Symptoms

Why It’s Important to Promptly Address Changes in MS Symptoms
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Tingling fluttered down my spine and into my butt. 

“What on earth was that?” I thought.

I bent my head forward again, and the same thing happened. 

“OK, that’s weird.”

I sat on our spare bed, confused. I was sure I’d experienced this before, years ago. 

“Is this a relapse?” The question buzzed in my mind. 

Those of us with multiple sclerosis may often wonder this. Any new, strange feeling, and we automatically think, “Oh no!” 

I’ll admit that I was a little scared to call my nurse. I didn’t want her to say, “Yes, you’re having a relapse.” I’d felt so exhausted lately, and it was beginning to drive me crazy. “The cold weather is the likely culprit,” I kept telling myself. 

Seven days passed, and I didn’t take any action. Desperate for a distraction, I threw myself into work. One morning, I casually mentioned to my husband that this weird symptom was still happening intermittently. He passed me my phone and said, “Call your MS nurse, just in case.”

“I’ll do it later,” I said, still scared my nurse would tell me it was a relapse and I’d need to start injections again. I could not begin injections again. There was no way. I’m not strong enough to go through that again. 

“Jess, stop putting this off and call her. You’re creating a story in your mind that’s not true, and it’s affecting you. I can tell,” he said. I hate it when he’s right. 

I called my MS nurse. Expecting the usual answering machine, I was surprised when she picked up straight away.

After explaining everything that had happened, we concluded it wasn’t a relapse. I took the deepest breath. I was so relieved. It’s a symptom I’d experienced before, it’s intermittent, and everything pointed to it being a one-off instead of a relapse. My nurse thanked me for letting her know and said these things always need to be reported to have a clear idea about how to respond in the future.

Always call your MS nurse if something changes. 

So often we tell ourselves stories that aren’t true. It leaves us questioning everything. We may spend days, weeks, or even years going around in the same circles, not sorting out the problem until we have no choice. We stop ourselves from moving on by not dealing with the problem in front of us.

Today, it’s your mission to be brave. Reply to the message that made you feel uneasy. Have that awkward conversation you know you need to have. Call your nurse. Do whatever you need to do. Stop putting it off and take a stand. Do it. Get it done and out of your head. You’ll feel lighter.

***

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Jessie is the host of the DISabled to ENabled podcast and author of the “ENabled Warriors Symptom Tracker” book. She’s also an illustrator working with MS charities and magazines worldwide. She’s interviewed paralympians, radio DJs, chronic illness bloggers, marathon runners, and more. Jessie, based in the U.K., was diagnosed with MS at 22 years old and was told by a doctor to “go home and Google it” to find out what MS was for herself. Her own experience of being newly diagnosed so young was negative and scary, so she fills the internet with positivity for other anxious MS Googlers to stumble upon.
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Jessie is the host of the DISabled to ENabled podcast and author of the “ENabled Warriors Symptom Tracker” book. She’s also an illustrator working with MS charities and magazines worldwide. She’s interviewed paralympians, radio DJs, chronic illness bloggers, marathon runners, and more. Jessie, based in the U.K., was diagnosed with MS at 22 years old and was told by a doctor to “go home and Google it” to find out what MS was for herself. Her own experience of being newly diagnosed so young was negative and scary, so she fills the internet with positivity for other anxious MS Googlers to stumble upon.

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4 comments

    • Jessie Ace says:

      Hi Kathy, I’m not quite sure what you mean. This was a real-life situation that happened a couple of weeks ago. I did not have a relapse – yay! 🙂 hope you are well. #StayENabled – Jess

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