These early posts are a background - getting to where I am today - and follow on from previous posts.
I was called back to see my neurologist - someone drafted in by my local health trust to plug the gap in neurology services. As such, he only came to the city during weekends and my first proper appointment with him was in April 2009.
Because it was a Saturday, my other half (from here on in, called J) was lazing about. He had been up early for work all week and I insisted that he stay at home. This is a reflection on just how sure I was that nothing was wrong. But when I sat in front of my neurologist, he talked around the results before tentatively coming out with, “There’s a chance that you have MS.”
As a journalist I had interviewed MS patients before, I knew what it meant and I remember switching off a bit as he continued the conversation. He was very vague. “Is it MS? Maybe. Maybe not.” But he was very clear that my MRI scan had showed up sections of demyelination in my brain - a sign of the condition.
The rest of the conversation seemed to fly by. He told me to go home, live my life and see what happened. In fact, his very words were, “Come back and see me if something happens. You know, if your foot falls off or whatever.” On reflection, his manner with me was disgraceful. I can only hope that anyone else who has the unfortunate circumstance of seeing him after me is treated with a bit more dignity. That he told a young woman, with her whole life in front of her, news with such massive consequences, and play it down so off-hand, is beyond belief.
But, there was nothing I could do but drive home and ponder the future. When I walked in the front door, my fiancé took one look at me and I burst into tears. In the few seconds it took for me to get out exactly what the consultant had I said, I think J had me dead and buried.
In all of this situation, that’s something I hold close. I was not given a death sentence.