MS Brain Function and my MS Symptoms
Our brains are the master controllers for our entire body. When
something, like Multiple
Sclerosis, causes scarring or damage to the brain, many things can be much
more difficult for us to do on a daily basis. So much of what our bodies can do
are so strongly affected by the scrambling or blocking of the nerve signals
that the brain sends throughout the rest of the body that there can be a long
list of the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis that
Because my case of Multiple Sclerosis was so severe near the beginning, after I
was first diagnosed with MS, I had many problems where I just could not
function on my own. I was used to being very independent, before my first major
attack of MS. I used to travel for work, I lived by myself with my 2 cats, I
worked long and unpredictable hours, I would hang out with my friends (whenever I could find
some time) and basically I kept very busy with every thing that I was doing
every day of the week. I rarely took much time to rest or to “just slow down
and smell the roses”. I was not really living life at that point.
After I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I could no longer work or drive. I could
not function enough to live on my own any more. I needed help with almost every
thing at first.
most people are diagnosed with MS, their early MS symptoms are not as
severe as mine were. Most of the time, the initial ms symptoms are very
subtle and not recognized as Multiple Sclerosis.
of this occurs because it often happens that it isn't until several
symptoms that come and go over a period of time are linked together,
that those who have the early symptoms of ms make the association of
these odd symptoms together -- that are being caused by the same
top of this, most people, whether they realize it or not, have an
unconscious habit of discounting things as not being anything. It
often isn't until a person experiences early ms symptoms often enough
enough for a pattern to emerge that raises questions or concerns that
there may be something more going on than just something minor that we
should discount as "nothing".
give you an idea of what I experienced with my early or initial
symptoms of MS, I have listed what I have determined, in hind sight, to
be my early symptoms of MS.
My list of early Multiple Sclerosis
* Vision -- eye pain, difficulty focusing, dimness of vision, double vision off and on.
* Hands -- problems picking things up, dropping everything, problems writing
and could not use even a spoon or fork for me to be able to feed myself. I had to eat with my
hands for 4 to 6 months before I was able start eating with a spoon or fork.
Cutting food with a knife was almost impossible for a period time.
* Legs –- loss of the ability to walk, balance problems. Standing okay at
first, but then that eventually went away too.
* Arms –- loss of muscle strength
* Spasms – mostly legs, arms, and hands with
some foot spasms
* Weakened Immune System - frequent and severe became a daily or weekly battle
* Nerve pain – eye and legs (more severe)
* Numbness – nerve pain turned into numbness for me; this became severe enough
that I could not feel my feet, hands, legs or arms; I burned myself often when
I cooked food because I could not feel heat or cold on my hands, arms, legs or
feet and I did not know that I was burning myself.
* Intolerance to Heat and Humidity – in spite of the numbness, being in a warm
or hot room made my symptoms so much worse. Higher humidity made me feel like I
could not breathe.
* Overheating -- I felt like I was on fire more often than not because I felt
like I was running fevers most of the time. Cooling off was difficult.
* Overwhelming Fatigue – the fatigue was so overwhelming that it was to difficult for me to do much of
anything for the first 2 to 3 years, even though I was sleeping on an average
of 10 to 14 hours each day.
– I had problems connecting to my surroundings or
registering what was going on around me. I also began to have
problems with figuring things out that were not a problem for me
to be able to do before.
* Bladder control problems or incontinence – this became such a severe
problem for me to where my bladder would drain on its own whenever I laid down
to sleep, I’d lose bladder control during the day and my bladder was also not
draining like it should be, which resulted in me having to catheterize to drain
the bladder. Frequent catheterization
set me up for frequent and severe bladder infections.Manyof
these symptoms of MS were noticed at first by other people, but not by
me. Often this is what happens, before the Multiple Sclerosis
diagnosis is determined to be what is really going on, that the ms
patient often doesn't realize is attacking their bodies.
early ms symptoms can vary greatly, but the ms symptoms that I have
listed above can give you an idea of what symptoms can often be
associated with the initial signs and symptoms of MS