high heels | hot mail | hip wheels

1997 Archive 2: My symptoms progress

Stiletto Wheels Rev Stethescope

Helpful Advice?

I noticed the first clear symptoms in January 1997 – pins and needles in both feet that did not go away.  Poor footwear, a back problem?  I visited an osteopath a reflexologist and an acupuncturist.  No luck.  I seemed to get worse not better.

The pins and needles were spreading upwards. A friend suggested a chiropracter who immediately said, ‘pins and needles in both feet?’  This would mean that I had two exact and equivalent problems on each side of my back, which was hugely unlikely.  He referred me to my GP.

In May 1997, I went to see my GP of ten years standing.  I had seen her a handful of times for flu in that decade.  She looked up, told me to go away and take more exercise.  OK… I felt like a fraud but maybe I would shrug it off.

Over the next couple of months, the pins and needles spread up to my knees and across my face.  I had double vision when looking up and sideways.  My walking problems became much worse – I was kind of flat footed and walking very slowly, as if I had a broom up my bottom!

My physical difficulties were becoming noticeable to my work colleagues.  None of us understood it.  I was not tired.  Intellectually: completely sound.  Just struggling to walk.

In a cab with my boss, I say that I am worried I may have MS.

‘I had a girlfriend who was diagnosed with that,’ he says, ‘I had to leave her.  She would have held me back.  She was better off without me.’  No doubt!

I go back to my GP and insist on a referral to both a private consultant and an NHS one.  In July, I get a letter from my local NHS hospital.  They have no neurologist but are recruiting.  I will be placed on the waiting list and, when they get one, I will be given an appointment; this is likely to be in one to two years!

Privately, in the same month, I go to see my first neurologist – Dr W.  He does a few basic tests.  ‘You clearly have a neurological problem.’  Relief.

In my naivety, I assume this is good news.  They will tell me what is wrong and cure me.  Bliss!

I am referred for a lot of scans and tests.  I discover the claustrophobic conditions of every scanner!  I know that I am totally unfazed by needles.  All the tests show nothing.

How can this be?  I continue to get worse.  I cannot walk without support.  I am in the city, trying to cross the road.  I cannot step down a kerb.  My colleagues, ahead, turn.  ‘Come on, what’s wrong?’

With a huge mental effort, I make myself step forward.  I know now that I had lost my sense of spatial awareness – the connection between mind and body that allows you to move confident of safety.  My mind was not receiving the ‘safe’ messages and was stopping me from moving.

I carry on.  A huge work project was successfully concluded in November – the month of my birthday.  EaZyD and I headed off to our favourite country hotel.  I took a bath, long and slow, before dinner.  I tried to get out of the bath.  I couldn’t stand up.

Frantically, I called EaZyD.  He was puzzled.  I was weeping.  He got in the bath, with towel, and hauled me upright.  With his help, I climbed, shakily out of the bath.  We were both stunned and afraid.  We drove home the next day.

In early December, Dr W calls.  He thinks I have a blood clot on my brain.

Within four days, I am in hospital.  I spend December undergoing huge numbers of scans and tests.  They establish that there is a blockage in my spine stopping the messages going through from head to legs.  The doctors do not know why.

I now cannot stand, let alone walk!  I go home in a wheelchair for Christmas.  I go back to hospital straight after the New Year.  1998…it must be a better year?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: