I just found this community through MS Australia as I am worried about some symptoms that have been creeping up on me. To be honest, an MS diagnosis would be a welcome relief at this point, as my mind has been going to Alzheimers, ALS or brain tumour. (Dr Google has a lot to answer for.)
I am a 50 year old woman with a healthy diet and reasonably fit for my age. For the last year or so, I have noticed some slurring of my speech. It started with difficulty with ‘th’ sounds. I thought I was just stressed and tired due to my work – I worked in a very high pressure, emotionally exhausting environment, as well as being a sole parent of kids who do a lot of stuff. Never enough hours in the day. I quit my job a few months ago and am now in a much happier place, work wise, but my speech has become somewhat worse. I have difficulty with complex sound groupings (ironically, ‘multiple sclerosis’ is very tricky to pronounce). My speech is better some days than others, and much worse when I’m tired. I tend to start the day well, but it deteriorates. It feels like my tongue and to a lesser extent, my lips, won’t do as they’re told. I am better when I rehearse what I am about to say, and I’m still fluent when I sing. I also frequently lose my train of thought half way through a sentence. I can pick it up pretty quickly, but I do tend to speak with long pauses. (It could be that I’m just easily distractible.) Struggling to find the right word is common (although perhaps no more so than for friends my age). I’ve also noticed that my handwriting is appalling. It has been pretty bad for many years, as I’m always making notes in a hurry, but now it’s bad even when I deliberately slow down to write properly. It’s like my brain is thinking too fast for my hand and I stumble over myself. I have no tingling sensations or numbness in my body (I recall a few months of numbness in a half of my big toe about 10 years but that’s about it.) I get up all night to pee – up to about three times, although this has recently reduced to about once. I am also having hot flushes, both day and night, despite being a couple of years past menopause. (I did get them during menopause, but they tapered off over a year ago, only to return with a vengeance recently.) My short term memory is not great (although friends around the same age seem to have similar issues). I experienced pretty severe cognitive fog during menopause (kind of walking around in a confused daze) but I feel OK at the moment. In fact, reasonably sharp. I have also had a low level depression for quite a while, but I think it’s reactive – self-consciousness about my slurred speech. Having said that though, even those closest to me say they haven’t noticed my speech. I think I am learning to mask it well. I’m not sure, but I might have become a bit clumsy. Very occasionally, I will spill tea down the front of me because I didn’t quite make it to my mouth. Or I will bump into something I wasn’t expecting to be there. But only very occasionally, and I probably wouldn’t even notice if I wasn’t looking for symptoms.
Needless to say, I intend to see my doctor shortly and get a neurologist referral, because there’s something going on that’s not right.
Thanks for reading, and I would really appreciate comments from anyone who might have experienced a similar constellation of symptoms.
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