Life before diagnosis of multiple sclerosis
I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1995 but my journey started much earlier. In 1972 when I was nearly 18 I was in the pub having some beers with a couple of friends. Suddenly I had the urge to go to the loo but when I went nothing happened. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. This was the beginning of my life before diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
Advance to 1979
I was working in Christies South Kensington, the auctioneers. I used to be an auctioneer’s clerk for the silver department. Very important, during the sale I sat up on the podium next to the auctioneer. It was my job to write up the bills as the auction progressed It was the day of the silver sale; there I was on the podium in my suit trying to look very important.
The auctioneer reached lot 99
He started the bidding on a silver 3 piece teaset.
“Do I have a bid of £200?” he asked the room.
Bidding progressed steadily, “Its your bid at £320”. Suddenly I needed to go to the loo.
“I have a £400 bid at the back of the room”. Then the need became urgent.
“Selling for £470”. Now I couldn’t stop myself.
“Sold for £470” and the auctioneer banged down the gavel and then…. it was all too late.
My trousers were soaked
I couldn’t nudge the auctioneer and tell him to stop the sale. What could I do? I can’t remember what happened next except that I was very embarrassed. Okay I had wet my trousers, no that was not okay. Should I go to the loo or should I sit tight? It was all too embarrassing.
It happened again
A month later I was at a wedding. I had had a couple of sherries for lunch and was sitting at the back of the church. Suddenly I needed to go to the loo. I couldn’t hold on, my bladder just emptied itself. It hurts me just to think about either of these episodes.
Just one off events
At the time The Wife to be and I were living in London and not registered with the doctor. Why tell anyone about these episodes when they just appeared and then disappeared. Were these events significant? In fact I put them in the back of my mind and did not think about them again for many years.
A few years later
I started to get the occasional sensation of urgency. I had to get to the loo in a hurry and have a pee. This always seemed to coincide with having a cup of coffee but it was only a sporadic event. Sometimes a tiny leak before I reached the loo but nothing serious. I just thought it happened to everyone and was a part of getting older.
Advance to 1995
I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis after an MRI scan. The consultant who gave me the news said it was relapsing remitting and told me to come back in six months’ time. but it was all a blur. He was not at all helpful.