My MS journey begins, 24 years before diagnosis
Some events are very significant, and the emotional impact is unforgettable. Think of marriage, death of a spouse or parent. I will never forget that moment in 1996 when the consultant uttered the words “You have multiple sclerosis”. Many years later I realised my MS journey started 24 years before my diagnosis.
My MS journey starts
I was in a pub on a hot summer’s day in 1972 with a couple of friends. I was taking the first sip of my second pint of Hook Norton ale when everything changed in the blink of an eye. Suddenly I had a desperate urge to get to the loo in double quick time.
“I need to have a pee now” was all I could thinks about.
There was no gentle sensation telling me that at some point in the foreseeable future that I ought to go to the gents.
Instead my brain was shouting ‘GET TO THE LOO, NOW!’. A non negotiable sensation.
I rushed into the loo.
Quickly undid the button of my jeans and yanked down the zip. Just in time I pulled out my willy from inside my pants. PHEW.
Now I stood stood to have a wee but the sensation of needing a pee had flown out of the window. Not even a few drops could I pee, so totally disappointing.
I stood there totally mystified and confused.
I did not understand what had happened.
Was this a part of growing up or just one of life’s little mysteries? I thought no more about it.
I remember going back into the bar. My friends telling me that I could not possibly have been away long enough to have a pee. I probably made some off-the-cuff joke and forgot about the event for a very long time. That is probably the first time that the multiple sclerosis gremlin made its presence felt. It completely disappeared only to return in trumps a few years later but that is another story.
Now what should I do?
If I had seen a doctor the next day and suggested that something was amiss, would he have considered further investigation? I suspect the doctor, like me, would have dismissed the matter as a one-off incident and added there is no need for me to worry. Would that happen today?
Back in 1972
I was only a teenager; not old enough to drink anything alcoholic in a pub and far too self-conscious to talk to anyone about the recent incident. I convinced myself it was nothing to serious. That day in 1972 really was the start of my MS journey.