My MS journey begins, 24 years before diagnosis

My MS journey begins, 24 years before diagnosis

Cascading water in Iceland

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.

Awkward moment

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.

Associated articles

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My unreliable bladder






November 2021

2 responses to “My MS journey begins, 24 years before diagnosis”

  1. Mal Kiely says:

    Thank you. That’s a great way to share the start of your MS Journey. I continue to work mine thru!

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