A.J. Walker

Multiple Sclerosis etc

Dr. Appointment

Oh my, it has been five months since I've put anything in this Health section of the website. That, my friends, is a good thing as it basically means that things have been moving along fine with regard to the MS. My diagnosis was eleven months ago. This time last year, pre-diagnosis, I was having the frightening problem of not being able to feel anything much at all from my waist down to my toes and was worrying that I had a brain tumour. Now I've not got anything severe at all: some minor pins and needles in the feet and the very occasional slight MS hug malarkey. The only thing I really notice day to day is a reduced bladder capacity resulting in more frequent – and sometimes hurried! – visits to dewater. It's not usually a problem; though if I think I might want to go then I should definitely should take the next opportunity!

Anyways, today I went to the Walton Centre to see my MS Doctor. The last time I saw him in person was when I was in the hospital bed and he was giving me the news of my diagnosis following the MRIs. Other than that I've had one Zoom call with him (and a student), and I've had two or three calls from the Walton Centre MS nurses.

The actual appointment with my Dr – and of course a student – went well. I reported my current and recent (medium term) condition i.e. that I was probably fitter than I had been for years, having taken on a physical job, and that I was also lighter than I've been for several/many years. He did some standard tests: walk toe to heel, hands out and touch your nose without looking, pushing legs/arms against his pushes, checking feelings in feet and banging the knees with a nobbly hammer and all that kind of thing. I'm not sure what the pass score was but I think I'm pretty sure I blitzed it.

The Doc asked if I had any questions and I didn't really apart from to ask if there was much happening with regard to understanding the disease. He laughed a little and said MS was one of the most studied neurological diseases but that they really didn't understand a lot about the whole thing – including why some people get worse attacks than others, or why the frequency varied so much etc. He said the Walton Centre were likely to get funding into a study looking into some aspects of that (I think with the consideration that there is a genetic component to it). I wasn't asked at this time, but of course I'd be happy to get involved with any study (think it will be largely through blood tests). Other than that he said progress was basically incremental.

All in all though it was a very quick (about ten minutes) appointment. Partly of course because things are progressing smoothy at the moment – and long may that continue. At the end of the meeting he suggested meeting one of the MS Nurses as even if I didn't really have any questions it was good to put a face to a name after all the telephone only contact. I took the opportunity and had a nice face to face meeting with Jenni – and MS nurse with specialty in movement disorders. She didn't have anything to add as things are going well at the moment. She did say exercise was really good so the physical job is definitely a positive thing. As far as putting a face to a name it was actually just half a face for now as we were masked up. Perhaps by the time I need to see the doc or nurse again we'll be living in a post-mask era. Perhaps.

Onwards and upwards.
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