It's now been 4 months since one of the Rush Hospital's MS specialists declared "You may not have MS". And I still find it hard to understand why not.
Like after my visit to the regular neurology department at Rush yesterday
Dr - The damages in your brain could be from other causes than MS. Possibly even your diabetes.
ME - I can understand the diabetes causing my neuropathy. But what about the vestibular (hearing and balance) loss? Or the muscle spasms?
Dr - Those wouldn't be caused by diabetes. Those are still puzzling.
ME - But MS would explain them.
Dr - Yes, but it may not be MS. So we're just going to treat the symptoms.
I left with an order for Vestibular Physical Therapy, a plan to see if I can sleep for more than 2 hours at a time and wondering why I want a label for my disease.
Today I know why.
At least with MS, while there was no cure but there is at least plenty of research going on. There are new drugs and new clinical trials. Without a diagnosis of MS I wouldn't be eligible.
Even when discussing why I was taken off of the MS drug I had been on, Rebif, I was told that the side effects outweighed the suspected benefit. I didn't ask at the time, but would the same be said for trying other, newer drugs that work differently? Would my insurance even pay for it since I was no longer confirmed to have MS?
Another reason I want that MS label - I now feel like an MS imposter. Should I stop going to my MS Aquatics and Yoga classes? I won't stop because I know they are helping me so much. But still I have thought about it.
Should I stop reading and responding to MS forums and pages? I get so much new information and I identify so well with everyone in them. I understand what they are going through. I'm going through it too.
Only now, apparently what I'm going through is not MS. Just an unknown condition that is affecting parts of my body without displaying signs in the appropriate parts of my brain.
When I left the doctor yesterday, it felt like I had left all avenues of hope back in his office.