“So, how long have you had M.S.?” Part 2.

Where were we? Ah yes, 1995. I was ‘better’. I think a quick gallop through the next 20 years will suffice ( sorry, I’m having to take a deep breath here. 1995 was more than 20 years ago. How did that happen?).

1995 to 2003 – married, divorced, BA in Educational Studies. Jobs in e learning and internet content management. Symptoms – well, I still had that right leg dragging thing when I was tired. And I was tired a lot, but I put that down to having a busy and, at times, stressful, life. It wasn’t as bad as the early 1990s though.

2003 – I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis, culminating in extensive surgery. Endometriosis is another ‘difficult to diagnose’ one: I had been going to the G.P. for what felt like years, complaining about abdominal pain. Clearly, it would not be prudent nor safe to send everyone with a uterus off for a diagnostic laparoscopy on initial complaints of pain, but I had a good few years of being told that it would settle down when I had a baby. Or that I had IBS. Well, I was never going to have that baby: my insides had been messed up for quite some time. And if I did have IBS…well, everyone’s bowels would be a bit irritated with being infiltrated in 2 places by endometrial tissue. Anyway. It was very painful. Was it anything to do with M.S.? No idea. Perhaps there’s an autoimmune link somewhere?

Let’s skip on our merry way to 2015…after obtaining a 2nd degree, this time in Human Nutrition with Dietetics, I went to work in Liverpool as a lecturer in Nutritional Science (I loved that job. Loved Liverpool, still do). I was made redundant, so I moved back to Glasgow to be with my shiny new husband (I’m still with this one. He’s very lovely. No plans to let this one go. I’ve even got adult stepchildren. See, there was no need for me to risk a prolapse by giving birth! Every cloud…) Clearly, I needed to do something, so I started a course in Edinburgh. Edinburgh is 50 miles away from Glasgow, and I don’t drive, so I was doing 14 hour days by the time you factor in public transport. I managed that for 3 weeks…

October 2015. Picture this: a frustrated, pale, ginger, angry-looking woman trekking through Edinburgh, bumping into lamp-posts, buildings, and people, limping as she goes, and swearing as quietly as she can under her breath, for this is Edinburgh and they don’t like Glaswegians at the best of times, let alone ones who appear to have been on the Buckfast at 8 o clock in the morning.

[Interjection: I’m from the West of Scotland, not actually Glasgow but close. Also, I’ve never had Buckfast. It looks horrible.]

The frustrated, pale etc woman was me. For some reason, the peripheral vision had deteriorated in my left eye. My eyesight seemed really bad anyway. My left eye was quite sore too. I was absolutely exhausted, perhaps that’s why my right leg was dragging?

I’ve always been very myopic, so off I went for an eye test. They confirmed that my prescription was much worse than it had been 2 years before, and that my peripheral vision did seem to be impaired, but my eyes were physiologically OK. Maybe I should go to the doctor?

I think we know what comes next, but I’m going to have a Part 3…

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