I hope you'll find someone to accompany you to the doctor's office tomorrow, you really shouldn't do this alone, furryfour. Can your family members help you with the BP reading and taking you to your appt tomorrow? Do let us know what happens.
It could be MS, and it could be a hundred other conditions that share similar symptoms. You must see a neurologist for an assessment. If the doc suspects MS then you will undergo brain and spine MRIs; a neurologic exam that checks your cranial nerve functions, balance, coordination, vision, strength, and reflexes; and a lumbar puncture.
It's not an easy diagnosis to make--and since you have some other medical conditions that can further muddy the waters, be prepared for a delay in pinning down what is ailing you.
If you decide to seek out a specialist's opinion, please do give us an update. I hope it isn't MS, but if it turns out that way, you have many sources of support and info here and elsewhere. Best of luck to you.
I have a history of migraines as do many MS patients. I wouldn't call them chronic at this point, they occur less often the older I get. Migraines are vascular, MS is neurological, and there is a dimly understood connection between them.
A hereditary factor in MS is also not well understood. It seems to occur in multiple generations in some families, which would suggest it is hereditary. But the vast majority of us have no family history.
About your MS symptoms: Have you seen a neurologist? If you suspect MS, do see a specialist and emphasize your family history along with a detailed list of your symptoms. Diagnostic tests include a physical exam, brain/spine MRIs, and a lumbar puncture. In addition, a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis is one of exclusion. That means many other medical conditions share similar symptoms and must be ruled out via blood work and other kinds of tests.
I hope you don't have MS, nicole575, but if you do, know that there are a lot of resources here to make your journey easier, and lots of people that know what you are going through. I hope you'll post a follow-up and let us know how you are
Welcome gatorlee! First off, it's important to call your doctor before your August appt. and report the pain. Your doc will determine what is causing it (it might not be MS-related), then recommend a treatment plan.
Sorry you're hurting, I hope you can get some relief soon.
I think if a person had cognitive dysfunction or communication problems and could not speak for themselves during the claim process and examinations, an advocate would be necessary.
I did some research on your blindness issue and found this answer from a disability lawyer to a similar question: "If the vision in both of your eyes was only 20/200 with glasses, you would be considered legally blind and would qualify for disability benefits. But since the vision in your left eye is better, you won't qualify for disability benefits through the vision loss listing." For the whole article see: http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/page4-45.html
If you type into your search engine: Would I qualify for SSDI if vision in one eye were 20/400? you'll get several links addressing the issue. That's what I did. Hope this helps.
I can only tell you my experience getting SSDI; it is a mysterious process, and from what I understand, varies from state to state.
I live in Michigan. I won my SSDI claim and received my first check only five months after filing.
The process: First I filled out the brief online claim form on the SS.gov site and my neurologist submitted his report on my condition. This, I believe, is one of the most important pieces of the process, if not the most important. Your neurologist has to go to bat for you big time as far as emphasizing your limitations.
A week after filing online, a rep phoned me to do the initial interview. I had good recall as far as telling her of dates of service for various MS-related procedures. After that, I didn't have to do anything more except wait. The state examiner acquired all of my medical records and made a decision. Eventually they had me see a doctor they chose to evaluate my condition, as well as a psychologist to evaluate my cognitive function. I was not informed of the decision about my claim, I simply received my first check one day in August that year. I had filed my claim in February. That is very quick.
My thoughts on why it went so easily and quickly:
Multiple Sclerosis is on the list of diseases the state recognizes as qualifying for disability status.
Another criterion is age. I was 52 at the time. People over 50 are not regarded as being employable and therefore not expected to get re-trained for another kind of career.
My doctor's input was vital to the decision.
And last, I had at least one year of documented appointments and tests.
I discovered that the rep that interviewed me was very open and acknowledge most of these points with me. I didn't have to be cagey with her, she sincerely wished me well with the claim.
One last thought: You do not need to hire a lawyer yet. Remember that if you win the claim the first time around, you will owe the lawyer a significant amount. But if your claim is denied, THAT would be the time to hire any attorney.
If you haven't already, you should contact your neurologist about your fatigue. Discuss the side effects of all your medications and see if fatigue is one of them. Also review your sleep habits. Are you getting up to pee during the night? That can cause sleepiness during the day, too.
About feeling tiredness and fatigue for no apparent reason--you bet I do! Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms among people with MS. It's also the hardest to treat, especially when MS is the primary cause of your fatigue.
There are secondary causes, too. For example, I take a symptom med that causes sleepiness. Lots of our symptom meds have sleepiness as a side effect. If I sit in front of the TV or computer, I nod off. So I get up and busy myself to avoid the snoozing. Other times I let myself nap for anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours. I'm retired so I can let myself do that. Sometimes you just have to give in to it.
I hope you'll soon discover what is causing your grogginess--or at least find a method to keep yourself more alert. There are lots of things you can try. Best of luck to you
I started struggling with the same issue at the same age after developing MS. The strategies that work for me are all about keeping the air circulating in the bedroom throughout the night. I have a fan blowing either directly on my face or near it, I sleep in a cold room year round, and I sleep in the nude. I might be teeth-chattering cold when I first get in bed, but I can wake up in the middle of the night bathed in sweat if I don't have cool, circulating air near my face, it's the weirdest thing.
Last year I went through menopause at age 56; the hot flashes and night sweats were worse than anything I'd experienced with MS-related nighttime overheating. Hormone therapy totally controlled it. Now I'm off hormone therapy and post-menopausal, so I'm back to just using the fan blowing on my face and keeping the room cold strategies, and they still work just fine.
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