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For quite awhile now I’ve been experiencing some debilitating fatigue and other strange feelings. I trip, loose my balance, have trouble swallowing, see flashes of light, and have painful-numb-tingle-like sensations in my extremities. Until late this summer, I boiled all of these things to simply getting older and moving through menopause.

After returning from my long trip to Ottawa, all of these weird feelings intensified. At first my doctor thought I had pinched a nerve in my back and sent me home with a muscle relaxant and an anti-inflammatory but a few days later when I started to loose the feeling in my lips and tongue and could lie flat in bed and have both arms and both legs go numb, he referred me to a neurologist.

I’ve since had an MRI and a follow up visit with the neurologist. They found four “spots” in my brain which the neurologist showed me on my MRI images. I expected to see a couple of gerbils on a treadmill and was surprised to see how seemingly vacuous the images of the human brain are. To my untrained eye it all looked like a bunch of empty space but apparently the radiologist (or however reads these films) and the neurologist could see something afoot up there.

The neurologist ordered a slew of blood tests – 20 vials worth – and another MRI. It’ll take a couple of weeks for the blood work and I might not get in for the MRI until March. He doesn’t want to venture a diagnosis until he gets more info but my GP called me in to go over the MRI results and explained that the tests the neurologist has ordered is called the “MS protocol” – sounds like a Ludlum novel title eh?

I’m not sure if I should be scared. I mean it’s not every day that a doctor tells you that he found “signs of inflammation in your brain”. Does that mean there’s something wrong or simply that I have a swelled head? With my mom having Alzheimer’s I can say that I do have a bit of anxiety around what these “spots” might mean.

All I can do right now is wait. Wait for the blood test results, wait for the date for the MRI, wait for a follow-up visit with the neurologist and try not to freak out while I wait. Meanwhile, if you ask me if the numbness and tingling are any better, I know I can look you right in the eye and tell you that it’s all in my head.