I also welcome you to ThisIsMS, Chris23. I offer you my standard action plan recommendation:
First, you may not have MS at all; it is a differential diagnosis – made by ruling out other possibilities. Very often, it is not easy or quick to diagnose My first three MRIs, EMG, and evoked response tests were normal, and it was the fourth neurologist I saw before I got my MS diagnosis. IF you do have MS, you have found many supportive friends at this site. We come from diverse experiences and hold diverse ideas. We do not agree necessarily in our thoughts on MS; you will probably not agree with some of us either; we only ask for tolerance when we express unconventional ideas.
Second, I suggest that you find a GP or internist, with whom you are comfortable, who is compassionate and who enjoys being a "disease detective." I am not sure that a specialist, a neurologist, is necessary right at the beginning of your investigation. A GP can order the tests necessary to rule out some possibilities. NHE had a very good suggestion about a county health clinic; in my area there are free clinics for those without insurance or who cannot afford to pay. Start at the beginning with a thorough physical, baseline examination including blood tests for your cortisol level (elevated with stress), glucose AND insulin levels (these are two DIFFERENT tests), thyroid hormone levels (TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reserve T3, and antithyroid antibodies), even a liver profile, and CRP (C-reactive protein) test (indicating inflammation). Ask for a copy of all your test results for your own file. Since I suspect insulin involvement and insulin resistance in skeletal muscles, this could play into your muscle weakness and spasms.
Third, if you like to read and if you do have MS, start your reading with two books: "Multiple Sclerosis: The History of a Disease" by T. Jock Murray, OC, MD, and I think "The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book" by Roy Swank, MD, PhD and Barbara Dugan is a good second book to read or even have. You may be able to get these through your local library.
Fourth, and most importantly, from this day forward, I encourage you to eat a healthy diet (a good idea whether or not you have MS). Many people find that diet can influence the symptoms of MS. In my opinion, this means a low-carb diet -- removing all sugar (including beer, wine, etc. which have sugar), all artificial sweeteners, including sugar alcohols like sorbitol, xylitol, etc. (These promote insulin production, too.), all trans fats (These also increase insulin.), and white flour, white bread, white potatoes, white rice (in fact, all carbs so far as possible) from your diet. Personally, I think that excess insulin plays a great part in MS. My suspicion is that Fatty Liver Disease is also involved, since visceral fat (belly fat) secretes cytokines (like poison to the internal organs), which lead to increased insulin, which leads to inflammation which leads to more visceral fat… And the cycle goes round and round. Diet is important; in fact, you may find the account of Dr. Terry Wahls and her dramatic improvement interesting (http://www.TerryWahls.com
By the way, I also had surgery for a herniated disc, but it did not improve my symptoms – mistakes are made even at the Mayo Clinic. They missed on my MS diagnosis; but MS is often VERY difficult to identify.
We are here to listen… to rantings, to questions, to everything.
All the best to you.