This is the first time that I am going to blurt all of this out to complete strangers...
I am a 48 year old male originally from the UK and my mother had MS (she passed on 10 years ago from pneumonia). Neither of my 2 siblings display the same symptoms as I, and I am as yet undiagnosed.
After 3 years of extremely varied healthcare-quality in 3 countries I have finally moved my wife and son to New Zealand to settle down and hopefully get to the bottom of whatever ails me.
My symptoms are: numbness in both lower legs and feet, severe balance problems, fatigue, depression and erectile dysfunction. I have spent the last 2 years working in Qatar where various doctors decided I had Spondylosis and Sciatica plus a twisted spine.... After 2 MRI's a Neurologist concurred with that diagnosis as she did not see any evidence of lesion activity in my spine. Qatar gets really hot, getting as high as 50 degrees centigrade and I found (as does the rest of the population!) that being outside for any length of time wrought havoc with my internal cooling and general mobility - returning inside to AC would always alleviate the symptoms. Now that I am in New Zealand which is dramatically colder, I do not see any difference in any of my symptoms at all. I have had another MRI a month ago and still no diagnosis. Now I am scheduled for a 4th MRI in 3 days time. I must say that I am getting despondent with the inability of the Medical profession to come to a conclusion of some kind. Prior to Qatar I lived in South Africa for a year and on-and-off in Italy after that (all for work). I have had litres of my blood analysed in all 3 countries and been prodded and poked by doctors, all seemingly with the same quizzical expression on their faces 'what could it be?'...
My mother sort of self-diagnosed her condition 20 years ago as doctors back then seemed to be reluctant to come to any conclusion, and I am beginning to wonder what exactly has advanced 20 years on? There does not seem to be any hurry to reach a definitive diagnosis. I have started on the Wahl diet and recently came across the Swank/Jelinek diet which seems like it will suit me more. As I was mis-diagnosed in Qatar, I had severely curtailed my exercise regimen which has done me no good at all and will take a while to rectify. Now I perform stretching and cardio workout twice daily and if nothing else, makes me feel better mentally.
My poor family have battled to deal with my mood-swings and mobility issues and I hope that on Tuesday I have an answer that will at least allow me to focus in the correct direction.
I wish courage and strength to all others who might be waiting for a diagnosis, I empathise with you all as I well know exactly how debilitating this can be for yourself and your family.