A numb leg and a single flare.
Otherwise known as a flare, White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) are lesions in the brain that show up as areas of increased brightness when visualised by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Since returning to the gym, numbness in my leg had subsided. The Neurologist deemed the flare to be insignificant as I had no further numbness and the neurological assessment was clear. We discussed Multiple Sclerosis (MS) however we both thought that I didn’t fit the criteria. None the less I was offered a Lumber Puncture to determine the presence of oligoclonal bands, a group of proteins (called immunoglobulins) that show inflammation in the central nervous system. I politely declined. No thank you, not touching my spine. We agreed to a followup 6 month MRI, just to ensure there were no changes in my brain.
The weeks leading up to the followup MRI I was nervous. I get these ‘feelings’ I just know stuff. Call it gut instinct. I just know. And I knew this MRI wasn’t going to be good. I started researching MS, trying to consume as much information as I could prior to the scan.
I didn’t wait to see the Neurologist to get the results. I picked up the results one Saturday morning. Ripped open the envelope before getting into my car. And there it was 3 Lesions on the brain, one on the brain stem and a rather large Lesion on my spine. Shattered. The penny dropped, I met the MacDonald criteria for an MS diagnosis.