MS symptoms can vary widely between people.
I finally got diagnosed because my primary care physician had been telling me for 18 months that the fact that I could not feel the skin of my left leg was probably a “pinched nerve” and would go away on its own. I finally asked him for a referral to a chiropractor (since he was not doing me any good) and he referred me to a orthopedic specialist. It was the orthopedist’s physician’s assistant who first brought up the possibility of MS.
Then the neurologist, then the MRI, then the diagnosis of MS. That was in 1993, but thinking back after my diagnosis I had been suffering from the effects of MS most of my life, I think my first definite attack was when I was 6 years old in 1957 or so. I have always had lousy, super lousy balance, and my coordination was always horrible.
One doctor told me that it can be SUPER hard to diagnose MS (this was just when MRI’s were starting to be used for diagnosis) and many doctors have no idea that their patients may have MS.
I had bladder problems, I still have bladder problems. My balance has always been bad, and my balance has gotten worse throughout the years, especially when I do not get to ride horses! I have always been a klutz as far as athletic endeavors go, especially those that require a modicum of balance. I had started dropping things from my hands (better now), and I had started just falling while walking out of the blue (much better now, I have not fallen for years.)
I have had leg jerks for decades, and my hands also jerk uncontrollably sometimes (usually minor.) My hand tremor is pretty constant though usually minor, unless I drink coffee or if I am really tired, or if I get overheated then it can get a lot worse. I simply cannot keep strong contact, if I try my hands shake uncontrollably and my hands tend to fly off into the wild blue yonder, so I ride with light, light, light contact, I keep my fingers loose and supple and the horses forgive me my hand faults. (My riding teacher says I have excellent hands, if I do it is because I care about the horse’s mouth.)
Since I still have a problem with dropping a rein while I ride the horses and I have come up with an agreement–I school them to ride on a loose rein so they do not feel “abandoned” when I drop a rein, when I do drop a rein the horses check the rest of my body before deciding that I am a hopeless incompetent rider, and end up doing what I want them to do anyway.
Cannabinoids have been an immense help to me throughout the decades, I was essentially self-medicating long before my MS got really bad by smoking grass. The cheap Mexican grass helped me much more (cannabis sativa) than the “stronger” cannabis indica strains. I finally talked my neurologist to prescribe me Marinol (generic Dronabinol) which has reduced my MS exacerbations (attacks) a lot, unless the doctor or insurance company decide that since it is off label that I am an evil, evil person for wanting the only medicine that has actually controlled my MS at all.
I have tried Betasaron, Copaxone (I KNOW I misspelled that one) and Gilenya. With my own personal case of MS all of these drugs caused me to have horrible MS attacks. Marinol is the only doctor prescribed medicine that has helped my MS. Other people have good results with the modern anti-MS drugs, but they just do not work for my body. It took me FOUR YEARS to talk me first neurologist to prescribe me Marinol, and two of my neurologists since then sort of shrug and say that if it works they will continue prescribing it for me. One neurologist however took me off of it, put me on Gilenya with the inevitable (for me) exacerbation, and that horrible neurologist just shrugged it off, in fact he blamed my attack on me reading the little white slip that comes with the medicine. I moved on from that horrible neurologist who was so willing to cripple me to another neurologist who actually listens to me and believes me.
Right now I mostly walk the horses, with a few short trots if I am feeling extra capable that day. On the bright side right now I am riding TWO horses with a double bridle, and these horses have “told” me that they prefer the double bridle to just a snaffle if I want obedience at a finer level.
Your nervous system may be messing up. That in no way means that you cannot ride, I trained up green-broke horses, raised weanlings to breaking to saddle, and reclaimed a ruined horse all while my body was degrading with my then undiagnosed case of MS.
See the neurologist. List ALL your symptoms because a badly operating nervous system can affect your whole body.
And KEEP ON RIDING!!! One time the insurance company had decided that I did not need my Marinol and I had an attack. I showed up at my lesson stable with my son and told my riding teacher that I NEEDED to ride Mia, the elderly Arab mare I was rehabbing then. Walking out to the ring I was moving like a crippled ninety year old woman leaning heavily on my two canes, after 30 minutes in the saddle I was striding forth confidently and I really did not need my canes to make it back to the barn.
My riding teacher KNOWS that riding is good for MS because she has seen me come back from several exacerbations in the past 12 years, and I always walk better at the end of my ride.
Take care. It can get scary. Feel free to contact me.