My first unofficial MS relapse was optic neuritis in 1997. Six months before my diagnosis. The optic neuritis wasn’t even diagnosed at the time of the relapse it was realized after my diagnosis.
I was working in a fast food restaurant as an assistant manager, who was about to be promoted. However, my manager at my current location and I didn’t always see eye to eye. She added a lot of stress to my situation at work. I couldn’t wait to my store and position opened but I had another few weeks until that happened.
One day I looked up at one of the monitors and I can only describe it as I’d see a giant sun spot in my vision. If you ever looked up at the sun for a few seconds and then looked down around you, you’d see that round light spot in your vision for a few seconds. Well that’s what I saw but it wasn’t for a few seconds. I could still see but would have to shift my eyes around the blocked spot.
At first, I thought it really was a sun spot without me looking at the sun. When it didn’t go away I started to get nervous. I went to an eye doctor and ended up with a $300 pair of glasses. I was 26 with 20/20 vision without the sun spot later discovered. I finally ended up at a neuro ophthalmologist. This doctor did two major things that impacted my big relapse and diagnosis:
- He ordered an MRI which showed a lesion. I never even knew this until 6 months later when this MRI was compared to a new MRI. However since they were able to have a MRI to compare to and the new MRI had multiple lesions, my diagnosis came quickly.
- He told me that the sun spot I was seeing was all in my head for all he knows. This statement had a huge impact!!!! Primarily because after I was promoted and in my new restaurant my mom said one day “how’s you’re eye?” I realized as quickly as it came, it went. That little seed the doctor planted that it was in my mind stayed. When my second relapse hit 6 months later which was very severe effecting my whole left side, I thought it was possible in my head too. My mom was the one who knew this wasn’t and got me to see a doctor. The rest is history.