Multiple Sclerosis is never the same disease in anyone. That is partly why it's so hard to diagnose. It's also partly because so many doctors still want "hysteria" to be an actual diagnosis so they can send "hysterical women" on their way.
I was diagnosed at 19 with "demylenating syndrome" which ten years later became "Multiple Sclerosis." Looking back, I can appreciate that my neurologist didn't say the words "Multiple Sclerosis" -- who knows if I would have had all those kids. (I had two by the time I was officially diagnosed.) Pregnancy is generally great for MS. After pregnancy is usually not. This is when Selma was first having symptoms and couldn't find help for her crazy symptoms. She was dropping things and had extreme fatigue.
MS feels like you're going nuts. Things don't work right and you can't find a reason. My eyes were jumping so fast with nystagmus, I couldn't see and actually went blind one night. The next day I was officially diagnosed.
The Nightmare of Ignorant Doctors
The diagnosis didn't come before I went through a nightmare with doctors. When I was 19, I started having double vision. A general practitioner would not give me a referral to a neurologist and he actually told me that I needed a psychiatrist, not a neurologist. Nice bedside manner. Luckily, my mom paid for the neurologist and I had one of the first MRI's there was, but I still didn't know I had MS.(Neuro didn't tell me because at the time, there was nothing they could do and he didn't want to saddle me with the diagnosis.) Another general practice doctor told me years' later that the numbness in my leg was probably me wearing my jeans too tight. And an ER doctor told me that my sudden blindness was an inner ear infection. Is it any wonder I don't trust doctors?
Selma's symptoms are very different from mine. I have trouble with names and words when I'm bad (so great for a writer!) And I have a lot of vision trouble and numbness. I will say the worst symptoms are that soul-crushing fatigue (which thankfully I have not had for years) and "foot drop" which prevents me from running anymore. That's depressing. (But doing a face plant isn't that much fun, so I'm good.)
Anyway, it's an embarrassing disease. You often look like you're drunk, you might not remember people's names and you don't always trust your memory, so it's really brave of Selma to tell her story and give voice to multiple sclerosis. Applauding her brave battle -- may it be short and successful.