I’m pretty sure I had a MS long before I was diagnosed . I had many strange things happen even as a child. When I was in the fifth grade, I got it rash. The rash was only on my hands and my feet, like gloves and socks. The day my mom took me to the dermatologist, I threw up in the bathroom. The dermatologist said I was having an allergic reaction to the virus. My body was literally allergic to the stomach bug I had, crazy right? The rash cleared up on my hands but the rash on my feet never fully did. I went to numerous dermatologist, tried numerous ointments but nothing helped. To this day the rash is still there. It has spread but neither hurts or itches. It is just red and unsightly.
I had joint pain as a kid with some weaknesses. I was seen by an orthopedist who took X-rays and cat scans. I had pains in my joints and I would be in discomfort a lot especially when sitting. I was blood tested every month for 6 months for Lyme disease. Lyme disease, in case you don’t know, can mimic symptoms of MS. Yes, I had been bitten by a tick twice in my life by that point, I never was again. Didn’t matter I never showed positive for Lyme disease. They said I had juvenile arthritis. As I got older it got better, something juvenile arthritis doesn’t do.
When I was in college on two separate occasions, I remember going down to the health office not feeling well. I was tested for strep throat which would come back negative however my blood tests would show elevated white blood cell counts that I’d be treated for antibiotics.
About a two years before the optic neuritis appeared, I had an abnormal Pap smear. Once again showing elevated white blood cells and abnormal cells. I was no more than 24 years old.
I’m not sure that any of these isolated incidents can be actually attributed to MS but I still find the progression notable. I am willing to bet that the abnormal gene that was attacking my myelin sheath was attacking my body a long time before my actually MS diagnosis. It wouldn’t have made a difference if the diagnosis came earlier, I was 26 when I was diagnosed, that was early enough to change my life. I just think that these incidents were all part of the path that lead to my MS diagnosis in 1998.