This is my first post on this board, but I've been reading here for several weeks and I feel as if I already know several of you. I am a limbolander. Here's a quick summary of recent events:
My "attack," if it was an attack, began on Sept 1 and lasted two weeks: tingling, weakness, and numbness in the right leg & arm, & right side of face. Had a normal CT & neuro exam in the ER, followed by another normal neuro exam and an MRI (no contrast, insurance would not approve). The MRI revealed one area of possible demyelination that the radiologist thought was probably not demyelination, but an enlarged Virchow-Robin space. It's on the wrong side of the brain for my symptoms. Also 3 or 4 punctate spots in other locations. Nothing that shouted "MS lesion," but not entirely unremarkable.
Consulted with new a neurologist, very thorough, who listened (yay!) and did a careful exam. He found positive Babinski and Hoffman's on right side, as well as right leg weakness. He thinks that MS is possible but that I may have had a small lacunar stroke, too tiny to show up on the tests I've had so far. He's doing bloodwork to check for MS mimics. I'm also waiting for scheduling of a second MRI (w/contrast, though it is probably too late for the contrast to be informative) & an MRA to rule out aneurysm. He wants to do a lumbar puncture next week as well.
Since the attack, I have had occasional recurrence of the weakness/tingling--it comes and goes at random. I've also had cognitive difficulties: difficulty finding words, bouts of confusion (e.g., feeling overwhelmed by choices at the store), many short-term memory lapses, and some trouble making abstract connections that would have previously been easy for me. My research so far indicates that all this is compatible with a mild stroke or with MS.
The cognitive symptoms are the most terrifying to me. I am a writer and editor by trade, so the experience of not being able to find words, typing the wrong word (approve instead of improve, for example), and losing my mental sharpness has me completely freaked out. My career goals, educational goals, and sense of who I am are all suddenly uncertain. (If my brain changes, am I still the same person? If not, who am I? etc. etc.)
Intertwined with these concerns is the approach of my wedding, planned for December 18, to a very wonderful man who has been fantastically supportive. He's also a "word person," and although he says he will love me whatever cognitive or physical changes I experience--and I believe that he means it--I'm finding myself in some doubt about whether it's right or fair to get married when I may have recurring and/or worsening cognitive problems indefinitely. I also understand that MS and stroke can both cause personality changes, another fear. Will I be/remain the person he thinks he is marrying?
Now, I get that life is uncertain. He could experience some sort of brain injury himself, after all. Either of us could be hit by a bus tomorrow. And marriage is about commitment, in sickness and health. We are 41 and 38, so it is not news to either of us that life presents plenty of challenges to the married as well as the single, the healthy as well as the unhealthy. (I also have type 1 diabetes, so I haven't been entirely healthy for years--that, by the way, is one reason my neuro thinks stroke is a possibility even though my blood pressure is on the low side of normal.) But but but...can I make a lifetime promise when the person I am might be changing rather drastically?
I know you folks can't answer that question for me. I guess I would really like to hear about the intersection of MS and relationships, as well as the effect of limbo/MS/cognitive stuff on trying to move forward with one's life, if that makes sense? Thank you for reading this very long post. I wish everyone wellness and peace.