Optic neuritis can be seen by a good opthamologist. It is an inflammation of the optic nerve. I've actually seen pictures of the optic nerve in my right eye -- which is the one affected by the optic neuritis, and the optic nerve in my left eye, which was not affected. The opthamologist looks into your eye with a flashlight sort of device, which also magnifies the optic nerves.
The affected optic nerve is pale, the other one is a "healthy" pink.
Actually, a regular neuro, if he has the right small magnifying glass, can see whether you really had a bout of optic neuritis. Usually folks get a pain in the eye, sometimes lose color vision, sometimes get real distorted vision (blurry, or seeing "ghosts" around objects, that sort of thing), not just black spots for a few minutes.
Migraines can cause all sorts of strange visual sensations, and aren't always accompanied by headaches, either. Lots of "auras" and strange effects can come about because of a migraine disorder. I don't know if a bulging disc can cause migraines, but it certainly could cause stiffness in your neck, or a painful back!
I still think the episode you described 6 years ago was some gastro-intestinal thing, related to taking the meds, or gas, or just some fleeting thing.
Generally the sensation of the MS hug comes on slowly, over a few hours (sometimes folks wake up feeling like they're being hugged), and hangs around for several hours..or days...or longer. Not the fleeting sort of thing you describe.
MS is really variable in folks. But if that's the only symptom that occurred 6 years ago - -apart from the tingly sensations on your skin -- and you've had no further symptoms at all that even seem to be MS related -- I'd stop worrying about the MS, for now, and deal with the migraines (which, by the way, can be an inherited thing; you described that several family members also have/had migraines...)