Often doctors do wait for two distinct flares....but it may well be that the MS specialist will decide, based on your test results (both lesions on the MRI and also o-bands, combined with clinical signs) that there is more than enough evidence to label it "definite". And it may well be that you've had a second..or more..episode, but haven't realized that, in your past. The doctor should take a thorough medical history, if your current neuro hasn't done so.
Besides, the newest recommendations for the drugs all suggest that the earlier you start them the better, to try to ward off increased progression. Just one lesion in the wrong place can lead to serious disability; why risk that, waiting for that second flare to appear?
You don't have to take the meds for life .. folks do stop them. But if you stop them, you risk the progression increasing. It's not like some meds -- that if you stop them, you'd do damage to yourself, or risk killing yourself, like would happen with insulin, or heart meds...but you do risk increased progression.
There are lots of oral meds being developed. Hopefully one of them will be found to be as good as the current meds, or better. Or even better yet, they'll find a cure for this disease, and we can all stop the meds altogether!
Hi Confused girl,
Yes, about the diagnosis. Over one week I became completely left side paralyzed, thought I was having a stroke. Lost co-ordination and feeling. Went for many tests, Cat scan, MRI - several lesions, then a battery of test with the neurologist. I don't remember them all though i do remember goopy stuff being put on my body while they attached a whole bunch of wires and me up to a machine. I think I did about 4 tests that day that weren't like regular MRI and basic things I had heard of. Then a second opinion after all that.... then 3 years later I went to the MS clinic at UBC our university to get tested again as I thought it was a misdiagnosis as I had been fine for 3 years and I did a whole lot of tests, co-ordination, jumping around and finally a test with the opthamologist and I got 2 conflicting answers. The specialist the reknown MS Doctor told me to basically stop pretending that I didn't have it because it would be a real slap in the face when I had a relapse and it would be hard for me to handle if I didn't accept it now and that in 5 years at max I would have a relapse cause people always do. Then the next Dr. the eye doctor said he saw nothing wrong and for me to live my life like this never happened. That was all I needed to hear. Funny, it had to come from someone of authority but since then I have not been scared, I don't wake up in the mornings wondering if this will be the day I can't walk. It is incredible.