I have another question: If I do get a diagnosis of MS, what does everyone consider the most important question to ask medical staff after getting the diagnosis? I have three in mind. Mostly, I want to know what the chances are my kids will get MS. Question 2, how long I can expect to be able to continue to walk my dogs for - I can no longer run with them and walking is tough. I doubt they can answer? Third, I'll ask if they can give me any medication to stop the symptoms at night so I can finally sleep.
It's not uncommon to have this disease more years than the person's actual diagnosis date. Symptoms can be subtle and easily brushed aside.
The most important question is whatever is important to you
MS and it's effects is different for each individual person. For this reason there is no way to know if a person will lose their mobility or not.
Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis:
Disease Modifying Drugs: These medications are to hopefully decrease lesion load, hopefully decrease the amount and severity of exacerbations (relapse, attack, flare-up). They may help with symptoms but no guarantee.
Steroids: To treat acute exacerbations. Not all exacerbations require steroids, exacerbations can resolve on their own. The more steroids are used the less effective they become and they come with short term and long term side effects.
Symptom management medications: There are very few medications FDA approved to treat MS symptoms, the majority of medications prescribed to treat symptoms are prescribed "off label." As someone I know once said, " symptom management medications just cover up the symptom(s) but doesn't make it permanently go away." Not all symptoms are helped with medications.
Exercise and maintaining core strength is important. Exercise can help with some symptoms of MS such as --- pain, spasticity, fatigue, cognition.
Best wishes on your upcoming MRI and I do hope you don't have MS.
Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1985
PTSD diagnosed Feb 2004 (PTSD since age 2), Anxiety/Panic attacks secondary to PTSD.