Nicole, what is UC?
I wonder if indeed that strobe-light thing wasn't indeed migraines..real common in younger women..you were 19?
The zapping thing - L'hermittes -indeed is a common MS symptom.
I was diagnosed with MS in 1983, but after tracking my medical history, it was probably starting to show up in 1968 - 1969, when I was around 19-20, and had difficulty walking, and balance issues. I'd trip over things other people couldn't even see as obstacles; my then-boyfriend (now husband) and I would go hiking, and he'd have no difficulty on a trail and I'd be stumbling all over the place. Probably was experiencing foot drop, too. But I went for years (obviously!) just assuming I was clumsy, uncoordinated, and didn't pursue any sort of answer for it, other than that.
Wasn't until I started falling down a lot and thought I was having seizures, that I went to a neuro. By the time I did that, he diagnosed MS upon my merely walking into his office (he could tell by my gait, and subsequent medical history and clinical signs.) He did do the evoked potentials and spinal tap (this was LONG before MRI's even existed) to confirm it, all of which took about 3 months, so it was a relatively short period of time from my first inquiry to diagnosis.
So what...38 years? 39 years?
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....