I'm an elderly urban female with a childhood history of pertussis, histoplasmosis, and lots of pneumonia.
Neuro symptoms at eighteen began with permanent severe fatigue, mild muscle soreness, and permanent loss of driving reaction time.
Two years later--trigeminal neuralgia. Eight years later--two incidents of idiopathic (three week) hearing loss years later--two year disorientation. Permanent stiff neck. Hand tingling. Increasingly marked walking difficulty.
Recent difficulty producing speech sounds and (oddly) hearing speeded up speech on electrical devices. (I'm using subtitles.) When I read and speak, the rhythm sounds like metrics now. One online site said it's MS or a brain tumor. I had a clear brain scan two years ago and have scheduled a Tesla 3 scan for Early November.
My internist suspects MS (once diagnosed by a vascular specialist)" but with no examination the neurologist said one in a million chances lesions wouldn't have on the previous (two year old) scan. His 'exam' was having me shut my eyes without falling. He strongly suggested CFS, but the only symptom I have on the CFS llists is fatigue. No 'brain fog' problems. No lymph node swelling, etc.
It would be most unusual to experience MS for many decades without developing abnormalities on MR imaging. That being said, I am often told that an imaging study is normal or only reveal non-specific white matter hyperintensities, only to find on personal review that the MRI is anything but normal.
There is also a strong possibility that this is not MS. The only symptom you experienced that is specific for MS is the Trigeminal Neuralgia. This is also frequently misdiagnosed and turns out to be migraine or trigeminal autonomic cephalgia or atypical facial pain.
I would suggest seeing an MS specialist if you are concerned. After so many years, if you have MS it is certainly a relatively mild form of the disease; but I can certainly understand your interest in trying to understand the symptoms you’ve experienced off and on for so many years.
Revere (Rip) Kinkel MD
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
University of California San Diego