Welcome to my blog!
A number of friends have encouraged me to keep a weblog (blog) particularly of my health since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in June of 2008. This also allows me to comment on life in general and lets friends and family get (hopefully) regular updates.
For those who don't know me, my name is Paul Sharkey, I'm a dentist working in both teaching dental students in the University of Glasgow Dental School and in dental practice in Stirling in Scotland. I have been married since 1987 and have one son, Matthew, who's in the army and away from home at the present time.
So, about MS.
Three or four years ago, I got a virus. I had what I would describe as 'a bad flu'. I hadn't felt so bad in a long, long time. I knew that there were some neurological effects as my vision was slightly blurred and my balance was affected - although, that could have been ears being affected rather than brain. I felt so ill that I didn't even think of seeing a doctor - I just wanted to lie in bed and sleep. This lasted about two weeks. My vision returned to normal, my balance took a bit longer and the only residual deficit was that my spelling was never the same again!
Other that that, I got better and pretty well forgot about it.
In the summer of 2007, I found myself in a very stressful situation at work. I remember this all coming to a crisis on one particular day when I had the nearest thing to what might be called a 'panic attack'. I felt as though I had been injected with adrenaline. My muscles tightened, my neck got tight and painful. All I could think of was getting home. This was a Friday - I got home, lay on the couch and thought if I just rested for a couple of days I'd be fine. It turned out that I was off work for five months.
When I recounted these incidents to the MS consultant after I was diagnosed, he told me that I had probably had MS before this and that the two crisis incidents that seemed to trigger MS and make it active were viruses and stress. I'd had both. And so, my story begins!