Friday, July 29, 2016

My MS Symptoms Top 10 Countdown - #9 Diplopia

Last week I wrote extensively about my MS-related bathroom troubles, but today will be a shorter post with no chance of TMI. 

Vision problems are probably one of the most common MS symptoms, and they're often the first symptoms people experience. Not so for me. In fact, I've never *knock on wood* experienced Optic Neuritis, the eye problem most common to MS. The only vision-related MS symptom I've experienced is diplopia, a fun name that means double vision.

Kind of what the world looks like with diplopia.
The diplopia popped up during that first awful year where all kinds of symptoms came to the party of my life, uninvited, and kept coming back even after I'd shown them the door. Like pretty much every symptom I've experienced in these past 10 years, my first reaction to a new symptom is to question whether it's really happening, or rather I ask myself if it hasn't really always been that way. I know that sounds ridiculous, but that's how I tend to roll.

Double vision is not painful, but it is incredibly annoying and it can be very dangerous. I'm sorry to admit that I did drive a few times while I was experiencing double vision. Just a few short trips around town, and I pretty much kept one eye shut which eliminates the seeing double. While a passenger in a car on the interstate, it looked like there was constantly a new off or on ramp, a diagonal lane always right there. It was very discombobulating and it could be disastrous to drive like that. Don't be like me and drive when seeing double!

I read like most people breathe, and reading was obviously impacted by diplopia. Again, shutting one eye fixed it, but that puts more strain on the one eye and wasn't sustainable for long periods. Now that I think of it, I should have just gone full pirate and gotten an eye patch to wear during this period.

The diplopia went away along with other symptoms when the steroids kicked in. It does sometimes reappear a bit when I am extremely tired (as so many of my MS symptoms do), like when staying up late reading for too long. When every line of text has a double floating above it, I know I have to shut the book. 

Of all of the more than 15 MS symptoms I've experienced, diplopia was my "favorite." It was annoying, but compared to all the other symptoms, this one had the least damaging impact on my life. 

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