I had Bells Palsy when I was 11; the damage/droop never went away on the left side of my face. I was also not taken to the doctor when it happened. When I was 19, a doctor sent me for testing because he thought I had a stroke. Was told that it was Bells Palsy at that time. As I have gotten older, the drooping has gotten worse; I also continue to have periodic twitching on the left side of my face.
At age 30, while pregnant with my son, I lost my vision. Was taken to the ER and told to go back and see neurologist after giving birth (vision returned to normal by early evening in ER).
Saw neurologist after having my son (1994), neurologist did MRI and lumbar puncture. MRI showed 7 lesions, lumbar puncture was negative. She diagnosed me with MS. At that time, the betaserons were fairly new and through discussions with her we decided not to start any of them at the time (we weighed the side effects vs the symptoms I was having at the time and felt the side effects were worse than my then symptoms).
I had no problems/symptoms for years... In 2004, I had a lot of numbness, cognitive issues, feeling not with it, fatigue, lightheadedness, twitching, tingling, etc. We were in SC at this time and I saw a neurologist there. He did MRI and lumbar puncture - there were 11 lesions and lumbar puncture was negative. This neurologist said I had migraine aura without having migraine and it was not MS.
In 2007 symptoms were pretty bad and debilitating; saw a different neurologist since we had moved to another place in SC. This time MRI showed 33 lesions with negative spinal. Was told to see another neurologist in the area to see if he thought it was MS or not. The second neurologist ran some testing for epilepsy, seizures, lupus and cadisil, and all came back negative. He said I did NOT have MS and it was normal to have these lesions with aging and my brain looked like someone in their 60's; I was 44 at this time. This neurologist said nothing needed to be done.
In 2012 I was in MN (where original neurologist was) and started losing my footing. I would lose my balance and start to fall, but was able to catch myself, along with other symptoms mentioned above which were worse than they were.
Doctor in MN did MRI, lumbar puncture and many, many blood tests for any mimicker of MS. MRI showed 50+ lesions, some of which were large, spinal was negative and all blood work for mimickers came back negative. She looked at all the information/MRI's over the previous 20 years, consulted with numerous other doctors in her practice and said that I DID HAVE MS and the main objective at this point in time is to prevent any new lesions. After discussing treatment options, we decided on Avonex. I have been symptom free for the last year and recent MRI shows no new or active lesions.