The Finnish Health Care system proved to be both efficient and caring too me.In the Spring of 2004 My wife noticed that I was suffering with severe calf cramps in my sleep.Whilst at the time I did not notice;I did feel tired through the days.My wife suggested that I pay a visit too my local Doctor.This I did and explained that when going to bed my feet ached causing me to have to tense them and release the tension after a minute or so,this I would do until I fell asleep.
Within 5 weeks I was asked to visit The Neurological Polyclinic,Meihilahti,Helsinki, for tests and to see a specialist.To tell the truth I did not believe there was a problem and thought it would just go away given time!Next was seen by a young looking female neutologist/Licentiate.She performed a physical check and asked if I would be willing to stay 1 night in hospital for a sleep analysis.Now I do not like hospitals at the best of times,however I agreed to her request.Some nights later I was in a hospital bed aand at 2400 I was given the oportunity to take my last cigarette.Then I was connected to a machine by way of sensors placed on my legs.Slowly I got too sleep.
The following morning I was disconnected from the apparatus and given breakfast,and told I could leave whenever I was ready.Within 1 hour I was at home thinking:NO PROBLEM.
Approximately 6 weeks later I was summoned back to see the Doctor and given a description of the report from my stay in Hospital.She confirmed that I was suffering from Restless Legs,and that a drug actually for Parkinson’s Disease may be of help.She then went on to say that she would like to carry out further examinations.Again I agreed believing she new more than me.
For the following 3 months I was tested.Tests included SEP/WEP,MRI and finally a lumber puncture/spinal tap.She had informed me throughout these tests that I my be suffering from Lyme’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis.Through continued talking with the Neurologist I became aware of my situation.Things like my worsening balance,vision and urinary problems now seemed to have a name causing them.Something I had lived with and put up with for some 5 years.
Spring 2005 came and I was officially diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.Was it a shock?NO.At least now I had some sort of expanation for the changes that I was noticing within myself.I can even say that at the time of being diagnosed I was in Denial.This could not happen to me!Why have I got it and where did it come from!
It turns out that Doctors have no idea where it originates from?Some suggestions include Genes,Geographical location,Diet or even from a Virus.It is however an auto-immune disease,causing my white blood cells to attack the Myelin coating the central nervous system.Suffice to say that I have got it and I am going to go on living.I liken it to opening a new chapter in a book.Im have always been a positive person,rather seeing the glass half full opposed to half empty.
I know this is a short post on such a topic;however,if it was not for the expertise,new technology,efficiency and most of all the very special attention I recieved from the Neurologists at Helsinki University Hospital,I would just be a frustrated individual,staggering around as if Drunk.
Thankyou to all at Meihilahti Hospital,Helsinki,the Finnish Health Care System and the team of Neurological Depatment Neurologists that Guided me over.