The journey to an official diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) can take years for some people, like it did for me. Some of the most common tests used to make a diagnosis include clinical exam, medical history, laboratory testing, and specialized tools such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), evoked potentials (EP), or vision tests to detect nerve damage or physical abnormalities.
Before I was officially diagnosed, I had undergone several of these tests multiple times. For example, I had six MRI scans between the first time my vision “seemed off” in 1994, the time I was temporarily blind in 2000, and when I lost the use of my left hand and arm in 2005. Since my diagnosis I’ve had eight additional MRI scans, each including one to three areas of the central nervous system: brain, cervical spine, or thoracic spine.