I am a 50 year old female and was diagnosed with B12 Deficiency 5 years ago. I was misdiagnosed by several of the doctors at my local GPs. This condition escalated over several months and got so severe that it affected my spinal cord and the nerves in my legs. I got to the point where I was unable to walk and my legs were unable to support me. I had different symptoms almost every other day. From a rash to thrush in my mouth and down below. I thought I had MS or ME and had got to the point where I was trying to diagnose myself because my doctors believed I was a hypochondriac with all these symptoms, my fingers tingled, I couldn't feel my feet and they were ice cold all the time. I had blurred vision and went to hospital for tests that came back clear. My dentist told me to go to the doctor and ask for blood tests to be done because in desperation I went to her about the thrush in my mouth. Still they didn't diagnose me. I had tinitus, loss of appetite, lost weight,and couldn't walk without help. One doctor told me I needed exercise and to get my bike out and go for a ride on my bike. I was having panic attacks, wetting myself, chronic constipation and thought I was dying, my hair was falling out in big clumps too.
In the end I was due to have a blood test at the GPs and had to get a taxi there (as I could no longer drive or walk anywhere. I was a bus driver. I lost my job and have not been able to return to it. The nurse taking the test did not turn in to work that day so I was told to go back home. I asked to see the GP but was told they were too busy. I got the taxi back home and cried for an hour. I just didn't know what to do.
I rang my sister-in-law who rang my niece and asked her to call in to see me. When she got there she got straight on the phone to my GP and demanded that I be admitted to hospital. She is a Social Worker. I went in and by that time I was falling in and out of consciousness. I don't remember the first day I was there, except that I had numerous tests and saw numerous doctors. My blood pressure was so low I was confined to bed. Not a problem as I couldn't walk anyway. I was fitted with a catheter because I had no control over my bladder. I was later told by the Haematologist " they were very sorry but my blood count was so low there was nothing they could do". I was absolutely terrified and was worried about my two sons who were at home.It wasn't until a week later and several more wrong diagnosis that the Neurology consultant told me I had Vitamin B12 deficiency. Sub-acute combined degeneration of the cord. The B12 had affected my spinal cord and the nerves in my legs.
I was hospitalised for 4 weeks, had intensive Physiotherapy, and left hospital in a wheelchair. I had to learn to walk and climb stairs again. I now still have to use a walking stick and still have problems with my feet. I drive a Motability car but am very nervous. I have a B12 injection every 10 weeks and take Folic Acid tablets daily. I am now suffering nerve pain in my legs from the damage caused. I wish i had brought a case against my GPS but I was very unwell for a long time and couldn't deal with the stress.
Its been 5 years now and I still feel angry at the way i was treated and am still suffering the after- effects of their misdiagnoses. Doctors definately need to be more alert to the symptoms of B12 Deficiency. I wouldn't wish what happened to me on my worst enemy.