Message from a 24-year-old: How I discovered the serious illness after going to the toilet often
A 24-year-old boy, who had to go to the toilet at least 20 times a day, at first thought he might be suffering from cancer. The truth was different. He had Multiple Sclerosis. He shares his story on social media, generally on TikTok, to raise awareness.
Antonio Perez, 24, of Dearborn, Michigan, first thought he had bladder cancer when he desperately needed to go to the bathroom more than 20 times a day, but when he also experienced extreme fatigue among other symptoms, doctors sent him for an MRI , in December 2021.
In January 2022, Antonio was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, an autoimmune condition that affects the brain and spinal cord.
“People think it's contagious. They tell me to stay away from their children because they think they can catch him. It's annoying, but the more awareness I can spread, the better,” says Antonio.
But over the next seven months Antonio began to show further symptoms including difficulty walking, tremors in his right hand and fatigue – leading doctors to suspect it was MS.
“My type of MS affects about 10-12% of the world's population diagnosed with MS. I was very depressed about the diagnosis. I couldn't really do anything. Even after a month I was thinking, 'no, this can't happen to me'. I was a very healthy person and worked out every day. So I had to educate myself."
"About a month ago I was very sick. I couldn't even walk, I had to stay in bed, I would have to hold on to walls, or crawl. I can't dance anymore. I used to work out every day and I can't work out that much anymore. I try to work out maybe three or four times a week. I can't use my right hand anymore, so it's a bit awkward when I have to ask others to write for me,” says Antonio.
However, he calls for no symptom to be neglected and health not to be taken for granted even at young ages.