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Home » Thriving With Multiple Sclerosis: Rob Cridge (Transcript)

Thriving With Multiple Sclerosis: Rob Cridge (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Rob Cridge’s talk titled “Thriving With Multiple Sclerosis” at TEDxKinjarling 2023 conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


Imagine if you were diagnosed with a progressive condition for which there was no cure. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. My journey starts about 1995, it was a hot night and I was driving home from work at the Esplanade Hotel. I was a chef there. I couldn’t quite read the license plate of the car in front of me. So I covered one eye, seemed okay. Covered my other eye, hmm, very blurry. I’m only 27 years old.

The Diagnosis Journey

Maybe I need glasses. So I went to the optometrist, did some tests. The optometrist said, “Rob, yeah, it’s not really glasses related. You probably need to go to an eye specialist.”

Okay, so I went to an eye specialist, followed a red dot on a black background for a while. That was fine. And he said, “Well, Rob, you need to go to UWA and do some more tests.” So I went to UWA, did some more tests, came back to him and he said, “Rob, you have optic neuritis.” “What’s that?” “Well, that’s swelling of the optic nerve, okay? And I can’t really cure that. I think you need to see a specialist.”

And the specialist I’m going to refer you to, he specializes in cancer, but also neurological conditions. Cancer. Hmm. If I got a brain tumor, I’m thinking, “Oh, well, I go see this specialist.” He says to me, “Rob, we’re going to start with a lumbar punch.” If you’ve ever had a lumbar punch, it’s when they stick a spear-sized needle in your back. You’re in the crossed up position, tell you not to move and drain some spinal fluid. As if I was going to move for fear of being totally paralyzed.

After that, he got me in and he said, “Rob, we need to do some more tests. We’re going to send you for an MRI.” Now those who don’t know what an MRI is, magnetic resonance imaging scan, that will take some pictures of my brain. Okay, I’m a bit nervous.

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