I might just be crazy, but...

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I might just be crazy, but...

Postby cyborg13 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:13 pm

So I think I have reason to suspect that I may have MS, but just to make sure I'm not just crazy I thought I'd ask the opinion of those who have it get their take on my issues...

Part of why I have not gone running back to my neurologist is because I am active duty military, and well, I don't want to be viewed as a sick call commando over what may be nothing. However, over the last year or so I've had some cognitive & dexterity issues that have made me concerned, especially as I handle explosives for a living.

I've always been clumsy & accident prone, but now I've been having a lot of trouble holding on to things, for example last night I was waiting in the check out line at the store with a newspaper in my hand, and a tiny little tick in my hand caused me to drop the newspaper. This happens multiple times a day, dropping pens, lighters, cups, etc., and also difficulty picking them back up, it usually takes a few grabs. Mostly fine motor control stuff.

I've also had needle-like stabbing sensation in my right foot off on as far back as I can remember (always thought this was normal for everyone until I mentioned it to a group of friends). Also over the past couple months I've noticed a "chill" that shoots down my left leg.

There's also been cognitive issues, like finding words, and occasional slurring of speech.

I was seeing a neuro about a year ago for a herniated disc (L5-S1), which I had lumbar disc replacement for back in January. On my first visit with her, I bombed several function tests, mostly with my hands & balance, that could not be attributed to the herniated disc. She had my B-12 level tested, and it came back perfect. When she turned me over to my neurosurgeon, she strongly emphasized that I come back right away if anything became an issue. I didn't think much of it at the time, but in retrospect I think she had grim suspicions in regards to my clumsiness.

Fatigue has always been a problem, and I've never been a fan of hot weather (I'm a ginger, so go figure). I had "heat exhaustion" in Iraq (began slurring speech, saw "ants" crawling on my arms) but after an hour with some A/C I was fine.

Well, my surgery went great, no longer in pain, have full range of motion, and regained use of my left leg, and I've been almost dismissing anything in regards to my lower extremities, left leg in particular, as there may be some residual nerve damage (no follow up nerve conduction study post-op), unless it is new.

Like most service members I hit the caffeine pretty hard, but I kicked my habit two months ago and it had no effect on my dexterity.

It all just seems so subtle and circumstantial that even if I did get checked out, it would be inconclusive. Also, I have no family history of MS, or any other neurological disorder. I am 25 y/o.

Maybe somebody can give me a reality check and show me I'm just being a hypochondriac. :-)

Thanks!

***EDIT*** I also get chills where I'll get goose bumps on one side of my body, but not the other. Not a frequent thing, I would have forgotten about this symptom completely if it hadn't happened right after I originally made this post. :-P
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Re: I might just be crazy, but...

Postby lyndacarol » Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:45 pm

Welcome to ThisIsMS, cyborg13. Although you are active-duty military, you may find something of interest in our forum, Veterans and MS:

veterans-and-ms-f51/

First, take a deep breath. You are not crazy; you are not a hypochondriac. Something must account for your symptoms. You may not have MS at all; it is a differential diagnosis – made by ruling out other possibilities. On the other hand, at this point and with your symptoms there is still the possibility of MS. IF you do have MS, you have found many supportive friends at this site. We come from diverse experiences and hold diverse ideas. We do not agree necessarily in our thoughts on MS; you will probably not agree with some of us either; we only ask for tolerance when we express unconventional ideas.

Second, in your search for an answer, I think you need to start with a GP or internist, or even a D.O., with whom you are comfortable, who is compassionate and who enjoys being a "disease detective." He can order the tests necessary to rule out some possibilities. Start again at the beginning with a thorough physical, baseline examination including blood tests for your cortisol level (elevated with stress-and a job handling explosives must be stressful!), glucose AND insulin levels (these are two DIFFERENT tests), thyroid hormone levels (TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reserve T3, and antithyroid antibodies), even a liver profile, CRP (C-reactive protein) test (indicating inflammation), – our member jimmylegs will recommend others for nutrition levels, such as vitamin D3. Ask for a copy of all your test results for your own file.

Finally, from this day forward, I encourage you to eat a healthy diet (a good idea whether or not you have MS). Many people find that diet can influence the symptoms of MS. In my opinion, this means a low-carb diet -- removing all sugar (including beer, wine, etc. which have sugar), all artificial sweeteners, including sugar alcohols like sorbitol, xylitol, etc. (These promote insulin production, too.), all trans fats (These also increase insulin.), and white flour, white bread, white potatoes, white rice (in fact, all carbs so far as possible) from your diet. You mentioned that you kicked the caffeine habit; does that mean you gave up soft drinks as well? (Most soda pop contains the sweetener, High Fructose Corn Syrup – VERY bad especially for the liver.) Personally, I think that excess insulin plays a great part in MS. I think that Fatty Liver Disease is also involved, since visceral fat secretes cytokines, which lead to increased insulin, which leads to inflammation which leads to more visceral fat… And the cycle goes round and round. Diet is important; in fact. You may find the account of Dr. Terry Wahls and her dramatic improvement interesting (http://www.TerryWahls.com).

All the best to you.
My hypothesis: excess insulin (hyperinsulinemia) plays a major role in MS, as developed in my initial post: http://www.thisisms.com/forum/general-discussion-f1/topic1878.html "Insulin – Could This Be the Key?"
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Re: I might just be crazy, but...

Postby cyborg13 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:03 pm

Thanks! I'll definitely make my way over my neurologist then and talk to her, the GPs we have are over-loaded and I'll probably just get told to drink water and take an ibuprofen anyway. I have to get blood panels on a regular basis for my job, so I know glucose, insulin, cholesterol, liver function, thyroid, and iron levels are good based off of my recent tests. Cortisol & D3 I'm not sure about.

I rarely drink sodas, though I was fond of energy drinks. I'm more of a water & gatorade person. :-) Working on kicking sugars out, but it's not easy!

Thanks again for your advice!
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Re: I might just be crazy, but...

Postby jimmylegs » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:18 pm

hi and welcome. i couldn't say whether your symptoms are related to ms or not, but if you want you can look into nutrient depletion and figure out if you match an ms patients nutrient profile, or not. good to hear you already looked at b-12. what was the level, iima? from the issues you mention, i wonder if you can get a serum magnesium test (the tic, the fatigue, caffeine history) and a serum zinc test (cognitive) and serum alpha tocopherol (dexterity, and possibly sensory ataxia).

if you can go to a regular doc and order a little bloodwork, the results could be useful. they'll likely all come back 'normal' but normal includes everyone, sick and healthy. if you go to my regimen thread you can check out the 'optimal' target levels required for good health and lower risk of disease: regimens-f22/topic2489.html it starts with some dietary background but if you scroll down to the bloodwork section you might find some of the info there interesting.
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Re: I might just be crazy, but...

Postby cyborg13 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:29 pm

I'll pull my record Monday and check what labs exactly were run and the exact levels. My neuro is pretty awesome, so I'll schedule a follow up with her and see about getting the tests you recommended done, jimmylegs. She'll probably go ahead and schedule an MRI and post-op nerve conduction study (no fun!), too.

Wouldn't be surprised if my cortisol is high right now, just came of a training ex we nicknamed Murphy's Law... :-P
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Re: I might just be crazy, but...

Postby jimmylegs » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:54 pm

sounds like you have lots of great access to info and care, that's great news :) and, yeah. nerve conduction testing, it's all cuddles and cupcakes isn't it :S ugh!
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Re: I might just be crazy, but...

Postby Laney » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:23 pm

I often wonder if herniations are related to MS.

I think we know our own bodies better than anyone else
We may not always correctly diagnose ourselves but the things you experience are real and obviously interfere with your life in some way. Somedays may be better than others but the bad days can make u feel like you want to put your doctors inside your body just to make them understand where you are coming from!

I get so embarrassed at work in front of patients when I bump into walls or stumble. I feel as if they are thinking I am a drunk. Then when I do the peripheral vision test and they have to focus on my nose and my left lower lid is twitching like a neon sign in Vegas...oh the thoughts going through their heads....I bet they think "wow this lady really needs to be working for an eye doctor!" Lol!

I hope you get some answers soon! I have been on a roller coaster for a year and a half and still feel like I at the beginning!

You ARE NOT crazy!
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Re: I might just be crazy, but...

Postby Laney » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:26 pm

And from what I have learned with fatigue related to herniations....typically thoracic herniations cause fatigue.
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Re: I might just be crazy, but...

Postby cyborg13 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:23 am

Herniated disc was definitely the result of throwing around my own weight in ammo for a living. :-P

I do have an eye twitch from time to time, but always attributed it to stress or being tired... Hmmm... I clip corners and doorways a lot too.

I'm making a diet change to see if that rules out a lot of my problems, I wouldn't be surprised if it's a nutritional thing, since the more I think about it I can think of a reasonable cause for most things that I can maybe rule out on my own. :-)

I really appreciate everyone's time & advice!
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Re: I might just be crazy, but...

Postby Laney » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:52 pm

Good luck and keep us updated!
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Re: I might just be crazy, but...

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:02 pm

heya! cool re diet change - if you want an assessment done re nutrient and inflammation balance of your new diet, just say. here to help!
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Re: I might just be crazy, but...

Postby cyborg13 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:15 pm

Do you think a kind of modified paleo is a good idea?
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Re: I might just be crazy, but...

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:28 pm

why yes, yes i do :D (i don't buy into the full so-called paleo diet). what kind of mods are you talking?
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Re: I might just be crazy, but...

Postby cyborg13 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:54 pm

Modified to a lifestyle without a real kitchen (USMC barracks standard issue is a microwave... sometimes). The only pastas I eat are those awesome chow mein noodle bowls you can get for like a $1. I have an electric skillet but I have to wash it in my shower (and it's unauthorized so I have to hide it). Cooking is already exhausting (even though I love to cook) without having to aggravate my implant by scrubbing the darn thing on my hands and knees twice a day. I use olive oil Pam. I got back on the caffeine :-( (and discovered tiramisu cake!), but other than that I've been doing ok diet wise. Turns out I love steamed asparagus! I highly recommend this thing called a Multi-Pot I got at Wal-Mart, it cooks rice, veggies, etc. in a short time in the microwave, so it's great for people in a lifestyle like mine or just don't have the energy to wait 2 hours for a decent meal. Comes with cooking instructions.

Definitely went off my health kick a bit, been imbibing a bit since my Dad died last week. Please don't be super-sympathetic, we weren't close, He didn't know I was a Marine until this past year (I've been in for 6), I haven't seen him since I was 17, but I am NOK so that's been stressful without being able to physically be there. Still stings though. I am probably going to extend my leave since I don't think it's a good idea to go back to work yet.

And I may be deploying again in November. I want to go, but part of me thinks it's not a good idea, so prepping for that too.

Kicking out fast food, though I LOVE McDonald's and Mexican food, trying to get rid of grains and processed foods. No more spaghetti-o's, donuts, avoiding breads, tortilla chips :,-(. Just sticking with meats and green/leafy veggies for the most part.
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Re: I might just be crazy, but...

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:32 pm

ah, the pseudo kitchen, i'm very familiar with that scenario, for sure!

i can totally relate to being out of touch with parental figures, no worries on that score :S

very good idea re extending leave to get back on track.

FANTASTIC idea to toss the fast food and processed grain pseudo-foods. so very smart! since you like mexican, i was trying to think of options, but unless you have a food processor it's just not quick and easy. but, if you like eating avocados, go for it. great healthy fats.

lean meats and lots of green leafies are great. if you are eating high volumes of things like swiss chard, spinach, and kale (and i hope you are), boil for 3 min to reduce oxalic acid content. if you like them. you can work the odd serving of wild salmon and sweet potato in there - anti-inflammatory, and so good for you.

on to nuts and seeds, for some key nutrients and omega fatty acids. any chance of putting together a nice balanced trail mix? with walnuts (O-3, mildly inflammatory) and cashews (O-6, anti-inflammatory) and raw sunflower seeds (O-6, anti-inflammatory) and a sprinkle of flax seeds (O-3, anti-inflammatory)? with a little dried fruit? and a few dark chocolate chips..? (could help a little with the loss of donuts ;) )
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