MS-esque, or not so much?

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MS-esque, or not so much?

Postby JenniferF » Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:28 pm

Um, no, I'm not seeking a diagnosis from strangers on the internet. Just looking for a reality check on a couple symptoms - does this sound MS-ish, or not so MS-ish, in your experience:

I get kind a stiff/numb feeling in my right side extremities, and it seems like some of the time the trigger is related to muscles in my back. (Maybe; that's my guess). For example, if I'm out walking around, relaxed and swinging my arms the normal way people swing their arms (a movement from the shoulder), my right hand/fingers will get the numb sensation. Not 100% of the time, but often enough to be sure of the association. I've also noticed at times in the past that massage on my back (right side) will improve symptoms -- though I've also had back massage that successfully induced sciatica or, on another occasion, more extreme parasthesias in my foot. I've also noticed that I'll tend to get symptoms if I'm sitting around for a while in one position, but if I actively get up and try to loosen the muscles by moving all around (I have kind of a routine developed now), it seems to help clear up the wooden-feeling.

What do you think? Any of this familiar MS-y stuff, or sound like something completely different? Feel free to ask questions if I'm not making myself clear in the descriptions, sometimes I am just lousy at explaining these things to people.

Putting some more details below, for people who like more details.

Thanks in advance for you input. And no, I promise, I am not using the internet as a substitute for real medical advice : - ). Like I said, just trying to get a feel for what is and isn't a possible ms-related thing.

Jen.


The more details, if it helps:

-The right side of my back has some muscles that seem to be in a perpetual spasm (painless, conveniently.) Perpetual as in for the last nearly a year or so, coinciding with onset of symptoms. So we were kind of working under the impression that maybe it was all just tight muscles.

-FYI I also get a couple more classically-MS-esque symptoms in the right arm & leg - weakness/fatigue with what should be normal use, left side not bothered, and also symptoms induced by heat -- which is why I've been lurking around here trying to learn more, in anticipation of the eventual referral to the friendly MS lady, for lack of other ideas, if the symptoms won't learn to behave themselves.

-And while we're on the FYI's, I've had a couple EMG's rule out peripheral nerve damage..
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Postby CureOrBust » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:01 am

MRI?
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Postby jimmylegs » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:46 am

ew, the emg was that that fun thing with the metal probe they jam into your muscles? i had that too, in the early phase of investigation.
ms or not, take some magnesium jenn :)
600mg mag citrate per day.
and take an epsom salts bath, i recently realized, thanks to NHE, that that's mag sulfate which has been used IV against tetanus.
spastic muscles and numbness will certainly be chalked up to ms if that's what they decide, but there could be so many other things causing you trouble that it's hard to say.
against the numbness, think about b12, iron, stuff like that. any possibilities you could be short.
hope that helps :)
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Postby JenniferF » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:44 pm

CureOrBust wrote:MRI?


Generic MRI to look for back things - slipped disk, tumor, etc. All clear.



****

BTW Everyone, I'm really not looking for 'do you think Jen has MS?'. Just looking for "no, that doesn't sound MS-y" or "yes, that is consistent with MS."

Jen.
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Postby JenniferF » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:57 pm

jimmylegs wrote:ew, the emg was that that fun thing with the metal probe they jam into your muscles? i had that too, in the early phase of investigation.
ms or not, take some magnesium jenn :)
600mg mag citrate per day.
and take an epsom salts bath, i recently realized, thanks to NHE, that that's mag sulfate which has been used IV against tetanus.
spastic muscles and numbness will certainly be chalked up to ms if that's what they decide, but there could be so many other things causing you trouble that it's hard to say.
against the numbness, think about b12, iron, stuff like that. any possibilities you could be short.
hope that helps :)


The lovely thing about numbness is that an EMG is really no big deal. Especially after you've given birth enough times ; - ).

I've been taking Mag Citrate 400 mg sporadically -- took it for a while to see if it helped with irreg hb, I think maybe it did, I quit (went on vacation, forgot to bring it with me), was good for a while longer, irreg hb came back, I started it up again, irreg hb went away. So yay for mag citrate. B12 I'm taking too (part of a bcomplex thing), and fish oil, and when I remember a generic calcium supplement (it's in another room from the other three). I really don't think iron level is a problem, it has been consistently good over the past few years (gets monitored a lot with pg and postpartum) including this past year, and I get plenty of iron in the diet.

***

So any thoughts on whether the apparent relationship between muscle tension and numbness is ms-ish or not? If I were to summarize, maybe to make it clearer:
Things that make my fingers feel stiff, thick, numbish:
-hot shower
-sitting still for a long time
-swinging my arms while walking
-sometimes no explanation

Things that make it better:
-relaxation
-massage
-moving around to loosen up shoulders
-sometimes nothing makes any difference
-sometimes it is better and it doesn't matter what I do, it stays better.

Things that make forearm feel weak:
-using it in a normal way, when it has decided it does not want to be used in a normal way. (brushing teeth, pushing baby stroller, etc)
- Usually coincides with spells when the fingers are prone to getting numb, but actually happens way less often.

***

Is that clearer? There's a list for the foot/leg that is about the same. (Obviously, I don't brush my teeth with my leg, lol.)

What do you think - consistent with MS? not consistent with MS? don't really know?

Jen.
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Postby cheerleader » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:00 pm

Jen-
Was that a spinal MRI? Never heard of "generic MRI".... they're pretty specific, brain, cervical spine or spine. In any event, an MRI of your brain and a spinal tap might give more answers. Everyone's MS is so different...your symptoms might signal MS, but the odds are with you, it's not.

Your symptoms could also be vascular and related to circulation. JL's right, take some magnesium, B-12 and make sure you get your vitamin D. Knock off any artificial sweetners and junk food. Take care of yourself, and feel better-

AC
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby jimmylegs » Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:35 am

what are the amounts in your b-complex jenn?
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Postby JenniferF » Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:15 am

cheerleader wrote:Jen-
Was that a spinal MRI? Never heard of "generic MRI".... they're pretty specific, brain, cervical spine or spine. In any event, an MRI of your brain and a spinal tap might give more answers. Everyone's MS is so different...your symptoms might signal MS, but the odds are with you, it's not.

Your symptoms could also be vascular and related to circulation. JL's right, take some magnesium, B-12 and make sure you get your vitamin D. Knock off any artificial sweetners and junk food. Take care of yourself, and feel better-

AC


Pardon the technical terms, lol . . . by 'generic' what I meant was not the type of MRI used to look for MS lesions (isn't there like an injection with something before hand . . . T1 weighted exam, T2 weighted exam . . .?). It was of my spine/back.

Thanks for the feedback. I agree it could be any number of things . . . I was just trying to get an idea of whether the way I was experiencing the symptoms was like MS or not. I had been under the impression that it was more 'not', honestly. But that is with not really knowing much.

I'm in between rounds on the diagnosis - first round came up blank, and symptoms were and still are too mild to justify taking it to the next level. I've been offered the option of a referral to an MS clinic, but neither of the docs offering really thought that is what it was, they just wanted to give me the choice. (They had no opinion on what it could be. Rather grasping at straws.) I think at this point what I want to make sure is that I'm not going to waste mine and the doc's time if I do go down to the clinic . . . No one I've seen in my town really seems to have any knowledge or experience with MS (understandable), and I don't want to spend the time and money go travel to the clinic only to get there and have the doc look at me funny and say, "Well, no, MS isn't like *that*". I asked my GP if we couldn't do a phone or fax consult first, but he was a bit shy about it.

(BTW, never have used artificial sweeteners, not real big on junk food . . . I think part of my 'problem' is that I am, well, pretty healthy. And whatever I have is very mild yet. So my 'can't do what I used to do' is still able to do more than a lot of folks around my area can do anyway.)

Thanks for the input.

Jen.
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Postby JenniferF » Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:23 am

jimmylegs wrote:what are the amounts in your b-complex jenn?



Reading of the label:

Thiamine (B1) 50mg
Ribioflaving (B2) 50 mg
Niacin (B3) 50 mg
B-6 50 mg
Folic Acid 400mcg
B12 50 mcg
Biotin 50mcg
pantothenic acid 50mg

and what are these?:
PABA 50mg
Choline bitartrate 50 mg
Inositol 50mg

***

I better quit posting here. You keep making have to type out all this stuff with small print . . . pick up bottle, squint, read, put down, type . . . pick up bottle, squint, read, put down, type . . . either that or learn to type one-handed . . . ; - ).
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Postby jimmylegs » Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:39 am

your b-50 complex sounds like a pretty good one.

i think, if you have a clear MRI of the spine they will likely rule out MS/central neuropathy and look harder at peripheral (was the EMG normal too though?)

do you get enough vitamin E?

and for your questions...

paba ("Bx"): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Para-aminobenzoic_acid

choline: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choline_bitartrate

inositol ("B8"): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inositol

sorry 'bout all the squinting ;)
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Postby JenniferF » Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:09 pm

Jimmylegs, thank you for answering -- sorry for taking so long to read & reply. Appreciate the help.

Edited to say: Yes, EMG normal.

And vitamin E taking a fish oil supplement containing 30 I.U.
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