I'm going to be one of those annoying newbies who hasn't yet been diagnosed, but is searching for answers. I am wondering about MS (hence why I'm here!), but I'm keeping an open mind. That said, in searching for information, I have been really impressed with how helpful you all appear to be on the forum, and I thought, 'what the heck' I might as well ask and see if anyone can point me in the right direction.
Currently I am suffering from strange visual symptoms - near constant flashing lights in my right eye (like a pinwheel of light going off in my eye), blurred vision in that eye only, and loss of 'brightness' in that eye (like i'm wearing sunglasses with just one lens). Obviously, my first stop was the optometrist, who sent me straight to the opthamologist, who has just conducted a florescein angiograph(?) which showed white spots in my choroid and blurring of the margins in my optic disk. He said there is obviously an "inflammatory process" going on and is referring me to another specialist, but, he also said that it wasn't neurological because my colour vision was good and no neuropathy was evident by looking at my eye.
For the last 4-5 years I have been suffering from a wide variety of 'niggling' health problems which seem to come and go, and whilst i notice them fairly frequently, i can continue to function until they all 'gang up on me' at the same time. The two most debilitating aspects have been exceptional fatigue (exceptional tiredness, arms so heavy it's hard to raise them above my head to wash/brush my hair, etc.) and what is probably best described as 'brain fog' - memory problems, struggling to find the words I need to express myself, etc. I describe it to my doctors 'as if my brain just shuts down'.
I had an episode about 12 months ago (just using 'episode' as a descriptive term there, not suggesting it was an MS episode), but it came at a particularly stressful period in my life so my doctors said it was just 'stress' and sent me away with antidepressants even though I insisted, and still honestly believe, that I was not depressed. They said that my withdrawal from social activities i used to enjoy, etc. was evidence of depression, even though i kept telling them that the reason I had withdrawn was because i felt so physically exhausted - it's not that I didn't want to participate, it was that I physically couldn't - but why listen to me, i'm just the patient.
I have strange symptoms in my hands and feet, but they've so far been put down to carpal tunnel and/or poor circulation. My hands are the worst, but i struggle to find the words to express it, and the best I usually come up with is that 'my hands feel funny' - not exactly much for my doctor to go off, but I guess it's kind of like my hands are really cold, I find it hard to pick up small objects, and its kind of like they if I had problems with depth perception (which i don't think that i do), i go to pick something up and it's not quite where i think it is... I have hesitated to call it numbness because when it happens, I touch my thumb to my fingers and reassure myself that i can feel that touch, so my fingers aren't actually numb. But, it's also not like it's just fleeting, if its there, it's there for a few weeks or longer.
I work in my husband's business so I've been really lucky to be able to pace myself, and i've become quite adept at working around the fatigue, etc. and i can tell when i've overdone it. I'm having another 'episode' of debilitating exhaustion at the moment, and this time I'm less inclined to accept that it is simply 'stress' or 'depression' given that I have significantly reduced the stressors in my life and taken the course of anti-depressants the doctors insisted that I needed - without a significant change (though who wouldn't benefit from some extra serotonin floating around in their head!).
I've had numerous blood tests, nothing ever seems to show up, but the things that seem potentially relevant are that my Vit D levels are low and whilst i've never had a test for Magnesium, i have experimented with supplements (tablet form, magnesium oil and epsom salt baths) and I am absolutely convinced that I have a magnesium deficiency. I came around to the magnesium thing myself because I realised that I absolutely craved spinach, almonds, pine nuts, etc. so I surmised that magnesium deficiency might be an issue, and have definitely found that i get worse when i don't keep up with my supplements.
I also have polycystic ovarian syndrome, which i was diagnosed with at age 13 (I'm now 33), so whilst i know that insulin resistance may be an issue for me, my fasting glucose levels were always within appropriate ranges even though I am rather overweight - okay, i'll say it - obese (100kgs, 165cm), but my periods are regular, so i actually think my PCOS is under good control despite my weight issues. My appetite is nearly non-existent, but docs always look at the fat girl and assume that I must be kidding myself about what I eat (whereas I'm actually pretty convinced that I completely ruined my metabolism by effectively starving myself - not intentionally, but due to my poor appetite - honestly, I don't think i really know what it is to feel hungry anymore). On the other hand, my uric acid levels always come back on the high side of normal, so from what i've read, that would contra-indiciate MS...
I know that you guys can't diagnose me, but as I am going to see this new doc about this inflammatory eye thing i wanted to go in there with some basic knowledge about whether or not to press for an MRI. I guess what i really want to know is whether any of the symptoms that i have describe sound overtly familiar, and also as many of you seem to have great knowledge about nutritional issues, whether or not there may be a nutritional issue that I've overlooked? I've been tested for celiac, and i'm negative for celiac antibodies.
I have all my blood test results from the last 10 years (ordered them up directly from the lab in an effort to get to the bottom of my chronic health issues), but if anyone thinks that they may be able to help, i'll work out how to post/host them somewhere and post a link.
I'm really thinking that its not MS, because apart from the funny hands/feet, i haven't had real any sensory or mobility issues, but the doc got me kind of worried with the 'inflammatory' process thing and I have kind of dismissed many of the other inflammatory illnesses in my own mind because whilst I do have a multitude of issues, I just don't seem to fit with any of the prominent markers (obviously, as an overweight girl with PCOS i went first to Type 2 diabetes, but I just don't have excessive thirst, frequent urination, and i definitely don't have an increased appetite...).
So, any ideas on where to next? I would dearly appreciate any hints or anything you had to offer.