Hi guys, I'm Stephanie. I love art (enjoying & creating), gardening, playing with my dog, and pumping iron
. I have pretty eclectic taste in hobbies -- I'm a compulsive hobbyist, as I like to say. I love to read anything I can get my hands on (except concerning politics and other touchy, bias-prone subjects) and journal.
I'm the type of person who hates being sick, hates taking pills, and hates going to the doctor. I'd rather be living my life and playing with my dog than being miserable and worrying about my health.
I'm a very logical person -- I'm more likely to write a symptom off as anxiety, dehydration, or even just having a bad day.
The thing is, I used to see a neurologist when I was younger because I used to get migraines often. For a couple of years in my teens (~17-19), I got horrible migraines. Like sit in a pitch black room and cry migraines. Then, they went away.
It was a gradual thing, they just got less frequent and then stopped altogether. I didn't even realize it until one day I thought to myself, "wow, I haven't had a migraine in months."
Fast forward to now, I'm 25 years old and getting horrible headaches again. This time, though with debilitating neck pain. Then there was the horrible pain in the right side of my face, shooting down my jaw, and behind my right eye.
It's not constant, though. It will happen almost daily for a while and then fade away.
For the past 2-3 years I've had these "bouts" of neck pain and headaches, but the face pain is new.
After telling the doctor about my symptoms, he performed the neurological exam. At this point I had done a little research since my mom has nerve damage (neuropathy in her feet, but she's not diabetic) and so does her father.
I wanted to know what the "normal" reflexes are supposed to look like. I didn't memorize a textbook on the subject or anything, I just found enough information to know your toes are supposed to curl, you are supposed to be able to maintain your balance with your eyes closed, etc.
My left foot responded normally, but my right extended. The doctor shined a light in my eyes for an eternity and then asked me if I'd ever had a brain or cervical MRI.
I had -- I just had one the previous year for neck pain, but since I don't go to the doctor often (previous reasons + poor insurance) I just took the cd and looked at it. I didn't see anything weird, so I didn't go back to the doctor. The pain then subsided and the MRI cd was lost on my crammed bookshelf never to be found (ok, I did find it, but not until I got another cervical MRI).
Of course I looked at the sheet and promptly freaked the you know what out when I saw "multiple sclerosis" on the paper. I didn't even know what it was, really. I WebMD'd it and looked at symptoms. Every. Single. One. Sounded like me. It sounded like the story of my life. Seriously, since I was a kid.
I used to have weeks, if not months when my eyes would shake back and forth involuntarily. I had "growing pains" that were unexplainable pain in the legs (really, growing pains? Does that even happen or is it an old wives' tale?). Then there was of course the horrible, horrible fatigue. I won't beat a dead horse writing every symptom. I'm sure you guys are familiar with them. Just know that when I say this sounded like the story of my life, I mean I felt this revelation that, "wow, not everyone goes through this?"
I never knew that other people didn't have these symptoms -- I just assumed that they dealt with them better than I did. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's true. "What!? You mean your eyes don't move back and forth really fast sometimes? Weird." -- Me at like 12.
Got the pain in the you know what MRI done, looked at the cd while googling MRIs of MS patients, and saw absolutely nothing. The cervical one was the same. I got a copy of the brain MRI report and it's squeaky clean.
This is the point I'm at now. I can't help but feel this gut feeling that there's something going on in there... Honestly, I'd be okay with having MS as long as it meant that I could move forward and stop missing out on life. Even if it meant that eventually I'd have to give up some things. I'd rather be able to enjoy them while I can and be able to say, "okay, I'm just having symptoms, my (husband, friends, etc.) will understand why I can't go out today," and not feel (as) guilty about it.
I just can't shake this feeling. Does anyone have any suggestions? Am I being completely nuts? Any experiences with "clean" MRIs? (this was the higher powered machine, with contrast, done at the university diagnostic center)
Thanks for reading. I am sorry for the novel, but I hope it wasn't too boring. Any advice would be appreciated.