Hi. It may seem weird to start posting here in such a happy way, but I am determined to be optimistic and approach this whole thing from a learning-challenge perspective.
I've had symptoms for years, but between being one of those "real trooper" type of people, and usually not having health insurance, I rarely went to see a doctor, much less for symptoms such as the tingling head or numb toes. Going through time periods where I get words mixed up ("Hurry up, we're late. Get your pack-back and go outside to start the fridge so we can leave...") is something the family has teased me about for a few years. I mean, it is kind of funny. Even when my left eye became super blurry and showed me repeated flashing lights for a few days, I stuck it out. I'm really nearsighted anyway so being half blind wasn't entirely new to me. And, the falling down... well I've always been a little clumsy. For over a decade (I'm 49) I've been dealing with times of such intense fatigue and random pains that I've just come to live with it. I wondered sometimes what was up with that, but usually reasoned it came from years of being a mostly single Mom and I was just wore out sometimes. I call those times my "down times" and use them to lay in bed all day, watch films and write bad poetry.
Anyway, long story short, a little over a year ago the fingers on my left hand started feeling tingly and going numb. A series of events led me to finally be able to get health insurance, though it is state 'medicaid'. (OHP) I went to see a doctor and we figured ulnar nerve. I did a run of PT that didn't help much.
A month ago, the tingling and numbness began keeping me up at night and gradually traveled up my arm. Then, over a series of a few days, the toes on my left foot became numb and tingly, then that gradually became my foot and on up my left leg. I made an appointment with my doc, but before I could see him, the entire left side of my body became tingling and numb, including my neck and that side of my face. The crown of my head felt like magic, it was so tingly, and sent shivers through my body- mostly left side.
An emergency room visit was fruitless- I do not even want to talk about that.
At this point, I began researching my symptoms and in my mind, I really feel like there is a very good chance I have MS.
When I visited my doc, he wanted to order an MRI but due to my insurance restrictions, he has to do other things first and then refer me to a neurologist. But, he was able to order a CT scan.
The results of that were scary, and subsequent research since indicates to me these brain changes can be the result of long-term untreated MS.
Moderate brain atrophy, unusual for people my age. (No, I have never been a heavy drinker- something else that can cause that) Microvascular ischemic "changes".
Those valleys in the brain- sulcal? Whatever you want to call them, mine are deep and wide, as if I am an old lady. (Moderate is what the CT report said- perhaps I am exaggerating a bit)
So as mentioned earlier, I have been researching in depth the brain and MS. imho- not yet confirmed- these brain changes are a result of MS. I feel this way because of the other symptoms and the fact that nothing else about me seems to be the cause of such a thing.
A few years ago, I did have high blood pressure, but that has been normal to nearly normal for almost 2 years now. My cholesterol and all that stuff-normal, but pushing it. (I love butter though have sadly eliminated it from my diet after reading up on MS). Insulin- normal. All bloodtests and ekg's so far- normal, normal, normal... except when it comes to my brain which is shrinking enough that untreated, soon it might be rattling around in my head. If I don't start to work now on slowing down or stopping the progression of the atrophy and what-have-you, it looks like my lifelong dream of being an old lady wandering up and down the beach muttering to myself will be a reality long before I expected.
So here I am this sunny and windy morning, posting to your forum and hoping to get to know you, and to learn more. I am particularly interested in diet and lifestyle changes that are brain and muscle healthy, because I figure I can't go wrong there, even if it turns out somehow that I do not have MS.
I am waiting on an appointment with the neurologist so we can go from here re further testing.
Thank you for your forum. I've been reading through it for a couple of weeks now.