Then in late June 2011, my body freaked out and I had a whole bunch of symptoms start up almost simultaneously. At first I thought I was having kidney problems and went to a urologist...nope. Then gynecologist...nope. Then primary care...nope. Bloodwork out the wazoo, nothing wrong. Then I started to have some pain in my back (not muscular) so I went to the back doctor and he said I had some strain and degeneration. Aha! That must be the answer! The symptoms went away by September, except for the fatigue and cognition problems (they had gotten much worse during that period, and now went back to their prior level of "off" lol).
Then in early December I noticed the problems starting to creep back in, and by the middle of December they were all back. So now off to primary care again, and he says my symptoms are puzzling and he's not really having an "Aha!" with them, but does mention MS. He orders an MRI with contrast of my brain and it comes back normal, along with all new bloodwork (normal as well).
I ask for a neurology referral and he gladly gives it. I saw her last week and didn't really get a warm and fuzzy from her. She dismissed some of my symptoms as not being neurologic (I respectfully disagree) in nature and has ordered nerve studies that I will have next week. So I don't know what's going on with me, but since both of them mentioned MS here I am trying to educate myself. An acquaintance who has MS also said it sounded similar to what she went through.
Here is the list of symptoms I've been having:
--cognitive problems (short-term memory malfunctions, focus/concentration problems, difficulty finding the right word, having to make effort to do something I would normally do as an almost automatic brain function--like driving or reading)
--frequent, urgent urination
--incontinence (small amounts, this one is new in the 2nd episode)
--bowel problems (it's like the muscles don't work right, consistency is normal but alot of strain--also new for 2nd episode)
--deep spasms in R leg (calf, outside of lower leg, arch). Usually when lying down, but also has happened when seated or standing. Sometimes so severe I get a grade 2 muscle strain.
--smaller spasms or vibrations in both legs and sometimes forearms, followed by sore muscles (when using, not when touching). Sometimes sore muscles when waking, so I think it's happening in my sleep too. Sometimes accompanied by sharp, almost pinpoint pain in the muscle (esp. top of right calf muscle)
--itching. OMG the itching. usually lasts 5-15 minutes then goes away, but occur sporadically like that over the course of several hours. Occurs just about everywhere but around the midsection and butt/upper thighs. Usually with a burning sensation and not relieved by scratching.
--Feeling of pressure/numbness on one particular vertebra--not sure if it's high lumbar or low thoracic (forgot to ask doc)
--waking for no reason/light sleeping (normally not a problem--I think it might be due to the aforementioned spasms)
--numbness/tingling in arms, weakness in hands. Occurs in both, but only one at a time. Sometimes have drawing of pinky finger with it, but rarely. Sometimes arm jerk in sleep too.
--more headaches than usual, and are different from what I'm used to. Most are just headaches, not migraines. I used to have hormone-related migraines but haven't had any in YEARS. The other night had all the hallmarks of one (aura, nausea, vomiting, feeling like pressure was crushing my head/neck inwards but no pain) but it was different than any I had ever had before.
--random electric shock type pains, mostly R chest but sometimes R heel and arms
--visual disturbances. This is really hard to describe, and maybe some of you can help me. I have had floaters, pinpoints, and loss of small field of vision...but I also have experienced another one that I don't know how to describe. It's like when you start to get tunnel vision at the beginning of an aura, but not that pronounced. It's more subtle. Kind of like when you look at really weird carpet or miniblinds and they throw your vision off? Everything is still in focus, but it seems like there's a subtle movement and also shading around the edges of my vision.
--occasional dizziness/loss of balance but rarely and nothing severe
--pain during 1st episode (started in R flank area, then became more generalized in lower back but not muscular in origin) but very little this time around other than aforementioned headaches and very brief shock/pins-and-needles pain
Thanks for bearing with me, and even if in the long run it turns out I don't have MS, I am honored to have "met" all of you and learn about what this diagnosis means to you and your loved ones.
The neurologist and neuro opthamologist I saw at Duke were both excellent and very proactive. I live in Wake Forest and the 45 min - hour drive was worth it. You may want to look into getting checked out there if you are able to because MS can't be diagnosed with only a brain MRI. I also had an MRI of my spine, a lumbar puncture (spinal tap), and blood work. I go back on March 13th to see the neurologist and hope it's not MS, but it seems to be leaning that way.
Either way, you should get more tests done to rule it out. My aunt has it and says it's important to get on the medication right away if you're diagnosed.
I'm a newbie to this to, but I hope this helps! Best of luck to you.
I have a second-opinion appointment scheduled next week with a neuro that's an MS specialist here in my area, just to get his take on it. I know I'm not going to get any diagnosis right now, I'd just like to figure out what the chances are that I might have MS, and if it's not that, then give me a direction to go in to find out what I DO have. The neuro that did my nerve studies wasn't very helpful.
I have had xrays, mri's, evoked potentials, cat scans, blood work............Last Brain Mri was in 2009, Last Mri of the Upper & Lower Thorasic Spine was in 2011, Last Mri of Lumbar Spine was in 2012, just a few weeks ago, Last Cat Scan 2011, Last Evoked Potential 2011, I have had 2 never conductors tests, last one was in 2011, All tests were Normal, Except:
Lumbar Spine, mild disc bulge, on disc L4-L5.........that does not account for all my symptoms..........I have seen 5 neurologist, one specialized in MS, Orthopedics, Rheumotologist just last week whom states he thinks I have Fibromyalgia because they cant find anything else wrong..........he did not test or anything, just assumes I have that. So now I'm doing Physical Therapy, I'm frustrated because I want to know why I have to do Physical Therapy, why am I having these issues & they cant see them from any test run, 2 bad hips, 2 bad arms & hands!!! Now for my back which I do not feel as much pain in at all. These have all crept up on me just this year. Alot of my symptoms are not symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Why not do another Brain Mri since my last one was done in 2009 or even a lumbar puncture. Very frustrated here. I am 41 by the way.