Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Possible MS? Or something else?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 2 Replies
  • Posted By: pointtaken
  • October 16, 2008
  • 07:02 PM

A while ago I noticed I had a lot of symptoms that were piling on top of each other, the most worrisome of which were intermittent paresthesia, odd sensations, etc. When I looked them up online, everything kept pointing me to MS, which worried me even more. I started keeping track of them in the hopes of finding some kind of trend that I could show my doctors. When I showed my primary doctor, he just looked kind of dumbfounded, then sent me for a spinal x-ray. When that didn't help, he wanted to order another x-ray, which I thought was pointless, so I asked for an MRI. That came back with some issues, so he referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who said MS was a possibility, then he referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist spent 5 seconds with me, said, "It's not MS" and sent me for an MRI to confirm.

When I came back for the results of the MRI, the nurse basically told me I was imagining it all. To see if she might be right, I stopped keeping track of the symptoms hoping that if I didn't think about it, they would subside.
They haven't. And now I'm having paresthesia in my face, lips, etc. I'm so tired of being labeled a hypochondriac just because no one has figured out what's wrong with me! I've been tested for diabetes, liver problems, kidney problems, name it - everything comes back normal.

Here is the info I gave my doctors, I'd greatly appreciate any insight.

age 5 - onset of headaches
age 12-13 - onset of pinching between shoulder blades
age 15 - passenger in rear-impact accident, diagnosed with mild-moderate whiplash
age 21 - diagnosed with disk degeneration & scoliosis, began visits with chiropractor, received moderate but very temporary symptom relief
age 22 (1997) - driver in front-impact accident, damage to neck, lower back, knees, & right foot
age 25-26 (2000-2001) - sought help with headaches from primary care physician, no relief from any treatments
age 26 (mid 2001) – brushed hair, then turned head to the right to look in mirror, felt somewhat slow but extremely intense tightening of neck accompanied with severe, debilitating mid-neck pain, unable to turn head in any direction without extreme pain, sought help from chiropractor, even the slightest touch was unbearable, chiropractor claimed it was torticollis, no consultation with other doctors
age 28 (2003) – rear passenger in spin-out accident (both front and rear impact), mostly muscle pain in front of neck from fighting centrifugal force, no obvious lasting effects
age 29 (2004, early-mid 1st pregnancy) - developed small black spot in right eye; was told no treatment available/necessary (tested negative for gestational diabetes); also numbness/tingling in arms/legs
03/07/05 - delivered 1st child
11/10/06 - delivered 2nd child
11/15/06 - sudden loss of about 50% strength & control in right arm while nursing baby, arm seemed cold to the touch; visited ER, received cat-scan & ultrasound of arteries & veins in arm; ruled out stroke and blood clot (don’t know where test results are from that visit – still at hospital or at OB/GYN office – Dr. Thomas Armbruster)
11/16/06 - regained strength in arm but felt intermittent needle-like pains in differing areas of right arm, hand, and wrist; also had temporary (about 5-10 minute) visual disturbance - reverse-c-shaped sparkling/flashing area in right eye
11/17/06 - mildly painful hypersensitivity in outer right forearm, wrist, and hand
11/18/06 - return of the reverse-c-shaped sparkling/flashing area in right eye, again for about 10 minutes
11/22/06 - flashing again (twice)
12/03/06 - flashing again
01/25/07 - excruciating lower back pain upon leaning forward about 20-30º, lasted for about 2 days, then remained somewhat milder for about 1 week
02/22/07 - visited Dr. Malcolm Foster, ordered spinal X-ray & took blood sample, results came back with elevated liver enzymes, viral hepatitis test was negative
03/12/07 - unable to stand up from lying on my back, debilitating pain in lower back, had to have husband help me roll over onto my stomach, kneel up, then crawl backward off the bed (took a good 5 minutes just to stand up), then felt strange sensations in lower back, only description I can muster is similarity to like-poled magnets being forced together; pain lasted several days
03/15/07 – X-ray performed
03/22/07 - visited Dr. Foster for x-ray results, he ordered MRI
03/29/07 - MRI performed
03/31/07 – noticed increased numbness in feet & legs, usually one at a time but sometimes both
04/03/07 - call from Dr. Foster with MRI results: degenerating, dehydrated, & bulging disks in lumbar spine, offered pain meds & suggested visit to "spinal doctor"
04/04/07 – woke up with no feeling in either arm, arms would move properly but fingers were slow to respond, took 5-10 minutes before proper function returned
04/05/07 – noticed pronounced increase in dizziness (vertigo?)
04/06/07 – tremor in left thumb, lasted about 1 minute
04/07/07 – woke with numbness in both arms again, left arm stayed tingly most of the day, especially in 2 outside fingers & outside half of hand. Pronounced numbness in left leg & foot for about half an hour in the evening, couldn’t walk.
04/09/07 – nearly simultaneous numbness/tingling in both legs & right arm for about 10 minutes
04/10/07 – excessive pain in lower back, more leg/foot tingling than usual, left arm intermittently responding improperly to my commands (taking a drink, wrist wouldn’t turn, hand wouldn’t clamp properly)
04/11/07 – lower back even worse, numbness/tingling from toes to mid-thighs in both legs simultaneously for about 10 minutes (while walking), still having significant dizziness
04/12/07 – severe headache, intense lower back pain, intermittent numbness/tingling in all limbs
04/13/07 – intermittent twitches in right eye & scalp, no headache
04/14/07 – noticeable increase in facial tingling (around nose & mouth), left side of lips not responding properly (mild), and right eye twitching/jerking
04/15/07 – increase in “chilling” sensation in both arms, not tingling but almost lack of sensation
04/16/07 – moderate/severe headache, “chilled” arms, severe tingling in legs, strange sensation in scalp, neck pain
04/17/07 – mild symptoms (usual daily stuff: tingling in all limbs), also tingling in scalp, nose, and above left eye, pain inside right hand, and weakness of both hands and arms, no headache
04/18/07 – intermittent sharp left arm pain; increased lower back pain, but less tingling in legs/feet; tingling/burning sensation on front/top of scalp for about 10 minutes, then decreased to just tingling throughout evening; weakness in both hands; thumbs not acting properly; moderate-severe headache in late evening
04/19/07 – woke with numbness/tingling in all limbs (more so in legs) and cramping/spasms in left calf, right thigh, and lower back; pain on top of feet; weakness in hands; moderate sharp pain in lower-left back throughout the day; cramp/weakness in right calf in late evening
04/20/07 – consulted orthopedic surgeon, received referral to neurologist; symptoms as usual

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