This all started seven months ago with a burning,tingling and almost crawling sensation on my head and neck. Doctors and after hour clinics would say "maybe your allergic to your hair products, try a dandruff shampoo". As my pain and discomfort kept getting worse I felt like I was losing my mind.Then my right arm started to really hurt. I went back to my Dr. and he thought I had tennis elbow. At that time I mentioned the problem with my head again ( about the 20th time) he agreed to send me to a dermatologist. The dermatologist said it was definitely not a skin condition. About two weeks later my finger had a strange almost electrical impulse feeling. I wiggled it and it felt like my finger exploded. It swelled about 3 times the normal size and turned a dark purple color. Following my whole right hand swelled. I went straight to the medical clinic and they said it was an allergic reaction and prescribed Claritin. I then returned to my Dr. And demanded him to find out what was wrong with me. He then ordered an MRI. In the mean time my symptoms have progressed. I do not have but maybe 10% function in my right arm and hand and about 50% in my left. Both hands are severely swollen. The numbness,burning and tingling sensation goes from my head down my back, both arms to my legs and my feet. When my results came in from the MRI my doctor didn't give me much detail. Just that I would have to go to pain management. There is only one in my area that takes my insurance. My appointment isn't for six weeks. So I went and got a copy of the MRI report. Can someone please explain the results?
Findings: mild cerebellar tonsillar ectopia 8mm inferior of the foramen magnum
Reversal of the cervical lordosis
C1-C2 Mild degenerative change in atlantoaxial joint
C3-C4 Mild circumferential disc bulge w/ventral thecal sac effacement
C4-C5 Mild circumferential disc bulge and posterior endplate spur w/ mild thecal sac effacement
C5-C6 Moderate circumferential disc bulge and broad based posterior endplate spur asymmetrically greater toward the left. Moderate ventral thecal sac effacement. There is uncovertebral joint spur bilaterally leading to mild bilateral foraminal stenosis.
C6-C7 Mild circumferential disc bulge w/ minimal ventral thecal sac effacement
What does all this mean? Is this "abnormal" for someone in there late 30's? I feel like I am losing all of my function in my upper and lower extremities. Some days it's even hard to walk due too the numbness and tingling in my feet without stumbling and falling down. Just today all my knuckles on my right hand turned purple. I just want my life back!
Okay, let me just say that pain management is not going to make the symptoms go away but only mask them somewhat. Take the MRI results and yourself back to the doctor and tell them again about your symptoms. Show them the loss of function. Better yet, see a different doctor because I'm not too sure the one you are seeing is doing a very good job.
Was this a sudden onset seven months ago without you doing anything strenuous? Try to get an appointment with a neurologist. Expain on the phone your symptoms and that you would be happy to drop off the MRI results ahead of time if that would speed up the appointment time. Make sure they know that you have what you consider severe loss of function and swelling.
Good luck and keep perservering because honestly you are your own best advocate. You know your body better than anyone else and you know when something is wrong. So don't wait around for that pain management appointment but rather start doing some research into some neurologists in your area. And if it gets to be very dibilitating, I'd make the trip to the ER.
Find a doctor who will take the time to listen to you, actually LISTEN! It's hard to find a good doctor sometimes, but they are out there. In the meantime, go to the doctor who ordered your tests and get him/her to explain everything toy you. Ask questions and get answers. I write my questions down so I don't forget any of them during my appoinment. I also sometimes have someone come in with me.
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