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Strange headache
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Strange headache

Started with neck pain, muscle pain, nerve pain, pain going down arms, burning pain under collar bone.  Had an MRI and showed nothing but slight loss of curve in neck.

Then I got a headache (6 days ago)...sometimes it is a throbbing burning at the base of my skull.  Other times it is a weird spot on the back of my head that feels cold.  But the one that hurts the worst is down the right side of my face causing visual disturbances (constant even without the pain).  So...I had an MRI of my brain with and without contrast...Again found nothing.  I have taken ibeprofen, loratab, and aleve and the meds seem to only mask the headache and not totally take it away.  

What kind of headaches am I having?  Why wont they go away even with meds?
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Your story seems to fit into 'cervicogenic headache'. (Headache caused by problem in the neck) However, correct picture can be gained only by taking your full history, and after an examination of head and neck, and the relevant neurological examination.

Be glad there is nothing wrong structurally (CT and MRI). Now you have to find out what is causing the headache and other pains, and get treatment for the same. Many 'specialists' share the head & neck area, and you have to see some doctor 'interested' in headache.

Cervicogenic headache is managed by neurologists or spine surgeons or orthopaedic surgeons, according to their interests.  Discussion of the treatment modalities is superfluous here.
Best of luck.
Rgds,

Thomas Antony
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Thank you...I am actually a 27 year old female I do smoke but other than that i am in good health (or at least I was..LOL) and was told by my physical therapist that I have a hypermobil neck.  I did not have any injury but I guess too many trips to the chiro for adjustments might have done it??  I dont know but I know that i am having some serious issues and can now crack my neck just by turning my head.

My doctor is worried about my visual disturbances since I have had flashing/blurred/double vision in the side that hurts.  He is sending me to a neuro optomologist but I have to wait until Dec and I am hoping the heache and other stuff will be gone by then...a month is a long time to be in pain!!!

I guess maybe I should try and schedule a regular neurologist appoinment sooner?
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Oh my god sounds like me in many ways. I have had a constant headache for 4 solid weeks. It's driving me nuts. Been to doctors several times. Had a MRI 2 years ago so she has said that she is very reluctant to send me again. Doctors are convinced it's my neck. I now visit a Osteopath, who has said it is my nect, one session in and I still have the headaces.

I am worrying about them even though I should be happy that there isn't something wrong with the MRI scan but why am I getting these headache, why doesn't someone know the answers. The doctor has suggested that my anxiety is keeping the headaches going. Who knows ay.....

Kathy
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Hi,

Thanks for writing in.
The cause of your headache seems to be in your cervical spine. It is important to undergo a complete cervical spine examination. In the meantime I would suggest you to do some gentle neck exercises, make sure you always have a good posture while watching TV, reading, sitting or lying down. Neck massage and ice packs will also help you.
Also get yourself evaluated for migraine, since you have visual disturbances also along with the headache.
Take care!
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Thank you doctor.  I actually like heat better for my neck...is that bad for it?

Kathy- Sorry to hear you are going through this too.  I agree with your doctor about the anxiety keeping the headache going...I have anxiety too and I think it is contributing to mine as well.  Lets both try to relax since our tests have come back fine!

I have been trying everything from ice packs on neck, heat on shoulders, massaging knots in neck and shoulder out with tennis ball, massage face, meds for sinuses, antibiotic (I know that is not good to take when you are not sure you have an infection), and then all the pain meds.  I am running out of options here!!!  Is there anything you have found helps the most?
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Needless to say, you have to stop smoking, though it seems to have no
express connection with your headache. (Or one can stretch one's
imagination ;-) and see the nerve endings of trigeminal nerve in the nose
and sinuses getting stimulated/ irritated; a further stimulus from the neck
may be causing the headache? No specific research on this done so far, as much as I
know.

The upper three cervical nerves (the ones coming out of/going into  the
spinal cord) are connected with the nucleus of the "trigeminal nerve" of head,
in the upper part of spinal cord. This is the reason why something in the
neck can cause headache.

Hypermobility of the neck is known to produce cervicogenic headache. I think
(since it is not my specialty) they advise neck exercises to strengthen the
muscles so that the neck is held steady (even when you are not aware of
it)and keep the neck-vertebrae and muscles in alignment.

Try holding the neck steady while walking or sitting. The posture is
important. (You must have seen how the models do it on the catwalk. Chest
up, chin down).

I think a physiotherapist can help. If you want an MD for advise, it is the
spine surgeon, orthopaedic surgeon, neurologist or the physiatrist.
==============================

And a word to kathyanne100

In headache, it is sometimes difficult to get the right answer immediately. This is
because the how-and-why information regarding headache is so huge. Thats why
there are a number of professional journals dedicated to the subject, and a lot of papers on the headache appearing each year for on the same.

But don't loose heart. I am sure you will find help.

Best,
Thomas Antony
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Thank you for your help!!!

I am working on quitting smoking...this is a hard thing to do but I am def trying.  

Yes I have a list of exercises that I have been doing for my neck (only been about 3 days) my physical therapist gave them to me since this all started in my neck that was the first person I was referred to.  Chest up and chin down....I will practice.  I thought about asking for a referral to a physiotherapist so I could get accupuncture or something.  I guess i will still start with the neuro though.
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Best of luck !

TA
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Thank you for your comments on my condition.


I have suffered with 'Health Anxiety' for years.

I have been getting headaches for 4 weeks, fairly mild to mod along with itchy scalp 'creepy crawly sensation on my scalp, very mild now, which doctor said is anxiety. I have taken every pain killer on the market but none work. I have been to the doctor 5 times 2 different doctors who have both said that it is 'tension headache' that is being kept going by my anxiety. I had an MRI scan 2 years ago because I was getting headaches then, which was all clear apart from an old sinus infection. The brain consultant said that there was evidence of Migraine headaches and that was it. 2 years later it's happening again. My doctor has said that she would be very reluctant to send me back for another MRI scan. She has told me to try and relax and work on relieving my anxiety. I am on anti-depressants 'Prozac'. This doesn't seem to be doing much for me.

I have received CBT 'Congnitive Behaviour Therapy' last year which seemed to work. When I get a real symptom like a headache the worse case sceniro kicks in like maybe it's a 'brain tumour' and i can't get it out of my head. I worry myself into a nervious wreck. I don't know what to do anymore.
I have been to a Osteopath who has said that my neck is very out of place, he worked on it, and for two days NO PAIN IN HEAD, Day after headache back. I have visited the Opticians who said I need stronger reading glasses but my eyes nerves etc looked very healthy. I feel like I am ticking off all the possible things it could be. I am going back to see the Osteopath on Tuesday as he said he would like to do a bit more work on my neck and back as it was quite bad..  I realise I can't have a brain scan everytime I get a headache. I seem to need reasurance on every level when I get like this. I am driving myself and my family absolutely MAD...

I would love your advise on this situation. I try so hard to ignore the headache and get on with my life but it's constantly there in the background and is making me aggitated.

I need some sort of relief. I have also tried 'forehead', absolutely no good for me. Doctor said that nothing would work because I keeping it alive with the constant worrying over it, one is feeding the other.

Please can you help with some advise? I would really appreciate it. I want to believe my doctors.

Kathyanne



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Thank you for your reply to my message. I can't stand it anymore. I am convinced it's anxiety headache, but just sometimes I trip out and think 'brain tumour' can't help myself. My doctor has said that because I only had a MRI 2 years ago she would be very reluctant to send my for another, and to be honest I don't want to go for another.

Every now and then I am terrified that I am ignoring a real symtom of something serious. I can't seem to remember what the doctor has said time and time again to reasure me.

Oh well, I just keep going, no other choice ay/

Kathy
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I have health anxiety too...I go to the ER every time thinking I have an anuerysum, tumor, cancer, stroke, heart attack...basically anything bad you can think of.  Mine was a lot better when i was on zoloft but I just stopped taking it about 3 months ago and now my good old health anxiety is back.  I dont want to take the zoloft again because i lost about 20 lbs getting off of it and I feel like I look great...just dont feel great...LOL

You said..."Every now and then I am terrified that I am ignoring a real symtom of something serious. I can't seem to remember what the doctor has said time and time again to reasure me"...This is literally the EXACT same thing I think!!!!!!!!!!!  I just keep thinking I cant ignore the symptoms because what if it is something bad and if it is better to catch it early so I dont die...Or I think what if the doctor is missing something.  I went through a really bad spell of this when i was about 18 and I slept with my mom every night and was scared to go to sleep cause I did not think I was going to wake up.  I was terrified something was bad wrong with me and guess what...it was NOTHING!!!!  I did not eat or sleep for 3 months.  I really dont want to get like that again.  My dad is the most laid back person I have ever met and always says "Why do you worry about everything all the time?"  He says I should just live my life and if something bad happens then it happens but cant always be scared of everything or you dont really live.  He said my grandmother always told him to just pray and leave it all to God.  I really do feel like I am wasting my life!!!!  Constantly worried and anxious and not able to just have fun!!!!

Just out of curiosity...do you remember what started your health anxiety?  Mine started when my grandmother passed away...she was my favorite person in this world and I thought she would be here with me forever!!!  She was 92 when she passed but I still was not ready.  I wish I could be more like her because she never worried about anything!  

Now I have a 4 year old little girl (my new favorite person in this world and my little angel) and cant even enjoy my time with her cause I am constantly worried about my health!

Lots of love to you and good luck!!!

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Thank you for your thoughtful kind reply. You have it tied up in a big red bow, for want of a better way of putting it. Yes we are wasting our lives, not meaning to but doing it anyway.

I think I have always had it to be honest. Bad childhood, etc etc. Doesn't help does it. Watched my Aunt die of Cancer when i was 10 years old, she lived with us and was dying. I can still smell cancer. I am fine until I get a syptoms (symptoms) and then my world comes to a halt and I do everything to punish myself almost. Don't eat, sleep.

I am so fed up that I feel this way. I am constantly feeling what if I miss something, or the doctors miss something.

Keep in touch,

Love Kathyx
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I am so sorry to hear about your aunt, that must have been a hard thing for a little girl to see and go through.  I am sure my health anxiety would be even worse if I had of seen that as well.

Well we have to find a way to make it stop...we have to find peace in ourselves so we can stop doing this.  We are only hurting ourselves and wearing down our immune systems making is easier for us to really get sick.  

If you figure something out you let me know and I will do the same cause right now I dont think there is enough xanax in the world to keep me from doing this...LOL

:)
Laurin    

  
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This headache is starting to make me mad...now I have some discoloration under the eye that is blurry.  Looks like a bruise...what in the world could that be???

Could it be a sinus headache and causing this discoloration?  I massaged my neck all weekend and may have overdone it cause I am hurting pretty bad today.

Any suggestions about the eye thing?
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I will attempt to give my thoughts:-

I have suffered with 'Health Anxiety' for years.

I have been getting headaches for 4 weeks, (?Only four weeks?) fairly mild to mod along with itchy scalp 'creepy crawly sensation on my scalp, very mild now, which doctor said is anxiety. I have taken every pain killer on the market but none work. I have been to the doctor 5 times 2 different doctors who have both said that it is 'tension headache' that is being kept going by my anxiety. I had an MRI scan 2 years ago (That will not give the present brain-picture. Maybe you had the SAME quality of headache then?)  because I was getting headaches then, which was all clear apart from an old sinus infection. (? Old sinus infection; how was it concluded upon?) The brain consultant said that there was evidence of Migraine headaches and that was it. 2 years later it's happening again. (A ‘migraine headache’ after a symptom-free interval of two years?)  My doctor has said that she would be very reluctant to send me back for another MRI scan. She has told me to try and relax and work on relieving my anxiety. I am on anti-depressants 'Prozac'. This doesn't seem to be doing much for me. (Prozac is an antidepressant, and you require an anti-anxiety drug, something like a Benzodiazepene; may be Alprazolam?)

I have received CBT 'Congnitive Behaviour Therapy' last year (?Last year? For What?) which seemed to work (?Work for what?). When I get a real symptom like a headache the worse case sceniro kicks in like maybe it's a 'brain tumour' and i can't get it out of my head. (Brain tumour will show up with many other different things before headache appears) I worry myself into a nervious wreck. I don't know what to do anymore. (Headache precedes the ‘worries’ or worries precede the headache?)
I have been to a Osteopath who has said that my neck is very out of place, he worked on it, and for two days NO PAIN IN HEAD, Day after headache back. (Anxiety can put the neck muscles into spasm and can thus cause a headache; alternately, a depressed mood can result in a forward head position, leading to the same “cervicogenic headache” I have visited the Opticians who said I need stronger reading glasses but my eyes nerves etc looked very healthy. (Refractive error – the lens errors of eyes, has been known to produce headache, and my neuro colleague had remarked about neck muscle spasm too. So if the ophthalmologists feel you need a change of glasses, why don’t you go for it and see?) I feel like I am ticking off all the possible things it could be. I am going back to see the Osteopath on Tuesday as he said he would like to do a bit more work on my neck and back as it was quite bad..  I realise I can't have a brain scan everytime I get a headache. I seem to need reasurance on every level when I get like this. I am driving myself and my family absolutely MAD... (It is all part of the game, don’t blame yourself)

I would love your advise on this situation. I try so hard to ignore the headache and get on with my life but it's constantly there in the background and is making me aggitated. (“Agitated”: What exactly do you mean? Did any doctor suggest you with a name such as ‘agitated depression’?)

I need some sort of relief. I have also tried 'forehead', (Sorry, I don’t know what you mean here) absolutely no good for me. Doctor said that nothing would work because I keeping it alive with the constant worrying over it, one is feeding the other.

Please can you help with some advise? I would really appreciate it. I want to believe my doctors.

Kathyanne
======================================================
            Lets go over it again to make sure that I got it right.

Are you diabetic, hypertensive or not? Any other illness now or in the past worthwhile mentioning?

You have a headache for the last four weeks. (what type of pain on which part of head, face or neck? How did it start (sudden?) in the first place? Is it a continuous pain? Or does it come and go? If so, how long does each episode last? What is the severity?  And how many times does it come in a day/week?  Do you see any zigzag lines or some visual phenomenon or anything unusual before the headache (“aura”)? Do you find ordinary daylight or sounds unbearable during a headache? Do you throw up during headache? Any other accompaniment to headache? Is this headache similar to the one you had 2 yr back?

Any episode of unconsciousness?

Creepy crawly sensation on scalp: Sounds like “functional”; how did this start? Is it an accompaniment of the headache? What starts the itch?

What do you think about your mental status? (Other than health anxiety) Do you feel like weeping now and then? Are you more irritable now?

Do you have palpitations or tremulousness? How is your appetite, sleep etc? Do you get nightmares? Are you habituated / addicted to anything? Smoking, alcohol? Monthly periods? Any relation to the headache? What all medication are you on? (whether OTC or prescription)

What findings did your doctor mention to you? How about your BP and pulse rate? (You can check your pulse rate at various times of the day and see)

Hope this helps. Reply at leisure.

Best,

Thomas Antony
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Thank you for your reply and for taking the time.

No I do not have diabitus, I think I have hypitention as I am a nervious all the time. I do not have any other illnesses.

I have had headaches for the past 4 weeks on and off, nearly every day. They have never been severe headaches, just a  throbbing preasure in my temples and discomfort across my forehead. The ache is only in my temples & forehead mild to very rarely moderate pain. I have had a few pains on the top of my head but again very mild. My neck has been bad that was the reason i went to an Osteopath as he agreed with my doctor that my neck is out of place. He had done work on it and for 2 full days I was PAIN FREE. On the 3rd day the discomfort returned. It is not a continuous pain, I am constantly checking to see if the headache is there, if it's not there it's not long before it arrives after me checking. NO I do not get zigzap lines or disturb vision at all. I have never been unconciousious due to the headaches. I haven't been sick or felt sick throughout. No aura before headaches. When i get up in the morning it's not always there until I think about it. So in answer to your question 'does the headache precede the worries or the other way around', I think I do check to see if the headaches are there, then worry them forward maybe... Lights or loud sounds do not seem to be bothering me.
I do get palpitations but I have always had them since suffering from depression...  I think the headaches are the same as 2 years ago but I can't completely remember. I was sent for MRI scan then because I had visited the doctors 8 times for headaches she had no choice in the end even though doctor didn't beleive there was a good enough reason to send me.  
I think the creepy crawly sensation on my scalp started around the time of the headache but can't be sure. The headaches started in Spain I was there for a few days and on the 3rd day I had a vertigo attack, well that's what my doctor said I had, I felt fine after a few minutes but later in the day I developed a migraine. The dull ache in my head has been ongoing since then. The creepy crawling sensation may have started in Spain after the verigo attack I really don't know. It is very mild now. Dealing with my itchy scalp I changed my shampoo and that did seem to calm it down for a while, it's back but mild. My scalp seems tender to touch, but I think it's from when I was scratcing my head and rubbing it.
I had severe depression 2 years ago caused by worrying over my health. I was referred to see someone who could do CBT... i think I am only irratable now because the dull ache is there and i keep getting scared. I am on Prozac only. I have been for years. I am not taking any OTC pain relief at present because nothing works. When I mentioned 'forehead' it was a herbal rub on medication for headaches. That doesn't work either. Since the headaches i don't sleep very well, because i am constantly worrying, when I do I have nightmares, my eating is on and off. I have never taken illgal drugs. I do not smoke and have never smoked. Nor do I live in a smoking enviroment. I do drink one glass of wine every evening, this is the only thing that seems to relax me and relieve the dull ache. I don't have monthly periods as I had a hysterectomy in 2000. I was left with one ovary as I was too young to go through the menopause. My doctor hasn't mentioned aggitated depression as I have already suffered from depression. I don't know how the consultant concluded the sinus situation on my last MRI scan. When I visited my doctor 2 days ago she read the consultants report out to me from 2 years ago, there were NO findings of abnormalties, no brain leisons. The only thing he mentioned was evidence of an old sinus infection, and evidence of migraine. How he came to the sinus conclusion I really don't know. He offered me some prescription relief but I said THEN what I say now, it's a dull ache in my temples & forehead i don't have to take anything i just wanted to know it wasn't a brain tumour. Soon after he confirmed that I had NO tumours my headache went away completely.
2 days ago my doctor checked my BP and it was completely normal. I think she said it was 125/69 I think that was what she said, she definately said it was perfectly normal.

I really appreciate your opinion, and if you need any further information on my med history please do not hesitate to ask me.

Thank you so much for your help..

Kathyannne
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Thomas Anthony

I am so sorry but the previous reply was for tomsant in reply to his note.

Sorry for confusion..

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Just to add to my last description of my condition. My Doctor has said that she believes I have Cervical Spondylitis. This may help you with what is going on with me.

Thank you ..

Kathyanne
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Hi
Pain in the neck can have several causes like bad posture leading to loss of curvature, degenerative diseases, neck arthritis, cervical spondylosis, ankylosing spondylosis, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, etc. Some other causes can be arteriovenous malformation, effect of some medication, diabetes, lyme disease, etc.

Do you have any history of raised cholesterol, raised BP, diabetes or any other medical problems?

You should also try yoga and some mild neck exercises. This will help you maintain a proper posture and alleviate the pain gradually. However, if the symptoms worsen, you should consult a neurologist.

Do write in if you need some other information. Take care!

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Thank you for your reply.  I am a 27 year old female with no prior medical problems other than Ulcerative colitis (have not had a flare in 4 years), IBS, heart palpitations, and anxiety.  

I am about to start some yoga to try and stretch and relax.  The problem is when I stretch my neck it cracks and seems like I am doing more harm than good.  I have also been using a tennis ball to try and work out some of the knots in my neck but I think I am over doing it because I was really sore today and I have burning pain down my neck where my carotid artery is.  I just dont want to hurt myself worse.  I am also in physical therapy and I have an appointment with a neurologist in December.

Thanks!!!!
Laurin
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Hope you got my last 3 messages, I am afraid i made a mistake and didn't address it to you directly..

Kathyanne
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I got them. I just happened to be busy a bit. Have saved them to my pc. Shall reply tomorrow. It is 11 pm now here.

No matter to worry :-)
Best,
Thomas Antony
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Thank you...

Kathy
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Hi,

I am taking many things for granted, that you are married, and you have children…. I know it is difficult to lay open one's personal life like a book in the net. This is a limitation. Though this communication can’t replace a formal interview where I can ask relevant questions, to get the correct ‘history’ followed by a clinical examination to make a 3D picture of the situation, we will try to analyze your problem:

1. Headache, you said it started while you were in Spain. Until then you were doing fairly okay, except for depression (you didn’t mention how long) and a past history of hysterectomy. I will assume that you went to Spain about 2 yr back, and there you had the ‘vertigo’ (means you felt an illusion of movement, probably of going round and round) and later a headache, for the first time in your life. You have used the terminology ‘migraine’ and not headache. The doctor gave the label or was it your conclusion? Somehow the description of your headache doesn’t fit into the ‘mold’ of migraine, according to me. You said you doctor has left a note that there is ‘evidence of migraine’? (It just can’t be in MRI) As far as I know, migraine is diagnosed by a “symptom pattern” (your pattern doesn’t look like migraine), and after ruling out other causes of headache. For this one may have to visit various specialists (sadly so) including ENT, Eye and may be Dental surgeon too! With the hope that they know what to look for. It is said that the ‘eyes do not see what the mind does not know.’ So there is a matter of luck here. ‘Headache’ tends to take away a lot of precious time, and may require more than one visit, and the physician’s work may be in vain if the patient continues ‘doctor-shopping’  That may explain why an average physician is disinterested?

2. Anxiety: You said you are nervous all the time, have palpitations, nightmares, creepy crawly sensation in scalp. Do you have startles when a door slams, or at some such sounds? Do your hands tremble? All these can happen in anxiety, but rarely it is caused by the thyroid gland secreting too much hormone. In that event, your pulse rate will be very high. You may prefer a cold environment as well.

3. Depression: Is it depressive feelings or a depressive illness, diagnosed by a psychiatrist? Do/did you find that you are unable to feel happy? Have you noticed any change in your intimate life with your spouse? Do / did you have suicidal ideations? You also mention ‘Severe depression’ Was this the diagnosis given by a psychiatrist or your conclusion? (Agitated depression is a variety of depression) How long have you been diagnosed to have depression?

4. Itchy scalp: Did you mention this to your doctor? What did he/she find? It may be a psycho-dermatosis.
5. You say you have never been unconscious due to headache. Due to what else?

I feel your doctor should give an Alprazolam trial. This will tackle the anxiety (Prozac tackles only the depression) and you will know for yourself how you will feel. If your pulse rate is very high, we have to take a different route. But no harm done by taking Alprazolam.

Please feel free to write.

Best rgds,

Thomas Antony
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Hi I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your input on this.

I feel I should cover some of your questions. I would appreciate your reply.

- I have been married to a Canadian guy for 17 years
- I have been married before for 11 years who turn out to be a very abusive person, I      had two children by this marriage
- I have 6 great grandchildren
- I had a hysterectomy in 2000, because I had fibroids in my womb heavy periods, also
  Ovarian cyst, which was benign, therefore they performed a full hysterectomy leaving
  one healthy ovary.
- I had a breakdown 2 years ago, recover to a degree from this, the depression was
  based on  'health anxiety'. Since then I have had 'health anxiety', so if I get a lump or
  a bump I think I am going to die. The depression lasted best part of 18 months, is still
  still there off and on.
- NO I went to Spain 1st October 2008 this year and returned on the 5th Oct.2008. I  went with friends and not with my husband which isn't my thing normally. I went  through an episode of not wanting to go without my husband. Eventually I went but felt
very insecure about it.
- While in Spain a few days in to the trip I had a vertigo attack. Then a migraine
  preceded.
- YES the doctor called it a vertigo attack and migraine that followed.
- When I did have the MRI over 2 years ago, I spoke with the consultant afterwards who
  told me that there was evidence of migraine. I suffered with the same type of
  headaches 2 years ago, therefore, after 8 visit to my general doctor she referred to
  for an MRI scan. The scan reported that there were no abnormalities. My doctor
  read the report out to me on my last visit last week from 2 years ago just to reasure
  me.
- My doctor has reported that the ONCE migraine in Spain has now developed into
  Tension headache kept going by my anxiety.
-  I have had my thyroid tested last year and it was fine. But I am having a blood test
   again on Friday along with blood test for 'non specific blood test'.
-  I do get startled easily, shocked by normal things, have had shaky hands not alot.
-  You mentioned that creepy crawly sensations in the scalp is 'functional', what does
   that mean????????????????????/
-  YES it was diagnosed by the doctor that I had severe depression 2 years ago. I was
   put on seroxat anti depressant. YES I did have suicidal thoughts. I spent days in bed
   not able to work or engage in normal activities. I ate very little and lost too much
   weight. I was eventually referred to a Psychiatrist, Conigtive Behaviour Therapist,
   Group Therapy for 'health anxiety'...
-  I haven't had an intimate relationship with my husband for 5 years now. It bothers me
   but this is not because I had depression 2 years ago as it has been for 5 years. My
   husband blames himself and we are now talking about going to relate. We love each
   other dearly but the intimate part has left us completely, we cuddle alot but that's it.
-  Sorry I have never been unconsious.
-  I have mentioned my itchy creepy crawly sensations to my doctor but she had said
   that it was purely 'anxiety' over my headaches.
-  My pulse and BP is normal as far as I know but I will ask my doctor about the
   Alprazolam.

I have visited the doctor 8 times over the past 4 weeks with the headaches. They are suprisingly patient with me as they know I suffer and have suffered from 'health anxiety'. One doctor in particular tries everything with me. She will spend time to talk to me and go through things with me. She is convinced that it started with a migraine last month whilst I was away in Spain, because I felt insecure about going without my husband. She now thinks it's 'tension headache' because I have kept it going from my over thinking on BAD illnesses.

I have been to a Osteopath who said that he was convinced it was my neck that was the problem. While I was away in Spain last month I slept funny in a diffarent bed, quite common apparently, and my neck hasn't gone back into place. I have only been once which gave me 2 days of pain relief. But now it's back.

It is a pressure type headache. In my temple mostly, panging on the leftside of my temple mostly, going across my forehead sometimes. Very rarely a few jabbing pains in the top of my head, but very rarely. Sometimes a 'creepy crawly sensation in my scalp, sometimes an itching in my scalp, I have no other symptoms at all. I normally wake up pain free, then the mild headache appears later in the morning. No pain killers work. As the day goes on it CAN increase in strengh to moderate. If I have a couple of glasses of wine in the evening it will relieve it completely, and come back a few hours later before bedtime.
I am kind of waiting for other symptoms. I'm not sure what symptoms I would get if I had a 'brain tumour', I am to afraid to look it up. My doctor has reasured me that I don't have enough symptoms to send me for yet another MRI. I would have to have at least one other symptom to justifiy the cost of sending me to a  Brain Specialist.

I have been to the Opticians, well an eye specialist who has done a through examination that lasted an hour and his report is that I needed stronger 'reading glasses'. Nothing else has shown up and my vessle/back of the eyes were fabsolutely fine. What sort of eye specialist do you think I should see now ?????????????????/

I will make an appointment with a dentist now to see what they can find out.

Now that you have a fuller picture can you report again on what you think is my problem with headaches. What can I do to relieve them and get on with my life.

What test do you think, if any, I should have done.

Many thanks for your help it is fantastic to have your opinion.

Kathy




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I will note down what struck me here.

The Migraine in Spain: You assumed it was a migraine/ the doctor told you it was a migraine? (The description of your headache is not that of ‘migraine’; forget about what the doctor told you)

The Vertigo: What symptom did you have? You felt a sudden weakness/ blackout/ spinning?(Forget the doctor's opinion)

“Functional”: A matter of function, as opposed to ‘organic’. If someone has a headache, and the CT or MRI shows a problem in the brain, it means the headache has an organic cause. If the scan is normal, it is functional. Functional also may mean ‘due to psychological causes.’

Pulse rate: Sometimes you may be able to check your heart rate by keeping one hand on your chest and counting the number of beats in one minute.

So your headache is only on left side. Since this started off with an odd position sleep, one is likely to think of cervicogenic headache. There are some pains not relieved by ordinary pain killers. These are on a different rail track.

I think a trial of Alprazolam for a few days will sort out the issue. It will take away the anxiety part, (startles, worry, tremor, fear, nightmares, and the probably the ‘headache that goes away with wine’)

For brain tumour, a host of other things appear before headache. So you don’t worry about that.

Reading glasses: If it is only for reading, it may not be important. If lens in the eye (we all have it) is not working properly, the eye muscles strain to keep the image on the retina in focus, and this can give a headache. In that event, correction of defective vision with glasses can cure the headache. (There is no need to see an eye specialist again)

Dentist appointment: I was just thinking loud. In case you have a problem there, you would have noticed ‘sensitivity’ to cold or hot water, or a pain in the molars of the same side. You can try tapping each tooth with a steel spoon and see if it gives any pain.

My opinion: A trial with Alprazolam for a few days. I am not sure if your present family life has a role to play in your headache or depression. Did you discuss this with your psychiatrist? Or may be it is irrelevant.

Let me know what is happening

Best rgds,

Thomas Antony
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Ok I am really starting to get sick of this...everyday I wake up and my vision is blurry.  Then I get to work and look at my computer screen and it is flashy.  When I go outside in the sunlight I have a tiny gray spot in my vision (stays in one place and is always the same size).  All of this is still only in one eye...and my neck and shoulder pain continues.  Why cant I get this to go away????  I just dont understand.  

Of course by then end of everyday the actual headache starts...sharp pain near my temple that comes and goes.  Also throbbing in the back of my head near the base of my skull.  

How do people live like this??  I have a new found respect for people that are in pain everyday of their lives.

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Thank you so much for your comments on my condition.

I called it a migraine because it felt like the migraines I had 2 years ago.

Vertigo felt like I was going to fall over but didn't. The room was spinning, swimming sort of feeling. Over in a couple of minutes. Had one a few months back Doctor called it Vertigo.

Headache is not on one side just more on the left than the right. Always creeps across the forehead into the other temple.

When you said that some pains are not relieve by pain killers, but that's on a different rail track, what did you mean? What do you call my headache?

Can I do my pulse by checking my wrists as that seem easier to do? How many beets should it be in one minute?

I will make an appointment with my doctor to get a precription for the Alprazolam and will let you know how it goes. You said to take it for just a few days, will it have results in just a few days? Can I take it when I need it? Or is it a course?

I appreciate your comments on Brain Tumour, I realise I should be getting other symptoms but because of the anxiety it runs away with itself.

I hate the headaches, they are driving me mad. I am trying to do everything to relax, yoga, osteopath, relaxation cd's. My sleep is being affected by this also.

Do you think the medication you have advised will help with the headaches?

Thank you

Kathy

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Hi again. I know exactly how you feel. I am really fed up at the moment. It's not letting up at all. I have been to Optician for eye test, no problems there. Osteopath, who said it was my neck, but after the session the next day the headache was back. I am going to yoga classes, feels ok then the headache comes back. It never really leaves me to be honest.

I have been everywhere for help. I try really hard to relax but it's not working. My Son keeps saying 'its in your head', well yes it is, he means my anxiety, but how on earth do you stop it.

I'm on the same page as you honest. When will it end.

Keep in touch.

Stay strong.

Kathyx
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I’m sorry I missed you earlier posting about the discoloration below the eye on the same side.

Blurry vision, with headache and neck pain; and now a ‘bruise’ on the lower lid (?) all on the same side. The ‘grey spot’ in vision is known as ‘scotoma’ in medical parlance.

Now it is taking shape. But your MRI was normal. Were you seen by an ophthalmologist? (Optician is the one checking the ‘glasses’ in this part of the planet) With the picture you give, one wonders if there is something blocking circulation in the eye or orbit.  Do you have fever or vomiting?

Have you ever done a complete blood count? (CBC)

Let us see what the neuro-ophthalmologist says.

While on the wait, you have to take some pain-killers that is working for you.

Pls keep us informed.

Best rgds,

Thomas Antony
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Hi,

My comments are given within brackets:-

Thank you so much for your comments on my condition. (You’re most welcome!)

I called it a migraine because it felt like the migraines I had 2 years ago. (I asked because the description you gave doesn’t suit ‘migraine’)

Vertigo felt like I was going to fall over but didn't. The room was spinning, swimming sort of feeling. Over in a couple of minutes. Had one a few months back Doctor called it Vertigo. (Vertigo is a Latin word, meaning “whirling”)

Headache is not on one side just more on the left than the right. Always creeps across the forehead into the other temple.

When you said that some pains are not relieve by pain killers, but that's on a different rail track, what did you mean? What do you call my headache? (Means it is not the usual pain. ‘Chronic pain’ is one example, where one has to use other medication to influence neurotransmitters, Prozac is one of them)

Can I do my pulse by checking my wrists as that seem easier to do? How many beets should it be in one minute? (It can vary from 60 to 120, depending on what state your mind/body is 

I will make an appointment with my doctor to get a precription for the Alprazolam and will let you know how it goes. You said to take it for just a few days, will it have results in just a few days? Can I take it when I need it? Or is it a course? (We are reluctant to prescribe it as theoretically it can cause addiction, though not bad as Valium. So it is not recommended for long periods. I would suggest you take it only for 10 days and observe the results. It is to be used regularly and not now and then. The dosage may start as one tab of 0.5 mg at night, then raised to thrice daily or more as your doctor feels. It is adjusted according to the drowsiness you may feel)

I appreciate your comments on Brain Tumour, I realise I should be getting other symptoms but because of the anxiety it runs away with itself. (A loss of consciousness, double vision and weakness of one limb etc are some examples, and now you will be on the lookout for it?;-)

I hate the headaches, they are driving me mad. I am trying to do everything to relax, yoga, osteopath, relaxation cd's. My sleep is being affected by this also.
Do you think the medication you have advised will help with the headaches? (My guess is that Alprazolam should help)

Best rgds,

Thomas Antony
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Thank you so much for your input i really do appreciate it.

I will let you know how I get along.

Kathy
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That is ok... :)

The bruise under my eye went away after one day...dont know what that was all about.

The gray spot in that one eye contines though but I only see it when I am outside in the sunlight...why is that?

I did see an opthamologist in May and he said my eyes were perfect but at that time I was only having mild headaches with a little blurred vision.  And in May the headaches went away...this time it does not want to go away.  Maybe the neuro opt will be able to figure something out.

No fever and no vomiting just some bad nausea spells.    

I know I have had a couple different blood tests but not sure if they did the CBC or not.  Doctor just said everything was normal.

Thanks!
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I meant to ask you in my above post what are some causes of "scotoma".  Is this just a floater?

Is it bad that I have all these vision problems in this one eye?  

The gray spot just appeared within the last week.  But the other vision symptoms are still there also.

Thanks
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Well I guess it is not a floater because sometimes I can see it when I shut my eyes.  

Would the medical term for that still be the same or would this be something else?

Thanks
Laurin
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Hi,

"Scotoma' is an area or island of loss or impairment of visual acuity surrounded by a field of normal or relatively well-preserved vision."

You can find more about this:- Click to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotoma

Best rgds,

Thomas Antony
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Well I had my appointment with the neuro opthamologist and he said he thinks it is a cervicogenic headache however he does not see any reason for the spot I am seeing in my eye.  He said that on paper all my tests look great and sees no issue with my brain, neck, and there is nothing wrong with my eye that he can see so I will have to wait and see a regular neurologist to see if they want to do additional tests.  

Oh and he did notice that one of my pupils was a little bigger than the other...which I was happy about because I was starting to think I was imagining it or something but he did not seem concerned with it at all.

He did say something about a spinal tap but said that he would not order it unless I am getting worse in the next few weeks...hopefully I will get better because that just sounds painful.  What would he be testing for with a spinal tap?

So basically he thinks that I got sick with that virus and it brought on the muscle tension and he said that can last a while after a virus so he just wants me to keep taking the ibeprofen 800mg twice a day.

What do ya'll think about this?  He seemed like a really good doctor and it was at Mayo.
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That's good you got someone from Mayo.

Wonder what's the reason for the pupil dilatation and the spot.

A spinal tap will reveal any change in the pressure of cerebrospinal fluid, or its chemical constiutents or if there is any infection...Did you have any previous infection with TB?
Take the Ibuprofen, and let us see what the regular Neuro comments.

Best,

TA
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Yeah all my doctors are at Mayo which is good.

I am wondering that too but he def did not seem worried about it.  He just said if it gets worse to call him.  I am still having the visual disturbances and now I am having a little bit of colored flashes in my lower vision in that one eye.  I told him about all the vision stuff and he said he cant find a single thing wrong wrong with my eyes.  

Oh I almost forgot I had a field vision test too which I passed...that is good right?

Nope never had TB.  

Yeah the reg Neuro is not until Dec 16th so I guess I am going to have to do the waiting game again.

Thanks
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Neuro - ophthalmologist has cleared you; that is fine. We will wait for the neuro.

Can you bend you head down, so that your chin can touch the chest? (well, almost?)

Best,
TA
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Yes I can bend it all the way down.

I am actually having a tingly feeling in my cheek and my arm feels tingly and heavy.  I dont understand how that could be from my neck.  Could it?  It is on the side that my neck hurts.  And it is on my bad TMJ side also.
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By bending I didn't mean bending (stooping) all the way down. It was just tipping the head down, in an attempt to touch the upper chest with the chin.

Tingling and heaviness arms, may fit into a cervical spine pathology with radiculopathy (nerve root affection) I am not sure about tingling in cheek, though one can explain it.

The neurologist has to see you to know what is the real problem.

Bad TMJ is a different condition. (Do you have pain at the TM joint while opening the mouth?

Best,

TA
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Yes sir I can tip my head down to my chest with no problems.  

Yeah I always have pain in the TM joint when opening...it just feels tight on that side when I try to open it.  I wear a bite plate to bed every night but I swear it makes it worse.  I clench pretty bad in my sleep cause when i first wake up in the AM I can barely open my mouth because it is so tight from clenching.

I just keep worrying that I am having a stroke but I would not have the constant symptoms if this was true correct?  

So I could be having the issues from the cervical spine along with the TMJ symptoms and maybe I have a couple nerves being pinched due to the muscle tightness it several areas?

Thanks again for all of your help!
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We will wait for the neuro, rather than coming to half-baked conclusions :-) Anyway your story appears far away from that of a stroke.

Best,

TA
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Thanks I really appreciate all your help with this!  This is such a helpful site and such nice people on here.  

I am going to call tomorrow and see if there is an earlier appointment with the neuro but if not then I will update you after my Dec 16th appointment.  

Thanks
Laurin
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My tingling has now turned to a numb feeling.  It is on the right side of my face near the corner of my mouth, in my right hand, and right foot (foot is still just tingling though)  Could this still just be from whatever kind of headache I have?  Also when I take Ibeprofen the numbness and tingly stuff seems to get better but does not totally resolve.  I just started taking Celexa again thinking maybe this is all because I quit taking the SSRI to begin with but have only been taking it for 3 days and it seems to be making my headaches worse.  

That spot in my is still there and the right pupil is still bigger.  I tried to get into the neuro before Dec 16th but they dont have any openings.  I am really starting to get scared since this wont go away.  I have been taking my xanax too which seems to help a little bit also but also does not take it away totally.  

HELP
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Great to hear from you again.

Tingling on the right side of face near the corner of mouth, giving way to numbness, felt also in the right hand and right foot to varying extent..

We already went through 'cervicogenic headache", TMJ syndrome and visual problems with large pupil on one side...

And you are now on Citalopram. Do you feel better now?

I am sorry that I'm unable to comment at this stage. The next step is a neurological exam to put things together. But I will be interested in what the neuro thinks.

Don't feel dejected, you will get help.

Best rgds,

TA
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You too!!!

I feel a little bit better on the Celexa and xanax...doctor also just gave me neurontin which I have only taken for 2 nights now.  

My GP did not say much when I saw her a couple days ago just said that the neurontin should help with everything and I had some enlarged lymph nodes in my neck and my lungs were a little wheezy.  She wanted to see me back in 3 weeks.  

Yeah I guess I am just gonna have to suck it up and wait for the neuro on Dec 16th.

Thanks!
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Citalopram, Alprazolam and Gabapentin; the ones you are on now, can help the headache if migraine or psychological in origin.  

But your wheeze and enlarged lymph nodes in neck are pointers to something else. It may be transitory, as in a respiratory tract infection. However, as you have already seen your doctor about it, nothing to worry.

Best rgds,

TA
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Hey I noticed you answer most of the questions on the ear, nose and throat board and I posted a question...maybe you can help me...I swear I am falling apart here...LOL

I went to the doctor yesterday for a sore throat and some swollen lymph nodes on the right side of my neck...he said looks viral.  Got home and nose started to hurt on right side, looked and it is all red and some broken skin so makes me think that a blister in my nose popped.  Of course the doctor did not look at my nose so I dont want to go back.  It looks pretty bad in there though all red and a little swollen and under where the blister was there is a little white head.  I figured it could be from a couple things so you tell me if I need to go see the doctor again for this....

1. Part of the viral infection
2. From my nasal spray that I use (Flunisolide 0.025% 2 times a day in each nostril)    
3. My daughter has had a mild staph infection that keeps coming back but hers are on her skin and they are just little red spots.  So maybe now I have a staph infection in my nose?  I used her nasal cream but so far 2 uses and it has not helped.

Any of these sound like they could be the reason?  I have never had this happen before.  

Thanks for your help!
Laurin
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Yeah, when I'm on the net I just see if any deserving q remain unanswered in the forum and if I have time. I do it for fun :-)

Sore throat and lymph nodes in neck, go in favour of viral fever.
Nose can hurt in viral fever (like in influenza) and inside of the nose can be red.

But you saw broken skin looking like popped blister, now with a little white head. This could be a stahpylococcal infection. A boil in the nose may be very painful and may require antibiotics. But as it has already burst, it may not be necessary. If it is a boil, some advise to stop the Flunisolide spray for a few days. I advice so even in viral fever.
It is likely that you got the staph infection from your daughter.
(To eradicate the staph from the nose, we advice topical cream for a longer duration, at least 10 days)

Since you had these lymph nodes on the right side neck for some time now, and I feel you should have mentioned this to the ENT. Or mention this to him at the next visit, or make a visit in a few days.

You should also  mention about your headache, the "tingling on the right side of face near the corner of mouth, giving way to numbness..."  the bigger right pupil, the transient bruise under the eye and the TMJ problem. He can examin and find out if there is any contribution from your E,N,T to these symptoms.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Thomas Antony
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Thanks for your help...I figured it was probably a staph infection.  I guess that would not explain the swollen lymph nodes?  I have been using my daughters topical cream in my nose and it does seem to help.  

I will try to get in to the ENT but it usually takes a month to get into a specialist.  I still have the appointment with the neurologist on Dec 16th so that is good.  

I just dont understand why I have so much going wrong here...I am too young for all of this!!!

Thanks again!!!!
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Ok just went to the neurologist and he REALLY freaked me out.  His exact words were "Not trying to scare you but after my findings on your neuro exam if you were 50 years old I would say that you definitely had a stroke, but since your young we will repeat your MRI of your brain to see if we find anything."  I wanted to say...you didnt want to freak me out but you DID!!!!  I wish I could read his report to see exactly what he said.  He was a very nice guy and said no matter what we WILL figure this out and figure out what is causing your symptoms.  

My regular doctor call me back about my CBC and said my white blood cell count is elevated but is consistant with a viral infection so that is good and hopefully it will go away soon cause I was running a fever.  I told him about the neuro and he said he already knew cause he read the report and told me not to get too carried away and just wait for the MRI.

I think I am scared because I know that a 27 year old can still have a stroke and if that is what I am having (obviously either a bunch of little ones or a few medium sized ones) then what could be causing this????

Please help I am really scared...now every time I feel the tingling or numbness I am going to think I am having a stroke!!!!

I wish they could get me in today!!!!!  But I doubt that is possible.

Thanks
Laurin
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Don't worry, at least you are in expert hands. You have spent quite a few days with these symptoms, so I will think only positively.

Your neuro will find the answer when your MRI films reach him, I am sure.

Hope you'll post the Neuro's comments here :-)

Best rgds,

Thomas Antony
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I know, I know but I am still scared...I am not sure know how to not worry!  I am a worrier!  Worrying is what i do.

He said he wants to repeat the MRI because he believes something may have happened between then and now but I have had all the symptoms since the last one.  I am confused.  

Thanks for all your support.  
Lauirn
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Oh I forgot to ask you in the above post ...if he was REALLY worried he would have sent me straight for an MRI right?  So the fact that he is letting me wait is a good thing right?

Thanks
Laurin
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I think your guess is right. So, I understand you are waiting to repeat MRI. I don't know how things happen in your place. Your regular doctor will ask for repeat MRI or the neuro? And when did he say he is going to do it? You are asked to go back for  a follow up visit?

Best,

Thomas Antony
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Yes my neuro wants to repeat the MRI of my brain to see if I have had a stroke.  They are going to call me with the appointment.  He said I will not have to come back for a follow up unless the MRI comes back bad and he said he will call me on the phone and discuss my results and let me know if he wants to see me again.

Thanks
Laurin
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Okay, you are in the right track.
(You are awake?! I imagined this must be night in the US :-)

Best,
TA
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Oh yes I am in the US...sorry I did not know that is what you were asking.

I guess i am just freaked out that he even said the word "stroke".  What could be some possible reasons I would have a stroke at 27 years old?  I am not on birth control and have not been in 5 years.  I do smoke but he said it would be too soon for smoking to cause such a thing.  I guess i am just wondering...are there many different diseases or conditions that could cause a stroke?

Thanks
Laurin  
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1. Yeah, and being in the US, this was night time for you, and you should have been asleep, that's what I thought :-)

2. About such symptoms in a 27F, I too have been baffled ever since you had started describing the same;  hence my request to you to post the neuro's opinion.

But as the symptoms are not worsening, and probably they are already reversing, think only positively.

And, STOP smoking :-)

Best,

TA
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My mom thinks my neuro is crazy and even bet me money I did not have a stroke.  

I am still trying to quit smoking...way harder than I thought!

Thanks again for everything!
Laurin
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Last night I had something strange happen.  I was sitting there with my usual tingling on one side when all of a sudden I started to feel really hot and got this flushed feeling that started in my arms and went up the back of my neck and into my head.  Anyone ever had this?  Scared me to death...of course it only lasted a few minutes but still.  

Any thoughts?  Should I call my neuro and advise him of this?  I read something about neurological flushing.  What would cause this?  I feel like I am going to drop dead at any moment.  


Thanks
Laurin
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Yes, since this is a new symptom, you may contact your neuro about the same.

Merry Christmas!

Thomas Antony
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Thanks and Merry Christmas to you too!!!!
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I got my results of my MRI today...again totally clear.  The neuro asked if I was still having the symptoms on one side of my body and I told him yes and he said then we will need to do a spinal tap.  I am scared to do that...should I do that?  

He said after that next step would be stomach doctor because of my history with Ulcerative Colitis.  

What do you think?

Thanks
Laurin
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Try Echinacea, if that helps, it's viral.
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Hi,
How are you? Do you still experience your symptoms? Were you able to have the spinal tap done? It is good that your MRI result was clear. Take care and hope to hear from you soon.
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I am good.  As long as I stretch my neck and shoulders everyday I am ok but if I skip a day they start to come back.  I never did have the spinal tap done I chickened out...I was terrified!  But I really think all that stuff was from pinched nerves in my neck and shoulders and a little bit of tmj.  Cause like I said as long as I stretch real good for about 30 min every night I am ok.  Thanks!!!!
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