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Headache, stiff neck, slurred speech, confusion-help
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Headache, stiff neck, slurred speech, confusion-help

Hello,

My mom has MS.  She's had many other health issues, but this one is so confusing.  She went into the hospital in January with headache, confusion, slurred speech, not able to walk/was falling, and they said it was a UTI with E. coli, gave her antibiotics, and sent her home.  Ever since then, she has had these epidsodes randomly, but now with a very stiff neck to go with it.  She just got an MRI that revealed more plaques on the brain, but should not be causing these symptoms.  Has anyone experienced this and is it MS related?  They usually come and go after 24 hours, but this one has lasted 3 days!
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A UTI will cause a pseudo-flare, as it creates an elevated body temperature.  Since it's been three days, the question would be whether the UTI has gone away.  If it has, it might actually be a flare.  Usually they're treated with IV steroids.
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987762_tn?1331031553
Hi,

Jensequitur is quite right, UTI's can cause a pseudo-flare, a pseudo is not a relapse and usually sx will settle back to base line, once the 'what ever' has resolved, though if the 'what ever' is an infection, in can sometimes throw pwMS into a full relapse, which is probably whats happened with your mum. Common 'what ever's' that cause pseudo-flares are UTI's, over heating, fatigue etc.

Its almost impossible to map lesions to symptoms, some lesions produce classic sx eg spinal lesions but i'm finding it difficult to explain, we do have a health page that might explain this better see 'Lesions vs. Symptoms. Did your mum have a full spinal MRI as well as the brain MRI?

Personally when i relapse, I experience cognitive decline, slurred/stuttered speach, walk like a human string puppet and I fall over at the drop of a hat, fatigue, tremors etc. I dont get headaches but I do have eye ball pain, and worsening visual issues eg double vision.

MS is a MySterious disease, each person has their own unique combination of MS related sx's, how long or how hard a pwMS relapses is just as unique to them. Technically its a relapse if the sx return, worsen with or with out a new sx arriving and it must last for no less than 24 hours, though relapses can last weeks or months. Recovery is again unique to the individual and new base lines will be established through out the persons life time.

So on that note, from my perspective when i start to slurr/stutter and  wobble, I know i really need to rest and rest soon because i'm headed for a pseudo. Even though I totally understand its temperary and i'll resort back to my base line, I can and do get pretty bad if i try to ignore the warning. Sort of like going down a roller coaster, only starting the upward climb after i've rested long enough. lol Depending how much i've totalled my self, will depend on how long it takes to get back to base line or in other words, my new normal.

The UTI is a bad one, so it will conceivably still take some time after thats cleared up, for your mum to recover back to her base line, i'm sure many of us here will tell you they see UTI's as a curse because they can cause so much havoc for pwMS.

Cheers.............JJ      

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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you very much.  Yes, that UTI was 2 months ago.  Since then, these symptoms reappear randomly, but this is the worst at 3 days instead of the 24 hours like before.  I've been reading things on the net, and I was wondering if she could've had meningitis when she went in the hospital and they just siad it was a UTI, because she's had those before plenty of times with never this type of reaction.  The MRI was just of the brain with the new lesions.  Could it have been meningitis?  She did not have the stiff neck at that point, but everything else, and just received some oral antibiotics.  Now, she is on oral steroids, so maybe we will see if they work, but it's been a day and still no changes.
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987762_tn?1331031553
I personally feel its rather doubtful that she had meningitus, remember she did test positive to having a UTI with E coli and that can be pretty nausty and sometimes it can be tricky to get rid of. It would be expected by now that she's been re-tested for the UTI + E and its cleared up or she still has the infection and requires another round of antibotics. Infections are commonly known to throw pwMS into full relapse, if these sx are continuing its highly likely the infection has reocurred or she's now having an MS relapse.

I'm not really sure i understand what you mean by "it's been a day and still no changes" i can only assume you have an expectation that the oral steriods would show improvements rather quickly. If that is kind of where your thinking is, you should know that oral steroids are less affective than IVSM for reducing or shortening relapse sx in MS, oral steroids may not actually be enough if she's in a relapse.

I'm very close to my daughter and i'm sure she woud say sometimes my sx apear to be random but she'd actually be incorrect, she's not seeing all the hidden signs and only seeing the blatantly obvious ones, like slurring/stuttering my words or falling over. From my perspective, i've been tingling, getting more and more fatigued, cognitively i'm being affected too, so i'm listening more than talking and a few other things that no one else knows is happening.

Is it at all possible that mum knows exactly whats going on and she's only told you bits and peices but hasn't told you absolutely everything so not to worry or burdon you unecessarily? I always think when something is about someone else, the best information is right from the horses mouth, so i'm going to advice you to have another chat with your mum because i'm sure she will know whats going on with her!

Cheers............JJ
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