Again, I am sorry for bothering you all with this, I know you all get asked this a million times. It's just that my doctor seems to think that I may be a bit of a hypochondriac , and my wife thinks I might be crazy. Up until 4 months ago, I would not have even thought about MS, but my doc suggested maybe that is what might be wrong. I had one MRI on my brain and some blood work and was told I didn't have it. But after so many symptoms, over the years, I tend to disagree.
I will give a little insight to my symptom history, and work from there. Some of these symptoms I have only had a time or two, and some I have quite frequently.
-light flashing in corner of left eye with movement. It comes and goes about 6 months and lasts for about a month
-jaw or mouth gets severe cramps
-a very severe sharp electrical type pain that shoots from my temple through my eye, and into my jaw. I lasts only a second, but can happen many times a day. Occurs every for or five months and lasts appx. a week or two
-left eyelid twitches very fast, can last a few minutes to several hours
-consistently feeling dizzy, like I've shifted a couple of inches one direction or the other, without really moving at all. I have been checked many times for ear infections or problems.
-about four months ago I had sudden loss of strength in my right hand, with no pain, a couple of days later, my left hand followed suit. (this is when my doctor suspected MS). The weakness lasted about a month.
-four months later my hands went weak again, this time accompanied with pain. The pain was not specific, just all over pain. I have had carpal tunnel surgery in the past, and I currently have carpal tunnel again, but this was a different kind of pain and weakness. Suddenly, sometime last week, the pain and weakness disappeared completely, now feeling only the effects of carpal tunnel.
-leg cramps in the back of my ham strings, comes and goes often
-cramps in the calf of my leg
-cramps in my feet, causing my toes to curl upwards
-cramps in my sides around the rib cage area
-cramps in my diaphragm
-hand cramp, right hand only, causing finger to pull in the wrong direction
-right leg has a shifting buzzing sensation, like I have a cell phone set to vibrate, that comes and goes. It shifts from just under my hip, to just above my knee
-tail bone sometimes has same buzzing sensation. The tail bone seems to happen a lot more often.
-right leg, twice before, has had weird hot, electrical type sensation, almost felt like my skin on my leg was to tight. It was very painful, and made the leg feel weak, lasted for about a three weeks the first time, and less than a week the second.
Hot poking needle
-sensation of a hot needle poking me in the skin, happens all over the body, but mostly in the back. Can last several days at times.
I also suffer from tourettes syndrome, which it appears that I have had since I was around 4 yrs old, (am 36 now), which was only diagnosed about a year ago.
I was also diagnosed with having bipolar syndrome the same time I was diagnosed with tourettes. Although I have never really thought of myself as bipolar, after looking back, I can see some actions that may have seemed that way. I the past 5 months or so, however, it seems to have taken on a new face. Meaning that I have had one severe low, and one severe maniac episode. During the episode of mania, I had a completely strange emotional moment, when I was at work, I suddenly burst out crying, I mean wailing crying. Very embarrassing, as I had to go outside until the fit suddenly stopped.
To sum it all up, I came here asking your opinions on weather I should push to see a neurologist, as my doctor thinks that what I'm experiencing has a simple solution. I know that many things are seemingly going wrong all at once here lately, especially the last 6 months.
Oh, the MRI that I had, had shown three spots in it, where I had a very bad fever, a concussion, or elevated blood pressure. As far as the lesions, it was reported that I had none that would appear to cause the current symptoms I'm having.
Uhg, I'm rambling, sorry. Back to the question. Does this appear to have any merit to it. Should I pursue this as possibly being MS. I know that If I pursue and am wrong, my wife will be upset with the extra medical bills and such. Maybe I am being a bit of a hypochondriac, I don't know.
What are your thoughts
Sorry about the long winded question, and thank you for any responses.
You all have been quite helpful thus far with your discussions.
It's very hard to say anything with any certainty, based on what you've written. Some of your symptoms sound like MS and some don't. It would be good if you could rearrange your symptom list into a timeline, meaning specific months or seasons when you experienced whatever it was, starting from the earliest date. Also list what you did about it and when (or if) it went away.
You should really be evaluated by an ophthalmologist about your eye difficulties, regardless of other concerns. Flashing lights could be serious, so don't put this off.
I urge you to read up in our Health Pages. There's great info there that explains what MS is, and is not. You'll find, for instance, that all-over symptoms such as your hot needle poking are unlikely to be MS, because of the way the disease works. You'll also learn a lot about other odd sensations, called paresthesias, that are very common with MS. You have described several of these in your post.
Diagnosing MS involves ruling out many other conditions which mimic it. This is often a tedious and frustrating process. Your primary doctor can perform many of these tests through bloodwork, which generally is not a terribly expensive process. If your doctor does not take you seriously, you should find someone else. I don't think you're crazy and I doubt if others here would either. You need to find some answers. I don't know if you're a hypochondriac, but I do think you deserve good medical attention.
Just to add my two cents... I have a flaring pinpoint of light in my right eye, that comes and goes. It was gone for a while, but it's back again, and yes, it seems to be related to eye movement. I got it after a bout of optic neuritis.
Ess did a great job addessing your post, and I don't have much to add, but I do want to welcome you, too.
You do have a lot of symptoms that are neurological that deserve attention from a neurologist. It is very hard to say if it's MS--there are many disease with overlapping symptoms and mimics of MS. Some diseases even cause brain lesions. Having spots on your brain rules out that you are crazy or imagining things, in my opinion. Now what caused the spots could be several things. Ess pointed you to the Health Pages--that's a great place to start when researching what causes brain lesions, and to see what kinds of diseases look like MS.
I can relate to several of your symptoms--the vibrating cell phone, weakness, pain in my face, emotional rollercoaster rides, and muscle tightness and cramps. I do get stabbing pains, but it is always located in one spot--like in my right foot that lasts for several days, or above my left ear. It never shifts around to other parts of my body in the same day. This sounds more like systemic problem like Lyme Disease or an infection of some sort. There's also all sorts of autoimmune diseases that may cause this kind of thing. I am not really knowledgeable about other neurological diseases, but others on this forum are.
If you're worried about cost, you should at least have blood work to rule out autoimmune diseases and Lyme disease. Even vitamin diffencies can cause neurological problems. Blood work is not really all that expensive.
Thanks for the heads up on the Health pages, I didn't know they were there, and have found them very useful.
I guess I failed to mention that I have had multiple blood draws trying to find something wrong in there. Every time the test turn up nothing. I've definitely been tested for Lyme and such.
Also, I didn't mean to mislead on the burning needle thing either. What I meant was that it will bother the one area for a day or so, like it's being plunged in and out nonstop. Later on the pain will appear somewhere else in my body, like the bottom of my foot, or on my arm.
Thank you for the speedy comments and very useful info.
I know it's difficult to talk briefly about your symptoms, isn't it! No worries.
Paresthesia usually appear in one spot, and stick around for a day or so. Sometimes a paresthesia will be in an area that already has some other problem, such as muscle weakness, or numbness. The burning needle thing sounds like a paresthesia.
What type of MRI did you have? Did you only have one of the brain? What strength of MRI machine was it? Was it done on an open or closed machine? Did you see a neurologist? Was MS protocol used? Did you have any other tests besides bloodwork and an MRI? What did the doctor think was causing all of these problems?
Sorry for all of the questions. For most people with the symptoms you have, I'd recommend seeing a neurologist or MS specialist--but you mentioned medical costs. I certainly can relate to not wanting to run up the bill on medical costs. Sometimes people can go for years not getting a diagnosis, and all that happens is mounting medical cost--even when they seemingly have a clear case of MS.
With a little more info, there will probably be someone that can give you really good advice on what you should do next.
Wow, all really good questions, that I have no answers for. You have definitely given me some great questions to ask my doc. After I read you post, I looked into the heath pages and saw the same type of layout of info. Thanks for the heads up on data collection, most helpful.
Ok, finally I have an appointment with a nero in May. A ways away, but I'm patient, and it should give me time to put some info together, which is what brings me to bringing up this thread again.
I have sat down and started putting together a list of all the symptoms I have had over the years. The problem is, there has been quite a span of years there, and being that I had suspected nothing, have not one single record of anything.
I was curious, will trying to list approx. the year I delt with some of the symptoms help at all, or will it confuse the situation? Should I just fill out a list of symptoms and work from there?
-Gathering the Info-
I really don't know the answer to this one, so I thought I should ask. In getting my medical files, will my family doctor simply hand over a copy of my medical history to me, or does that get sent directly to the Nero? I can see the need of having a copy for myself, after reading one bad limbo experience after another on this, and other sites.
As always, thank you for reading, and I look forward to any input.
I would think that your family doctor could do this either way, but I would prefer to having a copy of the file for my own records, also.
Sometimes, having the approximate year for your symptoms is good, but sometimes this is not really possible if it's been a really long time ago. For me, the neuro had me complete a timeline that I had to fill in before I went to see him, and send it in to him. It was really hard for me, but it did help me to not get rattled when I went to see the neuro and I was asked--it was already there for him.
Many people recommend that you don't put too many things down--to put the main things that are bothering you; however, I wrote down everything. It turned out that I got a diagnosis, but for some people, I understand that it could really muddy the waters.
So, I would recommend writing down the main problems for the doctor to see, and keeping a list off all of your symptoms with an approximate year that they appeared for yourself (in case you're asked). Your neuro may even ask you for one, so if he/she does, you can have this copy ready just in case.
By the way, the medical records from your GP should help you with this timeline.
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