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Is this really MS or could this be a panic problem?
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Is this really MS or could this be a panic problem?

I need good honest opionions on what you all think about these things. I went to the doctor the other day and he said (after much blood work) that we need to consider either MS or a panic disorder. Could this really be related to panic? I am under a lot of stress so I would understand if it was, but really what do you all think?

Symptoms:

- I have random numbness and tingling in my hands and feet. Primarily on my left side, but not completely exclusive to the left.

- Sometimes I will wake up at night and it will feel like somebody is sticking a million pins in my foot and I can't get it to go away.

- My memory has really bad days. For 3 days straight I literally couldn't remember anything, but didn't know I couldn't until things would happen. For example, my husband and I would have a talk for like 20 minutes then 5 minutes later I would start having the same conversation with him with no recollection that we had even talked. 3 days in a row I turned on the stove and forgot immediately after, until I smelled burning. I burned through a bread bag, a plastic plate and a plastic bowl...on 3 separate days. Today I was really irritated because my toaster was taking forever. I was standing there waiting for my toast to pop up...it never did because I am LOSING it and didn't even put bread in there. What in the world?!

- On Monday for about 2 hours I would black out every 5 to 10 minutes. Right before I would pass out I would catch myself and come to. I was terrified because I have 2 kids to take care of.

- I was at the post office the other day and was shaking so bad when I handed the lady my package that she asked "do you always shake like that". I was so embarrassed so I lied and said "only when I'm hungry" and left as soon as I could.

I went to the doctor a few months back because my hands and feet kept going numb. He did some blood work for a vitimin b12 deficiency and diabetes and they both came back fine. Last week they did more blood work and that came out fine.

I seriously think that I am fine. These things are really frustrating and hard to deal with at the time, but is isn't all the time. It will come for weeks and then be gone for a month or so and then come for a few days and be gone for weeks. Honestly, I just think that I am stressed and it's doing weird stuff to my body. I just need to chill out and things will be normal again. We feel like the tests are a good idea just in case though because it's not just me at home, I am in charge of 2 little ones that depend on me.

Anyway, again it's probably just stress. I like to prepare myself for everything though so I am doing a lot of research, that way when it turns out to be stress I will be super relieved and maybe the stress will go away because of relief, ha! Gotta love what life throws your way. Any info you all have would be super appreciated it.
Tags: Panic, stress
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17 Comments Post a Comment
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378497_tn?1232147185
Someone needs to assess you carefully for seizure activity, among other things. Please don't be too quick to consign this all to panic as an explanation. For one thing, it doesn't sound like panic or even GAD. It sounds almost like absence seizures, among other things. Please assiduously follow up on this, ESPECIALLY because you have the children at home and are being forgetful in significant and dangerous ways.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

Bio
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Thank you so much for your comment. I actually am going to get an MRI on Tuesday...but what can they really tell from that? Honestly, I have no idea about any of this and I'm wondering what they have to see to dx me with MS. I'm glad I found this site just in case I do have it. What a blessing!
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with Bio. What you describe doesn't seem like MS, but that doesn't mean it's 'all in your head.' Perhaps it is, but you need thorough testing before any conclusions can be drawn. Please let us know how you do.

ess
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572651_tn?1333939396
Hi there,
Welcome to the MS forum - its a great place to learn more.

Keep anxiety as a possibility, but it should be the very last dx looked at when everything else is eliminated.

Bio's idea of seizures is a valid one.  The blackouts are significant and don't usually happen in MS.

Has your doctor referred you to a neurologist for more MS testing? An MRI of your brain and spine would definitely be in order.

I hope you'll stick around and keep us posted on your progress in figuring this out.

my best,
Lulu

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572651_tn?1333939396
We were obviously posting aat the same time- I'm glad your doctor has ordered the mri.

Take some time to look over our health pages - yellow icon on the upper right side of this page .... there is quite a bit of information there about MRI's and what they can and cannot show.  This is a good place to start.

lu
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648910_tn?1290666683
Also don't rule out that one thing cannot exist with the other, i.e MS and a seizure disorder, anxiety and MS or any combination. It is not uncommon to have more than one dx.  Also did they test your hemoglobin, ferritin, folic acid?  Anemia can present with many of the symptoms you describe.

terry
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On Tuesday or maybe it was Wednesday they tested for anemia and a thyroid problem because of my fatigue. Both tests came back just fine. In the first panal of blood work I'm not sure all that they tested for. I had pretty much though something would come back positive, they would treat it and this would all go away. I really should have paid more attention to what was being tested.
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572651_tn?1333939396
Now is a good time to tell you that you need to get copies of all the tests that are being done.  If you are in the US you are legally entitled to them.  Get those records and start a file.  You may need them later for reference or for additional doctors.  

Also be sure to get a copy of your mri - most places will give it to you on CD.  Keep a copy of it as well in a safe place.

Labs and doctors aren't required to keep records a certain length of time and it seems to vary how long medical records are still around.  By having your copies you know they haven't been destroyed!  

my best,
Lulu
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much. I would never have thought to do that. I will call and get my lab results tomorrow so that I can start my fine. Thank you!
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Avatar_f_tn
I meant to say "so I can start my file"...I'm losing it ;-)
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May I also add my welcome. You have come to a great place as Lulu said. There are people on this forum who are diagnosed, not diagnosed, in "limboland" and people with MS mimics who have stuck around because this is such a firendly helpful place to be.

As you have already discovered you will get lots of helpful advice here.

I am glad you are having the MRI tomorrow. I hope it all goes well.

Stay strong
Mandy
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280418_tn?1306329510
I agree with Mandy, I think I have something wrong that mimics MS, but I come back here due to the support and friendly atmosphere as well.  I don't have a diagnosis yet, so I update due to people like yourself who are questioning MS.  I am also, unfortunately, a sufferer of panic disorder and anxiety.  Yes, panic and anxiety can cause you to shake, tingle, etc., but your symptoms do not fit that mold perfectly.  A panic attack is usually just that, an attack.  I feel very scared, like I am going to die.  If you were just at the store and shaking started with no anxiety or feelings of fear, I doubt that was a panic attack.  I think it is a valid question, BUT, never let anyone write your symptoms off as anxiety when they haven't tested for every other possibilty.  The panic and anxiety forum is very supportive as well, but be careful not to let others' symptoms become yours (you can be very easily swayed when in distress).  I have been under stress for say, oh, 20+ years!  My symptoms just started abruptly 2.5 years ago and do not really coincide with my anxious episodes.  Stress does not help any physical illness, but it doesn't explain everything either.  Take care and do your homework:)
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Thank you all for your comments. Please keep them coming, I love hearing everybody's thoughts since my own thoughts are so muffled and confused right now. I'm a little frustrated b/c my MRI just got changed from Tuesday (tomorrow) to Wednesday. I know, I know, it's only one day, but I'm ready to figure out what is going on.
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Avatar_f_tn
well, I can tell you that many years ago my pcp diagnosed me with anxiety attacks when I knew that's not what was causing my MS symptoms.  I think you would know if you were having anxiety or panic attacks.  Pin ***** sensations was one of my first symptoms of MS.  I definitely had depression but that was also a problem with MS.  
Hang in there!
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Avatar_f_tn
That is awful that your doc kept telling you it was anxiety attacks. That alone would give me an anxiety attack! Did that same doctor ever order an MRI and if he did was he able to see things and still wrote it off as an anxiety attack? What was your progression like and when did you finally get dx with MS? Thanks for your support!
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Avatar_f_tn
I finally had my MRI this morning. I'm not kidding when I said I spent a LONG time in that tube! It was my first MRI and they did it on my brain and C-Spine. They did it with contract and without and it took WAY too long for me. Anyway, I did as you said Lulu and I left with a CD of my images in hand. As I was walking out I asked the gentleman doing my MRI to tell me what he saw. He said (obviously) that he couldn't do that but that if I was curious to look at the Brain images on the one that said "flare". I got home and went straight to my computer. I was terrified when I pulled up the images of the one he said and saw about 2 large and 6 small white spots just like the ones on the MRI's that I have been looking up. I drove the CD directly over to my doctor, but he was already gone for the day. I will probably be meeting with my doctor tomorrow after he listen's to the radiologists dictations and will get an idea of where we are supposed to go from here. I'm trying to keep my head on straight realizing that 1) I am not trained to read an MRI and shouldn't have even looked at it knowing that and 2) There are lots of things that can cause those white spots to be on those images and 3) I need to relax because tomorrow is my birthday and if I am worried about what is going on I will not enjoy it!

That my friends is all. I thought I would post an update on the MRI. I'm so grateful already for this wonderful forum! Thank you!
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Avatar_f_tn
I meant to say they did it "with contrast and without". Blame it on my spacey mind that I put contract instead of contrast. :-)
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