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Missionary - Lesions on MRI - need further tests?
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Missionary - Lesions on MRI - need further tests?

I am a missionary in Ukraine and the medical help here is very limited, so I was hoping for an outside view.  For about a month now I have been having the following symptoms: blurry vision, light-headed, tingling and burning in arms (especially left), legs face and spine, sometimes a feeling of spasms in spine, feel as if I've lost some dexterity - especially in left hand (sometimes dropping things), trouble concentrating, hard to stand for long periods of time - from being weak and lightheaded.  Symptoms are much better when I can rest.
Saw endocrinologist - not thyroid related.
Saw first neurologist - said one of the arteries in my neck is 1.8 when it should be 3 or more.  Prescribed 5 days of rest and piritinol and betaserc for vertigo (though not really spinning, but lightheaded).
Other doctor says it is probably just the leftovers of a virus I had in February (now April) and just need vitamins and time.
Second neurologist also said it was probably leftover of virus, but said we could do MRI if wanted.
MRI results - three small lesions 3 cm and less (T2 and FLAIR), moderate tortuosity of both extracranial internal carotid artery in the side and decrease in the caliber and reduced blood flow.  The radiologist seemed to think the lesions were connected to vascular reasons.
I have had past episodes of extreme weakness in my legs, to the point where I didn't know how I was going to walk home - almost every time when very hot outside.  Only lasted a day or two.  Also have had the episodes of blurry vision a few times, but always around my menstrual cycle.  Also only a few days.  These current symptoms have been for over a month - every day but vary with intensity.

So here we are and not sure what to do - should we pursue with some sort of further tests? Is this possibly MS?  I can request to go to Germany for more tests, but I hate to go through the stress, etc if not needed.
Any professionals out there that can give advice? Thank you.
4 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
wow, sorry you are going thru this

when posting, try to separate out with paragraphs, even if subject continues, some of our members have a hard time with eye problems and long paragraphs

I am at first seeing vascular problems.  your neuro is correct about the vessels not being the right size often this is because one does not stay open, causing problems that mimic MS (this was one of my original flair problems)
I had a vessel on the back of my neck that wouldn't stay open and caused many problems that probably (hindsight being 100%) caused them to overlook MS totally and concentrate on vascular.

please look at our health columns to the right side of this page, there are a wonderful group of articles that will probably help you weed thru some of this.

my vascular problems have always been treated with a beta blocker by a neuro which worked fairly well.  Interestingly I was off of beta blockers for years (after taking them for abut 15 yrs) and now that I am back on them for BP problems, they do help also with my ocular migraines, so many drugs have many purposes, but I digress.

MS is a slow moving train and can't be cured, our drugs are for symptom management and an attempt to keep future episodes of lesions from occurring but no one has yet found a sure way to keep those lesions from showing up.  They probably won't do another MRI for 6 months, but you didn't say what machine was used, 1.5, 3, or perhaps they did not tell you.

If you are still concerned, you can take your CD disk to another neuro, without the radiology report and ask him to read it with you.  In that case, they are usually looking at the flare pictures.  When they see areas that "might" be lesions, the contrast will cause the lesion areas to glow, for lack of a better word, and usually the new or active ones will do this, and this is what they aim for.

am sure someone on the forum family can word this better than I, am very tired and dealing with treatment and travel, so sorry for scattered thoughts, but reading the pages on the right will help you understand what i have said.

Keep a log or timeline of when these symptoms occur, that will help the nears. I feel some is vascular and some associated with your period but am not discounting the lesions.

welcome to our little corner, hang around, read our experiences, and share your progress!
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198419_tn?1360245956
Hi there,

Welcome to the forum. I see why you found us - what you are experiencing most certainly are some things MSers experience, however, these are also symptoms experienced by many, many mimics.

This is a link to discussion that contains a link to exactly why MS is a difficult disease to dx, and why problems people are not always caused by the disease of MS.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Multiple-Sclerosis/Differential-diagnosis-of-suspected-MS/show/1415930

Vascular problems most certainly cause brain changes, and it sounds like your doctor is investigating this cause for you. MS is not curable, but we manage it. It would be in your best interest for this doctor to dig into all causes - and I hope it's one that can be fixed.

What you were told is true too about virus - viruses can wreak havoc on our immune systems and cause all sorts of lingering problems, and even future problems.

Is this MS for you? I sure hope not. Should you see another doc? Not sure it seems you have someone working on your behalf and running tests. If it were me, I'd not jump ship from that just yet.

Hope this helps.
-Shell

Wishing you well, and let us know how you make out
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2034625_tn?1392646892
I don't have any advice for you beyond the good advice that Sarah and Shell have already given you.  I just wanted to say hi and let you know that I am in a similar situation and know it's not easy.  I'm in neurological "limboland" in the middle of the Alps with very few doctors and those that I have seen have very limited experience.  

I do think it's good that your doctors are looking into all of the possibilities and ruling everything out before giving you any kind of label.  Wishing you well and hoping you get answers soon.

Laura
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Avatar_f_tn
Just wanted to say thank you for all your insight. Decided to head back to the US and see a doctor there...just in case.  

Wish you all well.  There is hope.  Revelation 21:4,5 - And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new.” Also, he says: “Write, because these words are faithful and true.”
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