I have not been diagnosed with MS. But, after speaking to a friend who has been diagnosed with MS since 1997, she conviced me to "keep pushing" if I didn't like what I was hearing from my doctor. Obviously, she doesn't want me to have MS, but she also knows that it took her 4 or 5 years of symptoms before anyone took her seriously.
So, after spending the last year going through the hoops that doctors make you go through....I got sick & tired of being told that my symptoms were "anxiety" or made to feel like it is "all in my head". I know that something is wrong - I just don't know what it is yet. My acute symptoms began July 2007. First I was lightheaded and felt faint. Then I developed severe chest pain. My PCP prescribed Prilosec to take for 28 days thinking it was viral esophagitis. During this time I started having numbness & tingling in my left arm. That with the continued chest pain sent me to the ER. They ran every blood test, checked my heart & said I didn't have a cardiac event and sent me home. I saw a cardiologist for a complete workup & my heart is fine. After a few months of the bad chest pain & the intermittent numbness & tingling in my left arm, I finally found my gastroentereologist who diagnosed me with acid reflux & barretts esophagus, esophageal spasm and hypersensitive esophagus. I have tried many medications & am okay right now. Still have the occasional spasm & the hypersensitivity seems to be totally related to what I eat. At that time, the numbness & tingling in my left arm was attributed to my bodies response to the amount of pain I was having.
So, you ask, why is this girl posting in the MS forum? Well, my symptoms are evolving and changing, which prompted me to seek a neurologist. My last episode of left arm numbness & tingling was in March & lasted for 5 days. In Feb/March I started having numbness & tingling on the left side of my face. Since then I have had intermittent numbness & tingling on: left arm, legs, scalp, face and top of foot. I have also had deep pain in my left thigh (no explanation of that), muscle cramping & spasms in legs and recurrent hip pain, 3 "floaters" in left eye, fatigue (sometimes so bad I wonder how I am even functioning), problems with urinary leakage after urinating, I find myself "taking a step back" a lot to catch my balance and Vertigo.
The vertigo began in July of this year - and I have it only when I am sleeping. Initially I was having it every night, but now it has mellowed out to only when I get too hot under the blankets.
The neurologist I was seeing ordered an MRI (no contrast) to "rule out MS" and that was normal. I have also had a balance test (for the vertigo) - results within normal range, except for the caloric testing (hot & cold air in ears) where I had a bi lateral weakness that according to the doctor who performed the tests, said that a CNS disorder needs to be ruled out.
The neurologist who ordered these 2 tests, told me that my tests were normal & then gave me a prescription for Klonopin saying that he thought I might be having sensory siezures. I took the Klonpin for 5 days (of the 7 he wanted me to try it for) and said enough. It didn't help with the vertigo, and I could barely function on it. When all the neurologist wanted to do was try another medication, I got frustrated & decided not to go back to him. I guess he thought that because the MRI was normal - I couldn't possibly have MS....but he also didn't offer to explore it any further. When I went in to see him for the results of the MRI & balance test, my appointment was literally 13 minutes long. When I started to ask him a question, he stood up, put his hand out to shake mine & ushered me out the door...I was stunned...so between that & his penchance for prescriptions....time for me to move on.
I am very fortunate that I just found out last Thursday that I have been accepted at The Mayo Clinic in Arizona. I am on a waiting list to be seen there, but at least I have hope.
I am curious - do any of you deal with dizziness and/or vertigo? Do you find that it is worse in warm weather or if you get too warm?
I can't seem to find anything on the internet about vertigo & it being triggered by heat. I know that in MS, symptoms can be excacerbated by heat.
The only symptom I see that isn't in the MS category is the floaters, which are usually just wrinkles in the retina.
It's unfortunate that your MRI was without contrast - I think you know that makes it basically useless.
Symptoms can definitely be exacerbated by heat. Not all MS patients have a problem with it, but I think a majority do. I had dizziness and vertigo for six months, and it comes back when I get overheated.
It sounds like you're on the right track. Visit the Health Pages for some good advice from these forum members - they've been exactly where you are, and can guide you about what to do next.
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