I am a 40 year old female. Around 7 years ago I was experiencing multiple problems; icy/burning sensations in face, arms, legs, and torso that would come and go, dizziness, disorientation, tunneling vision, difficulty in focusing or concentration, slurred speech, etc. At times I felt my head and body were disconnected. I had to use all my effort and concentration just to walk. I was fatigued and exhausted all the time. I went to the doctor and was documenting my problems as they occurred in a journal. After 2 years of various exams which culminated in an MRI that showed nothing, I was passed off as being depressed and put on anti depressants. I was not depressed. The meds did not help with anything except partial clearing of the 'fog' in my brain. I stopped taking the meds. I had researched things on my own as well and MS was the only thing that really fit, but with or without a diagnosis it seemed it was 'a just live with it' issue. So I stopped going to the doctors and tried to get on with my life. Slowly many of the problems went away for awhile. I had only a few episodes that scared me over the last couple of years. Stress may have been a factor for me. At the time symptoms were the worst I had gone back to college, although they started about 6 months before. I somehow managed to get straight A's even though there were times I could not even read a sentence without difficulty. The symptoms slowly abated while I was employed full time as a GIS technician. Then due to some extenuating circumstances I ended up living in Belize Central America for the past three years. While there my symptoms completely disappeared until 2 months ago. Belize is a much more laid back and relaxed lifestyle and may have helped. The relatively constant temperature was helpful as well as I seem to be unable to handle extreme cold or heat. My symptoms reappeared along with a severe stress in my life. I am now back in the USA and having more problems showing up. I am reluctant to return to the doctors (they would be all new and I would probably be starting all over, I don't know where the old records are), and have no medical insurance or money to cover the costs anyway. I am just worried that my ability to keep functioning will deteriorate again. When simple walking and talking become an effort again, I am not sure how I will be able to work (although I struggled through last time by shear will power). It is not that I want to be diagnosed as having something like MS, but I know the problems I have are real and not just in my head (psychotic or depression related), and it is frustrating not having a real diagnosis to at least say '___?___ is what I have, and this is how to deal with it'. Any help or advice is appreciated.
I am currently still looking for a job (or jobs since most seem to be pt only). Another thing I forgot to mention that may be important is that I have severe allergies. Around the time my symptoms were the worst (happening nearly every day) I was also undergoing treatment for the allergies. I was getting injections every day to build up an immunity to the things I had the worst allergies to (molds and dust mostly, but many others). I had the injections for 2 years. During that time salt seemed to cause problems for me in a strange way. It made me feel like my head was trying to float off my shoulders yet felt heavy and hard to move, and I felt almost drunk.
While living in Belize my entire diet changed, I had no allergy problems, and I lost 40 pounds. Since returning to the US my allergies have returned with a vengeance, but I have tried to keep my diet to prevent food allergy issues from returning. Another issue that seems to have exacerbated the problems is my location. I am in Yuma, Az and I have no car so I have to bicycle to job hunt. The temps reach 113F. I nearly had heat stroke twice now, and I know I definitely overheated 4 times. I noticed I am overheating quicker each time and with little exertion or exposure to the sun now. My heart races, I can't breath, I can't think straight, my balance is off, etc. These are directly heat related issues and not exacerbations. I am concerned it will get worse or cause other problems to show up though. What concerns me most are the times when for no apparent reason my symptoms come back and suddenly everything is a struggle, and it takes extreme effort to concentrate just to walk, talk, or do any simple task. I had two right before leaving Belize and several more now that I am here. If nothing else, I guess I should at least start keeping track of the events in a journal again, so when I can get back to a doctor all the info will be there.
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