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Completely Numb from the waist down ( 8 days now )
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Completely Numb from the waist down ( 8 days now )

* I also posted this on the MS section of the forum without realising, althou i have got some great help and support!

I am Male, 27 years old and a fairly active person, i don't play sports, i work as a Call centre manager and i do walk about most of the day whilst in work ( 80%)

From Wednesday (2nd April 08) i have had a numbness sensation from my waist down to my feet, and this includes all areas..
It started off with a slight pins and needles feeling in my legs, but has gradually began to get worse.
I went to my Doctor last friday the 5th April who examined me and came to the conclusion that i have a trapped nerve. And that was it - he sent me on my way and said give it a few days.
I didn't believe that a trapped nerve could cause so much uncomfort!

I have a history of blood clotting due to a blood disorder which i was diagnosed with some years back ( Factor V Leiden Mutation ) I was prescribed Warfarin which i took for a while until the Doctor said i didnt need to carry on taking them, i havent taken Warfarin for roughly 6 or 7 years now.
My last complaints of anything similar to this would have been about 4 or 5 years ago when i had a slight numbness sensation like i do now, only it wasnt half as bad and only lasted for a day and i didnt go to the dr.

I went to my hospital on Monday of my own accord and after a 3 hour wait and 30 minute of being poked with a pin the Dr was baffled - Doesnt know what's causing this, told me to Monitor myself for a week and if symptoms persist to go see my GP who will refer me to a neurologist.
He did say however should i start to get any pains in my legs or impaired vision of any sort then i should go back to casualty.

I called my Dr the next day and made another Appt, re-examination and he came to the conclusion that it's not a trapped nerve, he took blood samples which i am currently waiting results, he also mentioned that the hospital should have performed an MRI scan ( What is this for?? )

This whole experience is frightening and no one seems to have any answers, i "may" need to be referred to a neurologist if the symptoms dont go away.. even if they do i want to know why they came and how to prevent them in the future!!
I have not been ill recently and have not had any injuries at all, the only thing thats happened in my life within the last 6 months has been the death of my 6 month old nephew which was last month.
Since yesterday i feel as though its getting worse, i get random pain in both my knees and my legs feel really heavy.
My bladder and bowel are working fine apart from i can't feel myself going! As is my eye sight ( Questions i keep getting asked )

Thats all i can think off right now, any advice from a professional as to what i should do, how long should i let it go before it becomes serious and what it might be thats causing this will be greatly appreciated.

Ricky
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes they should have done a MRI..Magnetic Reasonance Immaging (excuse the spelling )
I'm no expert but I experienced something simular in 03. It was Transverse Myelitis, if you're only experiencing a sensory loss that's good ~ although mind blowing as you have to tell your head that your body will do it's job as there is a blockage along the nervous system. Please Follow the link below for more info.
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/transversemyelitis/detail_transversemyelitis.htm
Keep an open mind when you read this. I made a full recovery (although having a blip now)
Good Luck  
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475214_tn?1208604164
Hi There,
Thanks for the reply, another user of this forum who is also a Physician has also mentioned Transverse Myelitis, i shall mention this to the Dr on Monday and see what he says.
Did you have numbness like i do from the waist down? If so how long did it stay for??!
How long did it take to diagnose you?
Thanks again
Ricky
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I'm not a doctor, but I have a bad back, and IF it's not myelitis, then another thing you can try is what I do.  I lay down on the floor with my legs resting up in a chair or on a couch.  Scoot up close to the couch.  Laying like that takes all the weight off the spine and might give you some relief.  

You said you walked a lot at work.  If you're on concrete floors, this can put a strain on your lower back, which if it gets wrenched out, it might numb your nerves.  Cushioned and supportive shoes, like running shoes, with a good arch, might ease the stiff jarring that may be going up to your back.  Also, if there is muscle tension in your back, then you need to see a professional massage therapist to work out your muscles.  
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475214_tn?1208604164
Hi ggreg,

Thanks for the reply.
One thing i would like to add is that i'm not in any pain apart from my knees and this only started since the numbness began, there is no pain in my back at all, the floor i walk on is carpet and i wear fairly comfortable shoes.
Many thanks

Ricky
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Avatar_f_tn
I would demand an immediate MRI of the thoracic and cervical spine to see if there is transverse myelitis.  I find it totally unacceptable that this was not done.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Ricky

Sorry for the delay in replying,

In 03 after about a week- 10 days of gradually going from cold feet to no feeling from my waist down I went to see my GP and was refered to A&E. I was admitted to hospital and the neurologists had actually diagnosed it within a week from a physical examination and MRI scan. I was sent home told it would get better with no explaination or treatment....by the end of that week I was numb from my er um nipples down.  
I had another MRI, Evoked Potentials and a lumbar puncture before then being given steriods via an IV. It was after being admitted the 2nd time that the Dr in A&E told me what I had from reading my notes, he told my family to look it up on the internet as it would be more useful than him explaining it.

I consider myself very lucky as it was only sensory, however it took 2 years before I considered I'd got back to my old self and could 'trust' my body again. I also had neurophysiotherapy to teach me to walk again, a continence nurse to help retrain my bladder and bowel and an occupational therapist visited at home and fitted equipement for me to be independant ( I had a history of a bad back and was use to being in pain and as I'd lost feeling there was some concern that I would injury my back and not be aware that's why I had o/p assement at home - they raised my chair, fitted a toilet raiser and bath board ~ I was only 30 at the time!) I also had 4 children then 6months, 3, 5 & 7- so a major incentive to get well and not accept half measures.

It's a rare disorder so alot of GP's have not come across it, but for the majority we do get back to normal albeit after a little while ~ I had just about resigned myself to never feeling my feet again and hey presto as mysteriosly as it started it was all better.

For most people it is a one off incident.....

I'm in the process of being investigated now as something simular has happened again this January....I've been given Gabapentin this time and so far so good, I can feel my fingers again after about 10 days being on medication.

Good Luck
Jacqui
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475214_tn?1208604164
Thanks Jacqui,
I am currently awaiting to be referred to a neurologist via my private healthcare, hopefully i get some answers becuase this is just going on too long and i'm getting fed up.

Ricky
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Chin up chuck!

Fingers crossed you don't wait too long to see them.

Best Wishes
Jacqui
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475214_tn?1208604164
Thanks for the messages,
I was about to give up and just live with it in hope that the numbness goes away, until i rang my Private healthcare.
They sent a letter to my dr and asked them to confirm that this wasnt related to my underlying medical condition ( Factor V Leiden ) and if it wasnt then they would go ahead and start tests on me.
My doctor rang me today and confirmed that this had nothing to do with my blood disorder but said before she faxes back the form to them she has arranged an xray for me tomorrow in my local hospital. So i am going tomorrow for an xray, don't know what for or where but i'll go anyway and try and find out as much as possible then return to my Dr if they find nothing and demand that form be faxed so that i can get my private healthcare rolling!

I'll keep you updated!
Ricky
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475214_tn?1208604164
Got X Ray done this morning, radiologist said he couldnt tell me anything but the Dr was lookin for any signs of nerve damage on lower spine and i asked him did he see anything he said nothing that sticks out, but the Dr would maybe spot something that he hasnt, he then told me it takes 2 weeks to get this xray and report sent to my own Dr!
I am not waiting 2 bloody weeks, i have asked my Dr to refer me to a neurologist to a nearby private clinic because i have private medical care which my employer pays for, i shall ring again in the morning because i have a list of neurologists names who work there, all i need to do is for him to refer me and i can then get the ball rolling properly!

I'll keep you updated.

Ricky
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I feel very badly for you.  The care that you have received regarding this whole situation is just so bad in my opinion.  If by chance you do  have TM, you could have had proper treatment if it was found earlier.
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They can get the results quicker than that!

You have a few options.  
1 - You can request a copy of the Xrays or MRI's yourself and physically deliver them to your doctor.  (You have a right to a copy of your own tests)
2 - You can ask that the radiologist send the "wet reading" which is a hand written copy that most offices write up the SAME DAY - they should be able to fax it to your doctor.
Your doctor should be able to request this..... when I went for my MRI's they had me ask the doctor to fax them the same day - my doctors appointment was later the SAME day....

And I agree....... you should get to a neurologist for quicker help.  The Neuro's are usually much more thorough in seeking out the cause for your problems.

God Bless!
Amy
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

I would try and see neuro asap, I'm no expert, but I don't think an xray would reveal TM it would just rule out other possiblities for the loss of sensation; disc compression or degeneration for example ~ I guess they all start with the obvious and then look further when it's not so straight forward.

I've been taking Gabapentin now for about 2/3 weeks which has definately helped. I know you're not in pain ~ but they may be worth mentioning ~ I've been told so many times there is nothing they can do....it's only 'cause I'm a pain in the arse patient that wont accept that I have to accept anything that doesn't fit in with my idea of the future (denial? maybe ~ but now amazingly there is something that helps!)

Keep us posted

Best Wishes
Jacqui
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475214_tn?1208604164
Thanks everyone for the replies and apolagies for not being on to reply myself! I start a new job on Monday and needed to sort some things out. anyway the story so far is..

Xray results came back yesterday, they were all clear, no nerve damage or anything the Dr could see so i have to make appt with my Dr again to talk about the next stage which i guess is a referral to a neurologist. I can't do that until Monday now.

At least we're ruling things out one by one all be it slow!

Ricky
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Good Luck with everything!
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475214_tn?1208604164
Update!

Well guys, i don't think this is as bad as we first thought - infact going by what my Dr said and thinks, it's not even close!!

Apparently the Xray i had on my lower spine showed some sort of Disc narrowing, the report said - Disc space narrowing at L5/S1, lumbar vertebrae seem normal.. My Dr thinks this is causing my lower body to go numb although i wondered why the heck is there no back pain then?? UNTIL TONIGHT, i was sitting on my pc chair and after about an hour i started to get a pain in my lower back and bum! How weird? Or is my mind tellign me that now lol!
I have been referred at last to my private health clinic to an osteotherapist i think they are called, first appt is on the 14th May - couple of weeks away however if i didnt go private i would be waiting Months on the National Health!

Hopefully this is what the problem is and i can get it sorted!

speak soon!
Ricky
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475214_tn?1208604164
Well, been a month on and at last i got to see a specialist who has ruled out that the disc space narrowing has nothign to do with this at all. He sent me for an MRI yesterday, i'll have to wait on the results which will be about a week.
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475214_tn?1208604164
Got the MRI Films back today - was having a laugh looking at them although i've no idea what to look for - Just waiting on Appt to go and get the results, will need to ring the Dr on Monday. My Brain is HUGE :D
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Good luck. I guess I'd rather have a large brain than a small one:)
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475214_tn?1208604164
Indeed lol, Dr is waiting on report being written up, they will call me.
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