This is my first posting so I'm not sure of how much info I should be passing along.I am a 52 yo female status post breast CA (1997) clear since after lumpectomy, chemo and radiation, developed fibromyalgia at that time. Two years ago (2008) I was hospitalized for severe cough/possible whooping cough. I also had an outbreak of shingles and small MRSA infection. While hospitalized I developed ascending leg paralysis to waist and urinary retention. MRI was unremarkable but neurologist dx Transverse myelitis and referred me to specialist. A second set of MRI's were unremarkable except a "STIR abnormality in the upper thoracic spine".Lumbar puncture was negative.I had high doses of steroids and 5 treatments of plasmaphorisis. I still had no recovery of felling or movement in my lower extremeities although urinary retention improved. I also suffered from extreme mid-back pain. I underwent 4 weeks of inpatient PT followed by outpatient with no improvement. Since then I have had "flair ups" of extreme pain, urinary retention, chronic bronchitis and uncontrolled muscle twitches in muscles everywhere, not just in my legs. I have been hospitilized about every 2 months for severe flairs. The back poain has become unbearable despite duragisic patch,dilaudid PRN for breakthrough, nerontin, baclofen. I am now presurgery for a pain pump (trial was positive for relief of back pain. I have recovered some leg movement but am still wheelchair bound. The last neurologist I was said that although there were no signs of plaques in my brain MRI MS could not be ruled out.
What else should I be asking?Are there other tests out there for MS? I had an eye test while hospitilized the first time and have never heard of results. I also have severe pain around my lower ribs which no one has diagnosed, does this mean anything? I guess I'm probably not informed enough about everything that has happened to me over these years and would like any guidelines of what to ask, who to see? Could this be related to the fibromyalgia? Any info you can give me would be appreciated. Thanks.
The STIR abnormality is a short tau inversion recovery(STIR) T1 MRI sequence. STIR-FSE (Fast Spin Echo) is extremely sensitive for detecting damage to spinal cord as you would see in Transverse Myelitis (TM.) Since you had TM, MS is always a possibility, particularly MS with lesions in the Cervical and Thoracic spine. It is possible to have MS with no brain lesions. Have they repeated the Lumbar Puncture specifically looking to see if there are new OCBs, or if the IgG Index indicated new antibody synthesis within the CNS?
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