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cold left extremities
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cold left extremities

I have several symptoms that have not been linked to any one problem.  It seems as if I am treating symptoms and not the cause of the problems.  I have been having a rollercoaster feeling for the last few years.  The concern is that the symptoms are worse with every episode and this last episode some of the symptoms stayed.  I will give a list of the problems that I am having and hope for some guidance to what to do next.

drooping of left eye lid-stayed after last episode
pain from back of eye to through head and to the front of neck
occasional ringing in left ear
tingling in lips and up into left cheek
headaches
shoulder blade pain left side
left side breating feels restricted on exertion
occasional hip to hip pain
lump to right side of spine (about 1/2 inch) with rash on skin above lump
left side cold - right side warm almost constant-This has caused a change in the way that I walk due to the numbness in my foot
constipation then diarrhea
morning stiffness
pins & needles left arm & leg
excessive thirst
fatigue
burning of legs at rest
left side does not seem as strong as before the last episode
I have had a MRI and the opinion was Ethmoid sinus disease. increased signal and retro orbital space most suggestive of optic neuritis. other causes of retro-orbital inflammation should be considered. This was read by my Neurologist and he had a second opinion of the reading and told me that everything was fine. He did not feel that the this should be a concern
I would like to thank you for your time and guidance.
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Avatar_n_tn
Multiple symptoms that may or may not be completely related to one another, although they appear to be mainly on the left side. Some seem to suggest a problem with the brain or peripheral nerve, while others are non-neurologic.  The neurological exam would be important to help establish objective evidence of a neurological problem as would an MRI of the brain with dye. Hard to comment on an MRI that I have never seen before, but if you do have a history of visual loss or changes in one eye, and there's truly evidence suggestive of an optic neuritis by MRI, then MS is a consideration. FUrther evaluation including a spinal tap, somatosensory evoked potentials, and a formal eye exam should be considered, especially if you're a young woman.  Other tests would include bloodwork to look for autoimmune diseases. These lab tests of course should be taken into clinical context and ordered based on the assessment of your physician. However, if you feel that your symptoms are affecting your daily life and are getting worse, consider a second opinion at a major academic center. Good luck.
3 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm 46, 6ft/180lbs, always been active up until about 3 years ago, and in my personal opinion; going to a Neurologist to "prevent" a stroke is like trying to train a **** roach to do back-flips.

Strokes are caused by blood disorders and vascular disease. Go to a well experienced Cardiologist and vascular specialist. They will rule out Hypertension, heart problems or vascular diseases as being the cause of your symptoms.  

I was under the care of a neurologist for a good 6-months before my first stroke. I went to her because like you, I was having all the classic symptoms for a stroke, left side numbness, tingling, degrading vision in left eye. I also had already suffered a TIA which took me to the ground with complete loss of motor control to my left side. Primary doctor says that was TIA/CVA, sends me to Neurologist. She orders up a MRI, comes back normal (no damage), had a 16-channel EEG done, normal, no signs of MS, had a bi-lateral ultrasound done on carotid arteries, no signs of any plaque or stenosis, was then sent home and told to take a 325mg of Ecotrin every day and come back and see her in 6 months.  3-months later, I'm taking a shower and I get this electrical shock to my left side (same as first TIA), I hit the bottom of the shower, I gather up all remaining strength just to turn off the water.  I lay there watching my left arm and leg now totally motion-less other than a few twitches from below my left knee.  After about 10 minutes, I'm starting to regain motor control to my left side, I crawl out of the shower, grab a towel and dry off, I'm now able to get some shorts on where I call down to my daughter. She helps me down stairs. I'm having trouble talking, making sense, I run into trash can, counter etc. Daughter calls my Neurologist who's answering service says take him immediately to ER.  Daughter drives me to Hospitial which is 5-minutes from home, walk in w/assistance of daughter within 30-minutes of accident, CT scan is done 15 minutes later, I'm injected with a saline-like solution on the CT scanner, it comes back with this nice 10mm X 15mm white divot to my basal ganglia caudate head. My ER doctor gives me 2ea Plavix and runs some other tests EKG etc., sends me home 3.5hrs later after blood test results come back. No tPA was administrered of which I now learn possibly could have lessened the effects of my CVA/stroke. I've since had another stroke on 9/20 and can tell you my Neurologist hasn't done didly squat to prevent another one.  

My opinion is IF you want to "prevent a stroke", go see a well experienced Cardiologist for a complete cardio workup, one who also specializes in vascular diseases is a plus. I had a treadmill/negative, a treadmill stress w/neuclear medicine/DIST test showing my heart in 3D-color/negative, a TEE checking for PFO, negative, I have a color doppler on my legs done (ABI test), it comes back suspicous, I go in for an angiography to the upper body and lower legs, I have it done, they find a small blockage right where the cathater is inserted in my left groin artery, it is later determined I possibly have DVT deep vein trombosis, but they are not 100% sure. I buy a BP monitor, take my BP every day, Cardiologist doesn't like my 140/90 avg. PB, puts me on DiovanHCT, doesn't like cholesterol HDL level at 31 and dropping between blood tests, TC is 158-188, has me take 1000mg NIASPAN daily, sure makes the hair on the back of your head stand up :) But at least the Cardiologist has explained things to me so a person can understand.

I just hope not all Neurologists treat their patients with the lack of interest like mine did with me. I look back now a year and a half later,  and realize that my first stroke could have been easily been prevented had my Neurologist taken 5 minutes more with me and been more agressive in covering the "basics" like blood pressure. Do you know that it took my primary doctor and cardiologist nearly 3 months of visits going through $25k worth of tests to determine I had high blood pressure? My cardiologist now has my BP/Cholesterol under control and recommended that I see a Hemotologist to rule out any blood disorders as being the cause of my strokes.

But the point to you is: Had my Neurologist placed me on Plavix when I first seen her and "stressed" the importance of taking these medications, I know I would have greatly reduced my chances of ever having that first stroke much less having 2. Bottom line is YOU need to take control over your own care, if you don't get the answers you feel you need to be comfortable with your condition, then get a new doctor.

  
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 32 yr old with diabetes and stress related high blood pressure that is controlled with lotrel.  For the last 3 days I have experienced cold chills in my left arm.  It doesn't happen anywhere else.  I have carpal tunnel in my left hand, could that be connected to it or could it be nerves somewhere else.  My blood pressure hasn't been a problem lately, and I know problems with the left side could be heart related.  My mother has Syndrome X and both parents have high blood pressure.
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