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spinal cord burning, weakness in arms and legs
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spinal cord burning, weakness in arms and legs

Dear Doctor

I had two episodes of sudden muscular weakness one in 2010 after I got some infection, a few weeks before I had had unprotected sex with a woman if that was relevant. and was bit by fleas too.

At that time CBC showed anemia, high wbc and high esr (31) I had severe muscular weakness, no pain, no fever, for about a week, I slept for a whole weak till I recovered. all together it lasted a couple of months maybe.

end of 2011, I get another infection, it starts in
September: headache and water leaking from nose
October: i start feeling weak on the legs but I still think it's lack of exercise
December: week-long headache and paralysis/numbness/tingling of the whole right side of the face.
December: my legs start to give out when I climb down the stairs.
it gets worse and worse until March when this strange "flu" finally peaks , CBC shows all wbc are high, including Neutrophils, liver enzymes and Complement C3 is high.

By the time I could do EMG, in May, I was doing a lot better, I could already walk normally but I was still weak on the legs. the EMG was negative but it showed a "remodeled" muscle in one leg where I never had symptoms before 2011.

AFTER the EMG, it started to get my arms, my left arm in particular was weak, sometimes it would tend to "crunch" on itself with stiffness and pain especially in the fingers, it looked like my aunt's arm who had brain ischemia. when it was really bad it would get my right arm too.

the arms and the legs got better when it started to get my heart beat, my heart beat rate slowed down a lot, I would wake up during the night with severe "fatigue" in the heart, and force myself back to sleep.

a Neurologist ordered MRI brain/spine which was negative and they said it was all psychogenic and dumped me.

neck and dorsal are burning a bit, limbs aren't 100% strong, neural/joints pain in the left hand.  

is a direct infection of the central nervous system been ruled out and how? what has been ruled out and why?
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

Sensory changes can be due to multiple causes. Some causes can be nutritional (such as a vitamin deficiency) or autoimmune (such as Lupus or Sjogrens) or toxins (lead) to name a few.

One major cause of diffuse sensory changes is related to emotional/psychiatric problems related to stress. These are true medical conditions whereby instead of a patient experiencing depression or anxiety, they experience physical symptoms, and once the stress is addressed, the symptoms resolve. Fibromyalagia is another medical condition that leads to whole body pains, and is best treated with medications such as lyrica and neurontin, exercise, and physical therapy.

If the sensory changes travel, you may want to be evaluated for migraines with aura or seizure. But if the numbness is constant, I would think less likely of these causes. Also, strokes in the thalamus can cause sensory changes but this would have been seen on the MRI.

Regarding a CSF infection, in the appropriate context, a lumbar puncture (i.e., spinal tap) is one test that can be used to evaluate for a CNS infection. You should continue working with your physician regarding your symptoms. You may need to have a thorough rheumatologic workup and nutritional workup (if not already done).

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.

2 Comments
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2143641_tn?1396681743
Thank you so much for your answer!

I had no particular stress, depression or anxiety. Paradoxically I am trying now not to get depressed from all that happened in the past 7-8 months. Now that I am OK to move around I want to get a job and when I have money maybe consult a private Doctor.

it was all coincidental with an infection, which did show up on CBC.  the progression was

face - legs- arms- heart/lungs.

in 2010 it was different, it was only on the legs, it lasted for about a month. I had some weird yellowish loose stool. blood tests in 2011 only showed Eosinophil granulocytes were high.

my mother also was found with defective visual field and she also had some freak gastroenteritis during the fall/winter. I have assumed that it can be due to a auto-immune reaction affecting the optical nerves, I came up with the idea of linking the two conditions from reading about the Guillain-Barré syndrome and its variant Miller-Fisher.  they wasted months looking for Glaucoma, low BP Glaucoma? and couldn't find anything now they are doing MRI to the brain. she has a bit of weakness and tremor in the arms too.


The reason why the doctors dismissed me with psychogenic symptoms is also that I wrote a letter to the first neurologist explaining how I was feeling and what had happened to my mother too. That's why he didn't show up at the control visit, the other doctors had been consequentially instructed and barely listened to me.

I couldn't do the EMG when the legs were the weakest but when I did it they did find a remodeled muscle in the leg. can psychosis give remodeled muscles in the legs? it would have had to be a very fast psychosis it lasted only a few months.

amazingly though the Professor didn't say the MRI rules out a prior G-B syndrome.

I understand from you that a negative MRI doesn't rule out a direct infection of the CSF either. which I think I am potentially at risk for. I'm wondering if the MRI can't rule out a direct infection of the CSF why did they say I have none^

I was also found with mold infection on the skin "Acremonium sp." don't know if that could be related with infections of lungs and CSF.

My symptoms now are

-spinal cord burning feeling at chest level.
-quadriceps aren't 100%
- pain similar to sciatica in the left hand! sometimes the right hand too.
- hands aren't very strong
- sometimes the left foot goes a bit flaccid

I have been tested for RA and some ANA it was negative. I have done no nutritional workup! My physician sticks to the hospital's diagnosis therefore no more tests for me with the public healthcare! I should go to a private clinic or change GP but I am not sure that would make a lot of a difference.


Thank you again!

Gio

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