I have had an ongoing gaggle of problems over the past year. In November I developed a very strong facial twitch. In December I began having tinnitus in both ears. After a referral to the ENT I was sent for a hearing test. The hearing test indicated I had hearing loss in my left ear. Because it was so pronounced the ENT sent me for an MRI to ensure there was no tumor causing hearing problems.
I had the MRI and called him back for results. He said to me, well there is no tumor so come back in 4 months. There is some white matter but it's no big deal.
Since then I have had bouts of extreme pain in various places in my body. I have had severe sharp pains in my ankles which feels like a sprain and I can't walk and it hurts for several days. I have also had them in my hands, arms, knees, legs and chest.
The pains have increased in frequency, and swelling ensued. My hands, feet or ankles would have severe pain, swell up and then ache for a while. Now my hands and legs and other parts of my body, there is not as much swelling but the veins in the affected area rise to the surface and the area can hurt badly. Where I did not see veins before I now see them raised in my hands, forearms, biceps, breast and chest, lower legs, ankles and feet.
I have also had a difficult time fighting off infections. I had a very bad sinus infection (4 rounds of antibiotics), chest congestion and have had vision trouble.. I seem to have episodes where my vision is really blurry and slightly doubled (like astigmatism). I have had eye exams and some show slight problems and other which are normal good vision. The visual difficult remains. Sometimes I have sharp pains in my eye (either side but not both at same time) that last a few seconds and hurt a bit after.
A few weeks ago while drinking a cup of coffee, I started to cough and breathed in some coffee. I coughed it up and ran to the sink to spit it out and fell. My legs and arms simply stopped working, I did not even put my arms up to break my fall. Down like timber! I did not have any graying of the world or feeling like I would faint. Occasionally I feel like I am having difficulty swallowing, like the throat muscles simply don't respond to what I want them to do.
I went to my follow up appointment at the ENT doctor and he said that I should see a neurologist. That my MRI showed white matter which could be indicative of MS or mini-strokes.
The MRI report shows:
"Small white matter signal hyperintensities noted within the frontal lobes which are numerous for age. This is a non-specific finding and can be seen with small vessel ischemic change, demylinating disease and multiple other etiologies"
I went back to my primary care doctor who is sending me to a neurological specialist and a spine specialist as another MRI of my back showed I have a bone spur touching my spinal cord, a small tear in my vertebrae (L-5 I think) and problems in my neck.
He did not seem as concerned with the veins but understood that I have been in a lot of pain. He prescribed me Tramadol and I have been taking that, which actually allows me to do some of my daily living activities (work, clean house etc) without having a lot of pain. Although it seems that my pain is increasing or I am becoming used to the Tramadol (been on it 2 weeks now).
The vein pain and raising appears to be worse in the evening. I also have had some brief but strong muscle spasms and over the past week have been woken up from leg cramps. The fatigue I have been feeling is worsening. My mood is worsening (surprise eh?) and I am a lot more irritable. I seem to have a harder time thinking, something that might have been not so difficult in the past is a huge chore (example, researching Access database question in the past was a piece of cake, now it seems like I can't wrap my mind around it)
I fly out to see the specialists in 3 weeks and I am just trying to hang on until then. Any idea on what might be going on here? I am really tired of everything and it's affect on my quality of life.
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