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sensory problems

Good morning, and thank you for taking the time to answer my question -
I am a 40 year old mother of three, and have been of great physical and mental health all of my life.  Right now I am a mental mess.  I had a particularly stressful period in my life for 4 months, which may have been the catalyst for all of my problems.  This was Dec/04.  Started out as muscle twitching everywhere, then within days all these other sensations came on as a flood - crawly feelings, a few stabbing sensations, electrical zaps, sore left shoulder, burning feeling in arms and legs, depression. Most have subsided after a few months, but 2 1/2 years later i still experience wierd sensations over my body -  the odd twitch, sore shoulder or the odd buzzing sensation.  When this began, a google search led me to question MS, and then I became really scared.  In Dec., my doctor said it was a virus, the next visit she said it was anxiety, two weeks later she said it was likely anxiety, but could be MS.  Two MRI's - with contrast (One is Jan/06, one in Mar/06) revealed nothing.  I am unremarkable!  It did show a sinus infection, and a couple of slight disc problems that she said were signs of being 40. The neurologist said it could be MS, but after reading the MRI report she said that it could be a number of things, fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, guillan barre.  But her MS comment has stayed with me and I admit I am OBSESSED.  It is on my mind every minute, and I can't stand it.  I am on cipralex to deal with my anxiety, but i have a really hard time believing all of this is due to anxiety, and feel that something is being missed.  And now something new popped up - two days after i started wearing sandals, my toes started feeling strange during sleep - they feel swollen and numb, yet they are neither swollen nor numb, as I can feel every touch. They return to normal when I wake.  Doctor said that is nerve problems from shoes., I believe that my anxiety is getting the better of me.  I want to go back to being a happy mom.
what are your thoughts on this?





6 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi there - you are not alone at all.  I am 31, female and by all means, should be in good physical health.  I don't drink/drug/abuse my body in any way.  However, I do have some major anxiety issues which eventually lead to bouts of depression.  I had some major stressors as a teenager, but faired well and then 9/11 hit and my anxiety disorder reared it's ugly head at 26 years old.  Long story short - I had to be hospitalized for pure exhaustion/dehydration due to the panic attacks.  As a highly educated person, I felt stupid for getting sooo worried, that I became physically ill.  How could it do this to my body?  Well, it turns out, anxiety/depression can do almost anything to you, physically.  Stress alone suppresses your immune system, decreases sleep, sends out chemicals that basically wreak havoc on your body.  

So to my point - in Aug. 06 I was having a stressful time and my toes started feeling funny, creepy crawly, numb and then burning.  Then my feet would burn in Nov./Dec. and then my calves started burning and getting weak.  I became depressed from the chronic pain.  I have the twitching too.  The burning was worse at night.  I went to the Dr. when I couldn't push the brake pedal on my car without great effort and a jumpy, weak leg.  I got the entire MS scare also.  That is how I found this forum - through the neurology forum.  They ran every test for MS - MRI, lumbar puncture, visual evoked potentials, and every blood test known to man.  Nothing but a small spot in my brain that is common in people who have migraines (but scared the ever loving hell out of me of course) and they found a small immunological "blip" in my blood test.  They said it was just a small variation and was nothing.  Well, my neurologist labeled me with fibromyalgia and then gave up on me by sending me to a pain clinic, which I haven't been to.  Needless to say, I got a second opionion from another neurologist.  He said the MRI is completely fine, and with the lumbar puncture being negative for MS - my chances of having it are about .00000001%.  In other words, I don't have it.  (Still, I worry of course - that's what I do).  He ordered a blood test to look for viruses - like epstein-barr, cmv, hsv-1, hsv-2, hhv6 and etc.  I had some definite immune responses to hsv-1 (cold sore virus), cmv and hhv-6.  I have never had a cold sore.  He said that research is very limited on the subject, but in chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia patients, they have had some success in treating these patients with anti-virals, like Famvir.  Sooooo, I am taking Famvir to see if it is the viruses manifesting in nerves they shouldn't and causing my neurological symptoms.  

Sorry so long, but it takes some info to explain.  My neuro says it's a virus, my psych says anxiety.  I am going to listen to both for now, since I am in pain and have nothing to lose at this point by trying the antiviral and then the counseling/meds from my psych.  Take care of yourself - exercise, eat right and make sure you are getting tested for B12 levels and thyroid (low B12 can cause these symptoms - mine was fine).  STOP WORRYING ABOUT MS DEAR.  You can't have MS without lesions (although they say in very rare cases it has "silent" lesions, but they are not even sure).  You can trust that I have researched the entire stinking internet about MS by this point and know way more than I ever want to know about it.  So, trust that anxiety can cause this, but so can some other minor health probs.  They go straight to MS because it is a diagnosis that has to be ruled out (they honestly don't understand it completely yet).  I can tell you this as well, I have now read many posts about funny feelings like we have and people have no answers.  If you have a clear MRI, I would search other avenues.  I chose to get the lumbar puncture to ease my mind.  It was scary but it didn't hurt, and your doc may not want to order such an invasive procedure if you don't even have one lesion on MRI.

Anyhoo, better get back to work!  Hope this helped:)
187799 tn?1219609573
Well, my word - 396SS has hit the nail on the head totally!  I'm glad she was able to write that b/c my story is about exactly the same, but I'm too lazy to go through it all again (LOL).

I've been through all the MS testing as well along with test for everything else - this was about 20 years ago.  Most recently had a brain MRI for an acute headache, but the MRI was fine!

You don't have MS or probably any other major illness.  Anxiety can and does wreak havoc on our systems.

I really don't know the answer to resolving the physical symptoms that come with anxiety b/c so many people experience them. For myself, I have just come to the realization that I will have physical ailments, but they are not serious. Now this is only my opinion of myself:  If I should develop a serious heart/brain or whatever condition, oh, well.  I have to let it go or I'd drive myself and my family crazy with worrying about every little thing. And I think by having this attitude, my physical symptoms have subsided a bit. Now, it's kind of like funny (not really, though) that every time I complain of something, it's just like Oh, well, I'm old and falling apart (I'm 42 but have been dealing with the physical symptoms of anxiety for over 20 years).

For me, I just really need to live life with this condition and make the best of it.  What else can I do? It's there, it's never going away, so I work with it/aroundn it.

Hope my info helps, but really - 396SS's comments say it all!  Best to you......

Avatar universal
thank you both for your responses - it feels so good to get this type of feedback - i almost cried!  I understand what you are saying, and the logical side of me agrees with you totally.  I have to let it go!  Easier said than done!  It was so nice of you to respond to me.  I appreciate the time you have taken.  It's funny that strangers understand me and support me, and my family just doesn't get it.  Thanks
187799 tn?1219609573
It's very hard for family/friends to understand this disease totally unless they have it; it gets very tiring listening to someone complain constantly about this and that and I don't blame them.  I thiink my husband is finally understanding all of it, as am I more now than ever and accepting it as well; when this happens it really makes a difference and you're more able to let it go.

Best to you.......
Avatar universal
thanks for the comment, and i do agree with you.  When I am in the midst of uncertainty and fear, I guess I need to have some reassurance from someone who has been there.  My family has not 'been there', and I am thankful that they have not had the same experiences as I.  That's the great thing about this forum.  I am really, really trying to let it go, but then another strange thing will pop up, and set me off again.  I am not sure what it will take to finally put the fear of a serious illness to bed.  Does time just ease it all?
Avatar universal
Hello I read your stoy of MS and I started like this>
I satrt to have vision problems, like blurry vision and dry eyes and eye pain, so I searched the internet and guess what I found....... MS. So I started looking for symptoms of MS and guess what....... I think I have the sympotms. This are my symptoms"
weak legs, pain in my legs I feel my hands weak, (that sterted today) I dont feel any problems with my vision anymore but I dont understand my legs and hands weakness, I am terrified it could be that horrible disease.
I did my bloodwork and my Dr, says I am excellent I am 39 yrs old.
My phsyc. says to forget about the symptoms, its anxiety
What do you think_?
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