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Afraid of MS (after Bell's Palsy)

thanks in advance to anyone who can offer advice.

I'm a 22 year-old male

On 12/9 i was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy (paralysis on one side of face). I took meds for a week and it went away. On 12/27, I started feeling mental discomfort (hard to describe), and an off-balance feeling, though I have been moving around just fine, fatigued, and eye discomfort. Yesterday I went to a PA. He gave me some physical tests which I passed. He speculated that I was having complications from whatever caused the Bell's Palsy, but they took my blood to test for other things (still waiting on results).

He said if I don't get better in 10 days, they'd send me to a neurologist, as I'd be a good candidate for MS. However, he thought the odds of that happening were 1 in a 100.

I looked up the MS symptoms. Since then (past 18 hours), I've been feeling a bunch of them. I'm numb and tingly, throughout my face and especially on my left side (lower leg, arm). I also think I'm having some twitches in my leg. Still enduring is this very strange mental discomfort, which is like a weight combined with being off-balance. Incredibly hard to describe. Also, I might be having bowel/bladder problems (not sure).

My question is how can this possibly be anything other than MS? All symptoms seem neurological. I'm not nauseous. I don't have a fever. This strange mental discomfort is not a symptom of Bell's Palsy. My suspicion is that I never had Bells Palsy, it was facial numbness from the MS.

My inclination is to run into a neurologist asap, but I'm not sure I can get an appointment. Maybe I should call that doctor and beg for him to fastrack me into a neurologists?

I would tremendously appreciate insights of any sort. Thank you very much in advance.

On the bright side, speech is normal, and no painful muscle spasms yet.

I have one hope. In the past 2 years, I've been the ER twice for physical symptoms that were induced by anxiety. I doubt that's what this is given this strange mental discomfort (is this what is meant by brain fog? how do people describe this?) and that the PA didn't think that was a factor. But just putting it out there.
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Avatar universal
It sounds very much like narcolepsy, which causes symptoms extremely similar to MS. Recurrent "Bells Palsy," memory problems, insomnia symptoms, chronic pain, and twitchy feelings in muscles are actually very characteristic of narcolepsy with cataplexy, and it can be exacerbated by the hormone shifts that happen with menstrual cycles. In fact, often times, people don't have "Bells Palsy," but cataplexy. Viruses and some vaccines (namely the H1N1) can actually precipitate this, but it can happen seemingly in random fashion, too.

Common misdiagnoses are depression, epilepsy, and migraines.

It doesn't look the way you think it looks. I struggled for years to find an answer, and was misdiagnosed several times. I had it with just sleepiness during the day and what looked like insomnia at night for probably about 15-20 years before I ended up with more serious symptoms of narcolepsy that actually included cataplexy (random muscle weakness that can either be isolated, or widespread). Onset is typically in teenage or early adult years but it can come later, and earlier, too.

The cataplexy manifested first in my face, as what looked like episodes of Bells Palsy that came and went when I was tired, stressed, or even when I was happy and smiling.  But when I paid closer attention I realized I got weakness and twitching (not uncommon) in my other muscles sometimes too, though I chalked it up to clumsiness until I paid attention. I also had issues with my vision randomly and sleepiness.

I went undiagnosed for about 15-20 years, until I finally saw a sleep specialist and she nailed the diagnosis right away. The vast majority of doctors have absolutely no idea what it is or what it looks like, and no routine lab tests, MRI, CT scan, x-ray or anything of that nature will detect it. 75% of people with narcolepsy never get diagnosed in their lifetime.

I was tested for epilepsy, migraines, MS, all kinds of things. But nope, it turned out to be narcolepsy!!
Helpful - 0
1831849 tn?1383228392
Hi Q-

The  mind is a powerful thing. It can play all kinds of tricks on us. It may not be coincidence that you started noticing symptoms after you read about them.

When it comes to symptoms caused by conditions in the central or peripheral nervous systems, the symptoms can have many many underlying causes. MS is just one of them.

I agree that your next course of action would be to b]see a neurologist. They will be best equipped to help you sort through things.

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5887915 tn?1383378780
I'm not sure where my fist sentence went to in my previous response but it is as follows :-

Welcome to the MS community. You have found a group of people on this forum that are both caring & compassionate. I hope you feel that you can ask any questions you need to.

Thanks, Karry.  :-)
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5887915 tn?1383378780
I would arrange to see a Neurologist so you are clearer on what is going on with you.

I must also mention that from what you have written I would also think about getting your anxiety under some control as anxiety will only make symptoms worse. You mentioned you read about MS symptoms & have since then developed some MS symptoms in the 18 hours since reading this information. Please don't get me wrong & I am saying this with kindness in my heart here. Please take a step back for a moment & consider if Dr. Google is not helping here.

A Neurologist is able to do a full examination & from this they can see a lot. Be mindful that MS has many mimics so the Neurologist will have to exclude these as well. The neurologist will then see fit to order what tests they feel necessary & often just watch you over a period of time.

To also mention to you that I am not a doctor but just a person living with MS & other chronic conditions. I can only say what I am feeling from what you have written in your post. This can be difficult because I know very little about you.

Take care of yourself & good luck.


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Avatar universal
There are lots of mimics of MS.
For peace of mind, the way forward for you may be to see a Neurologist who can complete a neuro exam and run tests that he sees fit.
Generally people with MS will show neurological deficits during the exam.
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