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Avatar universal

Could this be MS

In the Summer of 2011, I started having this numbness in my left thigh.  At that point, I didn't think much of it because it only lasted a few weeks and went away.  Then in October of 2011, I started having trouble swallowing..pcp had me get an ultrasound of thyroid and upper GI - both came back normal but to this day I still have the trouble swallowing but not every day.  Then in June of this year, the numbness I had last summer in my thigh came back but this time much worse - sometimes it burns.  I am so exahausted to the point that it is hard for me to get out of bed some days.  My memory is horrible and sometimes I have a hard time finding the right words. I'm only 43 years old.  I seem to be stumbling a lot too.  I had an EMG done on my leg which came back normal.  Is it possible that this could be MS.  What tests should I ask my doctor for.  Also, I already have a seizure disorder but have been seizure free for 2 years (yeah).  Could this be anything related to having between 40-50 CT scans of my brain?  Thank you for your help.
7 Responses
Avatar universal
I forgot to mention that I also have had some vision problems...a few weeks ago, I saw black squiggly lines in my right eye and then the other day I saw black dots in the same eye while texting and then the other day I thought I saw it snowing outside in August.  It seems like my eyesight in my right eye is a little dim.  
645800 tn?1466860955
I'll start with your eye questions. What you are describing are called floaters. They are most often just due to the aging process and are caused by shadows from

From WebMD:
The back compartment of the eye is filled with a gel-like substance called vitreous humor.

As you age, the vitreous and its millions of fine collagen fibers shrink and become shred-like. Shreds can accumulate in the vitreous. This can cause a change in the amount of light that hits the retina -- the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye. This change causes the symptoms of eye floaters.

These changes can happen at any age. They most often occur between ages 50 and 75, especially in people who are very nearsighted or have had cataract surgery.

As for the dimming of the vision in your eye. This could be a sign of MS as well as the other symptoms you described. But there are many other conditions that can mimic MS so only a through exam by a Neurologist and many tests can determine if this is MS or one of the mimics going on. I would suggest your get a referral to a Neurologist, preferably a MS Neurologist as they are usually better at the diagnoses of MS and it mimics. But be warned it can take years to determine what is going on.

Avatar universal
Hi Dennis -  Thank you for the info.  I had a bad experience today with a neurologist I found.  I went in to his office, started telling him about the numbness and he quickly cut me off and told me that it was a pinched nerve without examining me and when I started to tell him the other problems I was having, he shut my file and told me that I need to work with my PCP.  He was in the room a matter of 3 minutes (maybe 5 minutes at the most).  I couldn't believe it.  The nurse that took me back to the room told me that their lunch they ordered had just arrived so I'm assuming he wanted to go eat his lunch while it was hot.  I'm just frustrated and don't know what else to do.  I talk to one of the nurses from my PCPs office and told her what happened and she said she had heard about the doctor being very abrupt and had a bad bedside manner.  The PCPs office suggested that maybe I try some physical therapy to see if that helps.  I am so exhausted that I don't think I even have the strength to give it a try.  Any advise you can give is appreciated.  Thank you
Avatar universal
Giggle, I'd ask for a reduced bill due to his having to have his lunch during your appointment!

Yes, a pinched nerve can cause the numbness.  It appears the EMG is perhaps ruling this out,

Have you had any MRI's of your hips?  of your brain?  LP?  These will be necessary plus numerous blood tests as there are many diseases that mimic MS in symptoms.  

Sounds like you do need to work with your PCP and find an MS neuro specialist if your PCP thiinks this is MS.

I had 2 neuro's with that same attitude....they seem to breed like bunny rabbits! (the bad ones)
3054080 tn?1358722856
Hi, I was blown off by my first neurologist, too.  Saw him for about ten minutes my first visit and (without even talking to me about my symptoms or looking at my brief timeline or giving me any neurological exams) stated that my right arm was tingly/numb due to carpal tunnel and that lack of sleep caused everything else.  My orders were to wear a brace and take a muscle relaxer before bed (I was already prescribed these by my pain management doc and often take them before bed anyway).

Along with an MRI of the brain, he ordered an EMG (which he does in his office).  I debated about canceling the EMG and just going to someone else, but went ahead and had it done so I could find out if carpel tunnel was the problem.  He told me after the test that there are no indications of a pinched nerve or carpal tunnel, although he said there was an odd reading in the flesh below my pinky (which is numb a lot--I didn't even feel him put the needles in there).  As for the MRI, there was one lesion found, and he said it is normal for my age, to which I replied that I am only 46.  He did say that a cervical spine MRI might be in order and he wanted to see me again in November.

I told you that story to let you know that you aren't alone, and I have read many posts on here about people who have had the same types of experiences with their neuros.  I agree with Sarah--too bad that neuro you saw will get paid for a full visit!  That is one thing that irritated me about my own experience.  It was a new patient visit and I did not receive a new patient exam!

I've been referred to another neurologist and see him Friday.  Hopefully this one will take me seriously (although it appears that Neuro One might be taking me a little more seriously now, but it still irritates me that I didn't get a neurological exam that first visit and was totally dismissed).  I don't know what is wrong with me, yet I know something is.  I've had a lot of blood work to rule out diabetes, thyroid, etc.  My PCP had told me my B12 levels were a little low and recommended I take a supplement, and I did for a while but am now taking B12 shots.  Haven't noticed a difference yet but maybe it takes time.  I did look at my lab results and my B12 was within the normal range, but maybe she thought it could be better.  I'll have to ask about that.

Would just like some help in finding out what it is so I can deal with it.  I hope your PCP will work with you to find a decent neurologist and dig for answers.

Best of luck,
Avatar universal
Hi Sarah -   I was thinking about calling and asking for a refund - I figure it's not worth the effort.  However, I may call my insurance company and complain.  

The only test I have had is the EMG which was normal.  The other weird thing that I forgot to mention is that about 4 years ago, I had this terrible numbness and burning in my jaw that also went on for months and the dentist and doctor could never figure out the problem.  They ruled out TMJ and gave me three doses of steroids before it went away.  Now I'm wondering if that was all related to what's going on now.  Is that s symptom of MS? Also, the other strange thing that seems to be bothering me is that my scalp gets really itchy at times.  

I think somehow this is all connected and I just need to find the right doc who will listen and order the tests. When I talked to my PCP office yesterday they pretty much left me hanging in that it's hard to get an insurance company to cover tests.  I don't undertstand why I pay for insurance if I can't use it!  

645800 tn?1466860955
After re-reading your posts again it seems like your PCP is not being very proactive in finding out what is going on with your body.

For example with the swallowing problem having an ultrasound of your upper GI and thyroid is great for looking for obstructions (Swollen thyroid, tumors etc) it would not show if the muscles that control swallowing are working correctly. For that you need a swallow test preformed. This test consists of swallowing dyed liquid and solids while a doctor watches with a fluoroscope in order to see the muscles in action.  When I had this test done they found a slight narrowing of a part of my throat and told me to turn my head to the right when I swallow. This has helped me with my swallowing problem.

If It was me I would be looking for a new PCP that would be proactive in getting the testing and referrals needed to find out what is going on. Especially with the comment about getting an insurance company to cover tests. That tells me they don't want to deal with insurance companies. I good doctor would fight for you with insurance companies to get the tests required to be paid for.  

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