Multiple Sclerosis Community
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Avatar universal

Does anyone have a clue?

Hi to all from North Africa,

Every two weeks or so, the following scenario happens to me:

I wake up in such pain from my head to the soles of my feet that I can barely move. My legs ache, my shoulders hurt, my knees are on fire, my hands are stiff and painful. I have to take Ibupropen just to be able to stand straight.

Together with the pain is a terrible depression; almost a pathologically black vision. Everything seems hopeless, life seems ludicrous, there's even a certain amount of anger (I'm not an angry person when I'm myself).

As the day wears on, I'm more and more exhausted, and colder and colder. In early evening I crawl fully dressed into bed with the heater going full blast and can still not get warm. I'm so tired I drift in and out, starting at 8:00 or 8:30 PM. I have a low-grade fever of around 100 degrees. During the night I have to use the potty 4-5 times.

The next morning I feel shaky, but better. Then it happens again a week or so later.

I'm still stumbling around in the dark, trying to fingure out what's wrong with me. Can anyone advise????

19 Responses
Avatar universal

I guess none of the above is evocative of MS or someone would have responded. That's reassuring.
Thanks anyway!
222135 tn?1236488221
It takes a while to get a response, with folks in different time zones and all. The forum is so very busy these days too. Please don't feel that a lack of same day response means anything in particular.

What you describe doesn't sound like anything familiar to me, but I am by no means the one to be answering. Just wanted to offer my welcome and explantion for why you've not heard back yet. We have some wonderful folks with medical backgrounds on the forum, who will no doubt check in. Just need to be patient, as everyone is always vying for their attention.

Hang in there and God bless.

195469 tn?1388322888
I can sense that you are impatient for an answer.  Can't say that I blame you.  You know that this board moves very fast and sometimes you can't get an answer right away.  So please hang in there with us.  Especially when it's a weekend....

I have read over your symptoms a dozen times, trying to come up with something.  I can say, since I am not a doctor, that what you describe deserves a doctor's attention AT ONCE.  How long have you been feeling all this pain and the inability to keep warm?  What kind of pain are you feeling?  Burning, cramping, sharp pain, dull pain?  And how long have you been running a low-grade fever?  If you have an infection going on, you need to get to a doctor, to find out what this is.

Your depression is understandable.  You don't have to suffer alone.  There is help in the form of medications to lift your spirits and people to speak with about it.  It's good that you are voicing your concerns to someone...even if it's to people on this forum.  But I really do think that a visit to your physician should be made Monday morning.  This is not something to take a "wait and see approach" with.

I'm sorry if you didn't get any responses as soon as you expected.  No one sets out to deliberately ignore you.  I promise.  Please make that doctor's appointment and keep in touch with us about your progress.  

Remember that you are not alone.  We are with you.  Lean on your family, lean on your friends, but most of all, inform your doctor.  

Best Wishes, Heather  
220917 tn?1309784481
Hi, Doc~

Welcome!  I'm sorry you're so miserable.  What strange symptoms.  I wonder if you might try over at the Fibromyalgia and CFS forum with better luck.  Some of your symptoms might be indicative of something like that, but I'm certainly no expert.  As Heather said, you really need to be examined and soon.

Good luck, feel better and PLEASE keep us posted!

Avatar universal

I am so sorry you are feeling so awful. What concerns me is this some type of infection that you may have gotten while in Africa. Have you seen a doctor yet? I know you were going to check with the Embassy. Please do see a doctor asap... I am not a doctor but as the others have stated.. it sound like something you should not wait on...can you go the Emergecny Room of the local hospital? It would be wise to have a complete work up...

You are in my prayers,
God bless,
220917 tn?1309784481
Hi, Doc~

I thought you were from from North Africa.  I didn't know you had been traveling.  Very important fact.  Yes, DO see a doctor immediately!  Please let us know how it goes.  You must go as soon as you can.

Take care of yourself!

Avatar universal

Thanks so much for your responses, and please accept my apologies for being impatient.  I am alone here in a foreign country, and pretty danged scared.  Also, I reread my post and thought to myself that the reason nobody was answering must be because I sound like a total nut! "They probably all think I'm a crank, making this stuff up," I said to myself. "That's why I'm getting no responses."

Yesterday I found a very nice Lebanese GP who listened to me patiently, then prescribed a battery of blood tests. I had a hard time finding out where there's a lab that does blood work (one fellow actually offered to lead me to a place where, according to him, one can BUY blood -- I only hope I misunderstood him!), but managed to locate it this morning. I got an appointment for tomorrow AM, and will be there, fasting as instructed.

Thanks again, and I will let you know what shows up on the tests, if anything. Hopefully it's not Camel Fever (sorry, that was an attempt at a feeble joke).

Lit Doc
Avatar universal

Oh I am so glad you went to the doctor...

As for thinking you were nuts... just join the rest of us, we are all here for the same reason... lots of symptoms, questions .. looking for answers... a friendly word  of encouragement ...so, for that you are not alone... you have us... we are concerned about you... especially in a foreign land.

Now, when you go to the lab, make sure no one is buying your blood... (ha ha)

Take care... remember, you are not along... you have friends here.

God bless,
305544 tn?1197997610
Time to call the doctor!  Sounds like some sort of infection if you are having fever and feeling cold.  Something your body is attempting to fight off.  Please call for an apt. today. When you have a fever, your body aches or experiences pain very easy.
Cheers, Terrie
147426 tn?1317265632
Hi, I've been under the weather, but I'm glad you got some responses.  As I read your post, I was not struck by the thought of MS, but by two other things.  I am concerned about a systemic infection like Lyme disease or other tickborne, or viral, or other infection.  Have you been tested for malaria or other parasites?  Infection is my biggest worry.  Secondly I worry about an arthritis process like an autoimmune disorder (Rheumatoid arthritis is one).

You need a good medical exam, a complete blood count and something called an ESR or Sed Rate (also called a Westergren sedimentation rate or erythrocyte sedimentation rate)  I gave you all the names in case they call it something else there.

You are definitely not alone.  Keep us posted.  I was a pediatrician, but do not know much about tropical medicine.

Quix, MD
Avatar universal

Hi Quix,

Thanks for your response. I did have malaria many years in West Africa and know what it feels like; this isn't it. I think you might be right about the arthritic process, however -- those waves of intense body pain feel like an inflammatory condition. The blood tests prescribed here only checked blood sugar and lipids (all were fine). However, tests done before I left the USA to take up the Fulbright showed high Reactive C Protein (16) and fairly high sedimentation rate -- 41 (1st hour) and 77 (2nd) hour (this was Westergreen). Blood count was normal.

My US physician attributed all symptoms to a Lipitor reaction and put me on Zetia instead. However, the condition continues. I'll be in France over the Christmas holidays, but will not be covered by my State Department insurance while there. Should I put in for a battery of tests anyway? In other words, not wait to be back home in June? Are there any in particular you would recommend?

Thank you SO much for responding

147426 tn?1317265632
Hmmm...Yes, I think you should have the Sed rate repeated and and at least an ANA (Anti-Nuclear Antibody) and RF (Rheumatoid Factor) done.  I am not aware of the Lipitor reactions causing a rise in the inflammatory indices.

My impression is that medical care in France is excellent.  You might see a rheumatologist for a basic checkup.

Whether or not you wait would seem dependent on how much these symptoms are altering your quality of life and allowing you to get the most out of your Scholarship - BTW  - HUGE Congratulations!!

Avatar universal

Dear Quix,
Will follow all your recommendations to the letter, and I will see someone in France. As I said initially, I am scared.
Thanks for the congrats too -- it's not a scholarship, but a Fulbright Senior Scholar grant (I'm older than you think, hah!)
220917 tn?1309784481
Oh, I'm so relieved Quix got to you!  She's the one that should have given you direction.  You had me scared.  I'm a little stuck on the CFS/FM stuff now.  Of course the autoimmune route makes perfect sense!  I'm so sorry you're not doing well so far from home.  (I'm just assuming.  Where is home?)

Good luck in France and hang tough!  A Fulbright grant? How wonderful!!  HUGE congrats, still!

Avatar universal

Thanks for your concern -- I think nobody right now can understand how much this all means to me. I felt very alone; now, much less so thanks to you and others who responded.
I hope I don't have some horrible muscle wasting disease that will mean years of corticosteroids, etc. Hopefully it will be something self-limiting or benign.
Thanks to all; will post with update when back from France early in January.
Avatar universal
Hi!  This is the first time I think I may have corresponded with you.  I certainly hope that you can get feelings better soon and get the answers as to what is going on.  What a precarious situation.  Thank God for the internet!

Congratulations on your Fulbright!  What are you doing in North Africa?  You are braver than me.  I had the chance to go to Scotland recently;  but, felt I could not do it with my health.  It was to be a demanding schedule and I was afraid that I might not be able to perform up to par...Going to a foreign country is exciting but can also be trepidous when one is not feeling well.  Let us know how you are feeling.  Hang in there!
Avatar universal
Just another thought...Is it possible that the timing of these symptoms has anything to do with any possible vaccinations that you may have taken to travel overseas?  Again, just an after-thought...

Take care.  God bless.
Avatar universal

Thanks for your answer!
I actually took no vaccinations to come here. My tetanus, polio, and diphteria were up to date (I travel quite a bit), and at my age I don't need Hepatitis B. I fell ill with Hepatitis A while in West Africa as a very young woman, so should have antibodies against that as well. The one vaccine that the State Department recommended that I didn't have was rabies. There are lots of stray cats here, but I never touch them even though I love cats (and dogs). Whatever this thing is, it started before I left the States and simply wasn't diagnosed correctly. I agree that the Internet is a blessing -- I feel much less alone because of being able to talk to people like you.

I'm teaching here and also doing reserarch. It's a challenge, but very interesting and worthwhile. Too bad you missed out on Scotland; that probably wouldn't have been quite as "wild" as some other parts of the globe. If you have another chance, you might want to take the plunge. Who knows? It would probably go wonderfully well, and if not -- you can always go home again.

Thanks for your concern!
Avatar universal
Thanks for posting back...My business in Scotland would have required good hand dexterity and my tremors are pretty much daily now, so I think there just was no choice at this point in time.

Definitely hope you get feeling better soon or they can at least give you the treatment you need in France.  It sounds like something left over from the States.  Have you been logging your illness with your work, changes in climate, changes in food, etc?  Perhaps riding a different camel--ha!--just joking back!  Maybe something unexpected is adding fuel to an already burning fire.  I have read where it is believed that both human and animal rabies vaccine can trigger a whole host of problems--especially auto-immune.  I am unsure of the timeline, however.  So, with the elevated sed rate and Reactive C-protein something was definitely going on.  Perhaps the vaccination triggered a new or on-going problem.  I am fairly new to the forum so I am not up to date on what has all been happening to you.  But, the rabies vaccination has been shown to be seemingly correlated with a whole host of symptomology with possible effects on the central nervous system disorders, eyes, skin, thyriod, joints, etc.  So, when was your injection in correlation with your results?  Just curious?  Of course, with rabies (and in a foreign country) you have to be safe as rabies is usually fatal if not treated in a correct and timely manner without pre-vaccination.  Take care and God bless...
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