So, my story may be kind of out of whack as far as timeline, but I'll do my best.
I am a 31yo female. I have 3 kids (7,6, and 2) and am pregnant with my 4th. My past medical history is significant only for a history of eating disorder which is well controlled (I never say that I am recovered because even though my behaviors are non existent, my weight is normal, etc... my brain is still very much aware of weight/appearance), and very mild psoriasis.
Here goes... Shortly after the birth of my 3rd child (June 2013), about 2 months after, I had 2 episode within about 1 week where my left lower leg and foot were tingling and felt weak/heavy. I didn't really think much about... it wasn't there the next day when I woke up. I am an avid runner and so immediately started back up with running after having the baby. 3 months later I had an acetabular fracture and was laid up from running for a few months. In the meantime... I had been breastfeeding this child and about a week after I stopped breastfeeding I started getting headaches. Not just occasional headaches, but like... lasted a whole month before I finally went to my doc. I thought it was just the change in hormones from stopping breastfeeding... but they continued.
All healed up from my fracture I began to try to run again. It was a slow go... I felt like I didn't bounce back as quickly as I normally did from injuries. My legs felt weak despite starting back to my routine slowly, and I was never able to advance in mileage. AND I still had hip pain. I went for a 2nd opinion from an ortho who told me that I had arthritis (at 31yo) and that I would never be running any long distances again. I did PT as he suggested and continued to try to run just a small amount. On 2 occasions I fell... I didn't trip over anything or my own feet... I just fell... my legs just didn't want to move anymore. That was in July 2014. Also, the summer months made it almost impossible for me to be outside for prolonged periods of time, let alone exercise outside. I am usually one who is always cold, and even when it's 70 degrees out I'd be wearing a hoddie or long pants. But now when I was in the heat I felt fatigues, headachy, and my brain was in a fog... not dizzy... just in a fog. And I was always wanting to turn on the air conditioner... so not me!
Over the next couple of months I had a flare up of my headaches... had left facial paresthesias, left arm paresthesias, felt like my head was in a fog, my legs felt weak and heavy. I had an MRI of my C-spine without contrast which was normal. I also had an EMG which showed some ulnar neuropathy (no pain in my elbow) and deficits at L5-S1, but I had no back pain. So the results were just blown off. I was given 5 days of Prednisone and my symptoms significantly improved and continued to resolve over several weeks. Although I still get left arm paresthesias on occasion. I even saw my opthalmologist during this time thinking maybe my glasses prescription was no good and that was causes my headaches... but nope... my prescription hasn't changed in 8 years. And he used some special dyes inmy eyes and said everything looked healthy. Neurologist said migraines, and so began the search for a medication that would work for me and not give me any side effects. This never happened... Imitrex caused chest pain, beta blockers made my heart rate go into the 30s, amitryptyline made me so tired I could barely function... Topamax did the same... and made me angry. I am very sensitive to any medication that alters my CNS (including narcotic pain medication) and I try to stay away from anything like that.
So I had hip surgery 12/2014 and my postop recovery from anesthesia was awful... headaches, vertigo, nausea for a week postop. I refused to take any pain medications. Surgically I did really well and in 4 months I was able to start running again. I felt great at first... no hip pain whatsoever. But again my legs started to feel weak the more I progressed in my recovery.
I had an MRI in 4/15 because of these headaches/migraines... this time the brain BRI was done with contrast. NOTHING. I was glad... but I was also hoping for a reason as to why I was having all these headaches.
In July 2015 I was running a 5k and about 1 mile into the race I started to get pins and needles in my legs and feet. I ignored it, just kind of "huh that's weird". My legs felt tired, but I'm competetive and so I pushed myself. Coming up on the last 1/4 mile of the race and the tingling got 10 times worse, felt so weak... I had to keep telling myself to pick my legs up because I felt like they were dragging on the ground and I was going to trip over my own feet. Then my butt went numb and I felt like I was going to be incontinent of stool and urine. I finished the race and ran straight to the bathroom... nothing. After several minutes all of the numbness and tingling went away, but the weakness in my legs persisted for the rest of the day. I saw my PCP, but refused MRI at that time because we were just starting IVF to try to have another baby and I didn't want to find something that was going to change our plans. Also, during these summer months a had a huge brain fart... I do several loads of laundry a week, but one day I went to put a load of laundry in the dryer and I could not figure out how to turn it on... I thought it was broke. I was convinced that it was broke and my husband was ready to tear of the control panel to try to fix it and after about 5 minutes a light bulb just went off in my head... like "duh"... you don't pull this button out... you push this one in. I felt like such an idiot!
So, then I got pregnant in August 2015. To this day, when I try to run I feel like I have drop foot. My legs feel so tired and weak even though I've barely gone 1/2 mile. Left side is usually worse than the right side. So I've tried to modify my activity. I can ride a spin bike, but have to shift positions frequently. I can do the elliptical, but i start to get tingling in my right foot, that progresses up my leg the longer I am on the elliptical. It was assumed that I had a herniated disc. We were going to put off MRI unless symptoms got worse during my pregnancy, but then I was concerned about further injury if I were to go through labor, and so we proceeded with a lumbar MRI without contrast... NEGATIVE... NOTHING... no disc herniation or anything. I pretty much told my doc that I'mnever complaining about anything ever again and that I must just be nuts.
My OB asked if we were looking at an MS picture, which believe me it has crossed my mind, but with a negative brain MRI with contrast, negative c-spine MRI (without contrast) and a negative lumbar MRI... "that's good news" but I think everyone who is taking care of me, and myself, probably thinks I'm just mental.
I've lost hope that there is actually something going on. Nevermind that I've been having a hard time having an orgasm for 2 years and my husband thinks that I don't want to have sex and he can't pleasure me... I tried telling him that I just usually don't feel anything down there anymore... that it takes a lot of stimulation to get me going these days, but he doesn't understand. I try to explain this away by well I've had 3 vaginal births nd have torn with all of them... and then it was... well if I have a herniated disc maybe that's why it's so difficult. I haven't discussed this with my doc... kind of embarrassing and with my history of eating disorder I know they will just say that it's psychologocial because of body image issues. My husband is blind... he doesn't care what I look like. I love having sex... I don't care about that anymore. But now I don't like having sex because I can't feel anything and I feel like I'm disappointing my husband... so lets just avoid it all together. Ugh
OK.. end of rant. Sorry it's so long. Thanks for listening.