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Multiple Sclerosis Community
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871193 tn?1239750728

I think I might have MS, but I'm not sure...

Hi,

I've always been one to try and self diagnose my own symptoms because I feel like nobody knows myself better than me. In the past I've been within a pretty good range of the truth, except in a few occasions where I might have just misinterpreted certain symptoms.

But recently, for the first time in my life, while researching MS for a school assignment, my heart dropped to the floor with the realization that it seemed to have explained almost every issue I've ever faced. Here are some of the symptoms I've always seemed to have had:

*Constant tiredness (even when I get enough rest, and I can tell the difference between actually being tired or lacking sleep and simply just feeling tired)

*Severe inability to concentrate (previously diagnosed as ADD)

*I've had one known seizure as a child that was later thought to be related to my learning disabilities (ADD).

And over the past year or so I've experienced these issues:

*Migrains or clusters, I do not know which of these it is... The headaches would randomly come as extremely intense throbbing in a concentrated spot on the left hemisphere of my head. They would last for a minute to five minutes and sometimes go away and come back multiple times within an hour period. I can also say that there are 3 reoccurring locations where I might feel this throbbing. I first started getting them a few years ago and recently they have not been so often as before (daily).

*slurred speach

*bad short term memory (Long term memory seems okay and normal)

*regular dizziness or feelings of fainting (I would black out for a split moment sometimes and when especially when I stretch my back hypertensively or stand up from a sitting position).

*occasional but regular loss of balance (I would literally drift into the person next to me sometimes, as if intoxicated slightly).

*******

I must say, that I've been prescribed Adderall XR (30mg per day) and it has been very life changing for me. Almost a bit of a miracle. I felt maybe 20-30 better and more improved than ever before.

I also suspect my mom has it. She looks and acts all normal on the outside, but it's like her middle ages body is holding the soul of an 80 year old. Always complaining about not being able to do anything. She has the worst short term memory I've seen in a person her age. She's always complaining about being tired. It's as if she's crippled internally... she never used to be like this, I would say she got worse after my youngest sibling where she mentioned how she became so depressed for no apparent reason she didn't even want to hold her daughter.

I'm really struggling to discover what is wrong with me, that I just need to make sure I'm not interpreting these symptoms wrong through some kind of hindsight bias.

Thanks for any help :(
3 Responses
1382889 tn?1505074793
Welcome to the forum!  Glad you found us and have shared some of your symptoms with us.

You will find that googling a lot of symtoms will cause the search page to come up with MS. It's just a very complicated disease that has a lot of possible symtoms.  And one that arrived at after many tests that are done to exclude a long list of other things.

You mentioned several symptoms. All of those symtoms can have other causes, none of which might be related to each other (it's possible to have multiple medical challenges).  

Anyway, I would encourage you to go to your dr and let him/her know that you have some symtoms that are unexplained and you would like them investigated. Is there a family dr that you have that can start this process for you?

Has your mom ever been tested for MS or anything else that might be causing her problems?  I by the way have MS but don't have any fatigue, so fatigue in and of itself doesn't necessarily point to MS.

I am not familiar with the medication you are on, is it for your migraines?  What if any tests have you had?

No matter what the dx, it's not a good postion to be in to be struggling physically and mentally. I am sorry.  Perhaps another poster can help you further.

Nice to meet you.

Julie
871193 tn?1239750728
Thank you Julie for responding and for the advice.

These issues have been an ongoing struggle to understand the problem or problems I face. I do understand that my symptoms can be linked to a whole spectrum of disorders and dysfunctions, I guess that's probably why I was seeking multiple opinions.

Do plan on arranging an appointment with my doctor who's known me since I was extremely young. I have mentioned a lot of these symptoms in the past and told him how much I struggle to keep them from affecting my relatively normal lifestyle. He was not able to inform me, probably because my symptoms are so vague and it's hard to immediately diagnose for sure. But the history is there, so hopefully he can't spot some trends which will point in the right direction.

My mom hasn't been tested for MS, nor has she attempted to. I actually just informed her of my suspicion and she seems like she's not in a position mentally to believe this is even a possibility (not where she's in denial, but more so because she's hoping this isn't the case and has decided that by hoping it will just go away). But I told her that if I end up being diagnosed then she should definitely seek testing.

The medication I am on is to treat ADD. It's an amphetamine which stimulates parts of the brain, including the frontal cortex. It always imitates the effects of adrenaline causing that happy body high, if you will. The "XR" component just says that it's time released.

I have not been treated for my migraines (or clusters). Especially because I wouldn't say they impact my life significantly, it's more of an annoyance as if I had to cope with getting pricked by a needle everyday. But that does remind me that almost non stop I feel, what feels like pressure on my brain. I do have this subtle chronic headache that never ever goes away (I can think of maybe enough days in any given year where I wake up with no sign of headache and feel normal for a change). It's subtle but severity will vary day to day and whether or not other facts make it worse. I have reason to believe this chronic headache which I'm so used to I almost forget I even have it, is linked to the chronic tiredness. I believe this because on those rare days I have woken up feeling normal, I also did not feel tired at all either.

Anyway, thanks for the help again. I'm trying to seek as much guidance and alternate opinions so I can point my doctor in the right direction and determine which testing is best.  
987762 tn?1331031553
COMMUNITY LEADER
I hope you'll take this alternate opinion with an open mind because I think you might of made an enormous leap due to the assignment on MS, something you may not of done otherwise. Try and take a step back and be analytical for a moment.

The way I see it is that your trying to fit your sx to MS but none of your sx are primary MS sx which is caused by the damage done to the central nervous system. Yes these sx you mention are often seen in MS but they are commorbid conditions or secondary sx, with out primary sx it is almost impossible for it to add up to MS. If you dont believe me please go back through your research and what I am saying will be more clear.

If you do some research on migraine as well as ADHD without hyperactivity you will see that the dx you have do actually fit your sx, in fact they are all common sx to those conditions. I would recommend you take a moment to learn about your condition so you can really understand what is expected and find ways of dealing with this on a day to day level. Please understand there is a real probablility here that you have lept to a conclusion that is not going to be reality, the anxiety of this could make everything worse so perspective and insight is necessary before it turns into a bigger problem.

As for your mother, if she is dealing with years of depression, your focus on you and her having MS is not going to be good for her, please stop bringing her into this, for her sake as well as yours. Seriously the example you gave is more an indication she had post natal depression than MS, so please take a moment to gather some perspective and clarrity!

Offering an alternate perspective..........JJ
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