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Is this MS, or something else?

Hi, I'm a 17 year old female, and I have been having really weird symptoms of something for years now.

First, it was an intense burning in the left leg, (And I mean intense, like I am going to scream and cry, this hurts so much) so I went to the doctor for that when I was younger, but they all said that it was growing pains. I was a bit sceptical.

Fast forward a few years, and I start to get weird numbness, tingling, and weakness in that leg, then my other leg started to feel weak, really hard to move. And when I am walking or doing exercise, I sometimes get a stabbing pain right in the middle, or my legs feel so weak that I literally struggle to move them, along with a weird crawling under the skin of my shoulder blades.

Then I go to the doctor for my left eye, stabbing pain when I move it, and a really weird pressure, like my eyeball is getting squeezed, oh, and out of the corner of my eye, it looks like inanimate objects are doing a slow waltz sometimes. They said it was nothing as well.

Also, I'm getting some really weird vertigo and dizziness. Sometimes in class, it feels like I am sitting on a rocking ship, (even though I am on a chair) and it feels like I am thinking through treacle, or my head is stuffed with cotton wool. My attention span seems to have been decreasing at random intervals as well, (Which is annoying when I am trying to do homework). It feels like none of the words are registering, and I can't look at a page for more than a split second. I also seem to be getting frequent, really painful headaches as well. My doctor gave me iron pills (even though my blood iron count is fine) and they didn't help a bit.

Eventually I got referred to a physio, and they set me up with some exercises for a couple of months, but nothing changed, it got worse even, so then the physio tried to do the knee reflex thingy, and it didn't work, and my ankles were really hard to get going.

Now I am on a six month waiting list to see a neurologist, with the pain, vertigo and weakness getting more and more frequent and severe and painkillers don't work either, and I am really starting to get scared. Can I please have some advice? I am really starting to panic.

2 Responses
488198 tn?1493875092
I'm sorry that you're not feeling well, and I'm sorry you have to wait so long to see a neurologist.

Your description seems as if you could have MS, but I don't know enough about other ailments to rule them out. Diagnosis of MS is often a long process of ruling things out. You may not get the answers you seek at that first appointment, and you may be sent for an MRI, lumbar puncture, and/or other tests.

In the meantime, avoid overheating either with exercise (but do try to keep physically active), going out in the sun, hot tubs and showers, etc. Eat well and perhaps take vitamins, especially vitamin D.

Ask questions anytime!
987762 tn?1331027953
Hi and welcome,

The first thing you probably need to understand is that your symptoms are honestly more likely to be something else and not paediatric MS, which is the type of MS it would be IF it was MS and your only 17 yrs old now and you've been experiencing these symptoms for years...

Paediatric MS is actually classed as one of the rarer types of MS because only around 5% of cases of MS are diagnosed in children. To help put that in perspective, Relapsing Remitting (RRMS) is the most common type at 80%, and Primary progressive MS affects about 10-15% of people diagnosed with MS, and on average diagnosed in their 40's to 50's.

Having said that, that doesn't mean there is nothing abnormal going on, just that, out of all the potential medical causes it is less likely to be paediatric MS and more likely to be something else, and that something else may not actually be anything like what your worrying about....try to be open minded!

I would recommend you speak to your biggest supporters, your parents....open up about all your concerns, and your need for support waiting 6 months to see a neurologist. If you were one of mine, i would have you see a therapist to learn the tools or life skills you need to cope with anxiety and life's stressful situations.

I would also have your paediatrician run every blood test known to man to rule out everything possible, whilst also improving your diet, sleeping habits and physical activity levels....there is a lot you can do in 6 months to be as health as you can be which would put you in a better situation already, as well as help rule out those types of medical explanations.

I hope that helps.....JJ
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