So, I finally have an MRI scheduled for June 10th 2011, which was only ordered because I had 3 separate incidences of unilateral pupil dilation ranging from 10 minutes to an hour each time - no pain, no weakness, no paralysis - in fact no other symptoms other than my everyday symptoms & these were not worsened during the events (see list below).
The only other factor is that at least 2 of these incidents occurred during menstruation that I know of - I do suffer from migraines (since I was 15, started menstruating at age 11) but these dilated pupil events seem to be at ovulation or just before I start my period (typically 3-4 days before).
I have suspected I may have MS since I was 23 (I am now nearly 35) but as I was already diagnosed with unequal leg length & scoliosis (sideways) at age 16 I hoped that most of my pain was related to this condition. I also had a major car crash in Feb 1999 in which I was unconscious for minimum 15 minutes but NO x-rays/CT/MRI were taken at that time (this still amazes me!).
However by July 2009 the daily grind of the below listed symptoms took their toll - I went to a doctor asking him to order full spine & head x-rays - thinking it would reveal some kind of untreated whiplash trauma or potentially even spina bifida (as I have 2 dimples just above my buttocks). They did not do either but my x-rays did confirm:
- the unequal leg length (right leg shorter)
- that I have scoliosis forward as well as sideways, that my head is slightly tilted to the right and that I basically have slightly compressed nerves in my neck, middle & lower back
- I also have severe osteoarthritis of the neck & spine which is in the latter stages of the disease - the x-rays were a mess of bone spurs left, right & centre.
In short - based soley on the info below (a potted medical history & list of symptoms) - how many of you, as sufferers, would lay a bet on me having MS or whether all my pain/symptoms are from my crooked back, pinched nerves & osteoarthritis? Or any other ideas to throw out there? I did have recent blood tests (Jan) which showed I do not have lupus or lyme's disease for instance, though they did show I was slightly anaemic (but only slightly). I took iron tablets for about 6 weeks but other than some relief from dizzy moments during or shortly after my period there has been no improvement of my symptoms.
Age 7 - had about half an hour one day where I saw funny 'sparkles' in front of my eyes, like a tv on static almost. Mum took me to the specialist opthalmological hospital - nothing untoward, except slight squint for which I was given exercises for. Never did do those exercises!!
Age 12 - was standing on a bench at school & fell off, not particularly hard but fell flat on my back onto gravel. I experienced temporary paralysis from waist down for about 5 minutes. I think the teachers thought I was acting up as no ambulance was called, particularly as I seemed to make a remarkable recovery.
Age 16 - felt ok in the morning but by end of school day felt like I had a tight band around my chest & when I got home I felt the need to lie down on a hard surface. Initally the band would feel so tight it would be excruciating to even breathe but eventually it would ease after about 45 minutes lying down & deep breathing, this went on for about 2 months. After some reading up in medical dictionaries I basically self-diagnosed myself as having unequal leg length & pain resulting from scoliosis. Huonded my mother to take me to the doctor - this was then confirmed. I was given a heel raise to put inside my right shoe, but told to remove it when my 3rd & 4th toes on my right foot started lifting off the ground. They still don't touch the ground properly. However the 'tight band/being squeezed' sensation/pain went away just as suddenly as it had come & before any treatment received for my scoliosis - one day it just stopped.
Age 21 - admitted to hospital with 'suspected meningitis'. I started the day with a migraine, or so I thought but by 10am pain was so severe & light so blinding I stumbled to my local doctor. I was willing to wait until the end of the day but when the Receptionist looked so concerned & said was I sure I could wait that long & there was an appointment available in an hour I took it. Well, by this time I was suspecting meningitis myself so was glad of any time saved on getting a diagnosis. By the time I got in to see the doctor my eyes were streaming & no matter how tightly I screwed my eyes shut the blinding light was unbearable, my blood pressure was through the roof (normally I have low to normal blood pressure). I was so disorientated throughout the whole thing I can't really remember much of my overnight stay, could also have been the medication they gave me as I also have a complete black-out of 4 hours of time, no memory whatsoever! Discharged myself 24 hours later - told by the doctor they didn't really know what it was but that it was proably just a severe migraine or 'possibly' viral flu. I had no other symptoms of flu at the time. I have not had a migraine like it since - my bad migraines usually involve neuralgia/numbness on the right hand side of my face, droopy right eye-lid, if left untreated will eventually progress to vomiting.
Age 21-34 (intermittently but getting progressively worse):
- severe neck/shoulder pain, really painful to put chin on chest - feels really tight across the shoulder blades
- what I call my 'wiggly worm' - this is a buzzing sensation in an area of skin on my right shoulder blade, although this can also just be pretty much permanent too. I just had nearly a year without it ( after seeing an osteo last March) but since last week it's back again - it had been gone so long I'd nearly forgotten about it, but it's what made me so miserable last time & what first pushed me into a doctor's office 2 years ago.
- numbness / tingling / pins & needles in toes, feet, calves, buttocks, cramps in toes (both feet) and 4th & 5th finger of right hand
- feel like my right foot is dragging, frequently seem to trip over my big toe
- some visual disturbances; blurriness, twitching image or feel my eyes have flicked upwards suddenly, greying out in centre of field of vision
- loss of balance & vertigo
- developed somewhere along the line a tendency to drool on occasion on right hand side of mouth
- oh so many migraines, without aura, one sided (right hand side), if left untreated will progress to nausea & vomiting. Speed is of the essence - the quicker I can get a tablet down my throat the sooner I will recover and the less debilitating my symptoms will be
- lost count of how many sinusitis infections I have had since I was about 15, I am allergic to penicillin so try to save using antibiotics for when I really really need to.
- tinnitus off an on...
- 3 single instances of urinary incontinence with no obvious cause
- occasional urinary hesitation
Recent developments; Jan 2011-present:
All of the above plus:
- now 4 instances of my left pupil being dilated whilst the right was not (see top of my posting)
- increased instances of numbness/tingling of toes, feet, now all fingers not just 4th & 5th fingers on right hand
- random burning sensations / electrical shock sensations / cold splashes sensations in arms, thighs, calves
- parts of the body feel much colder but on touch are not seeming any cooler or hotter than other parts of the body
- most bizarre 'waves' of mild pressure radiating upwards from toes to mid-calf & back down again, almost as if repeatedly putting socks on & taking them off again at exactly the same time on both legs. Causes numbness at the time.
- urinary hesitation/urinary urgency
So what are your verdicts? Do you concur with me that there is a high likelihood it could be MS?
Thanks for your feedback,