Multiple Sclerosis Community
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1523516 tn?1330047857

WOA NELLY, this was NOT cool!

Hi All!

I had something new happen yesterday that has thrown me for a loop.  I was having a bit of a stressful morning already...on the agenda was: I had to sing a special at church, make an announcement and video presentation for a children's ministry, then my son's birthday party that I needed to decorate for, etc.  

I jumped in the shower yesterday morning with all of these things in mind and within minutes of the water hitting my back, after I put shampoo in my hair, my back from my lower back up to my neck felt very strange and went numb.  When this happened it made my back arch and I could barely move!  I called for my husband and I told him what was happening and he said get out of the shower it's the hot water.  Not the humorous side:  I responded "I would love to but I'm frozen here with shampoo in my hair and starting to come down my face!"  Luckily we were able to turn the water cold, which helped a bit to reduce the sensation and slowly the numbness changed into pins and needles feeling which then shot down my left leg.  My entire chin also felt strange and started going numb which crept up the right side of my face to my head.  Long story short, I was able to make it out of the shower, but what lingered and has lingered since is my left left tightened and once again I have a small limp going on.  

GRRRR.....all I kept think was "Yeah right this is all depression!" (which is what my PCP has left me with!)

I've never had that happen to my back before and it was a bit on the freaky side!  Something else to note, the night before I had a headache (ya know the icepick kinds that started behind my left eye), I had a hard time sleeping, which is normal for me, and I was also experiencing a sharp and then dull pain mid back on my spine.

Any thoughts?  Should I bring up this new stuff to my neuro when I follow up with him on the 12th?
10 Responses
1523516 tn?1330047857
By the way I'm still in limbo land, no diagnosis, and praying that something will be done.  WIth negative MRI, VEP, and EEG I fear that I will be turned away.
Avatar universal
Wow! How scary! I definately think you should say something to your Dr about this. I have been told too by my MS Neurologist that my inability to walk straight was soley due to stress. I havent been able to walk straight or without holding onto walls or people since 2008.
I took matters into my own hands and saw an MS specialist who within 10 min of reading my records and looking at my MRI's told me I definately have MS.

Do you have a timeline made out that chronicles when each symptom occors, how long it lasts?  Write everything down with time and date.

Keep pushing for a Dr that will listen to you.
Take Care.

875426 tn?1325532016
With the feelings go clear up into your face and head, I recommend you go in ASAP- today, tell them about the ice-pick headache the night before, and the numbness going clear up to your face and head and the whole experience and hopefully they will do a scan of your head to look for signs of any infarct.  An MRA/MRV looks specifically at the blood vessels in your head.  You might have had a TIA (mini-stroke) or a stroke.  You will want to get that ruled out/diagnosed.  If you get diagnosed with this, they will want to make sure you are receiving the proper treatment to try to prevent a full-blown or another stroke from happening.
338416 tn?1420049302
This sounds similar to a symptom I have...

This usually happens when I'm fatigued or not feeling very well.  Sometimes I'll get up after having been still for a little while, and my legs will suddenly tense up.  I have to carefully and gradually get my body to relax so I can move.  Sometimes the back will arch too, either forward or back.

When I described it to my neuro, he told me it was myoclonus.

It's never happened because of hot water - it's always from being still too long.  It's especially bad in the mornings, when I'm trying to get out of bed.
Avatar universal
I listened to the whole "stress and depression" argument for a very very long time - about 25 years worth. Don't back off. Because I listened to those idiots, my neurologist says that I pretty much have every symptom you can have with ms. No dx = no treatment. You know your body...It wasn't until I went to a woman doctor who finally observed and took me seriously, that I finally got my dx. In other words, the neuro took it seriously because my female pcp took me seriously and sent her notes with observations and NOTHING in her notes about stress and/or depression.
1523516 tn?1330047857
Thank you thank you for your comments.  If anything it once again reassures me that I'm not crazy as the doctors are making it out to seem.  I do have a time line that I now need to add to.  I gave it to my PCP but the neurologist never got it, so that will definitely be something I'm taking with me on the 12th.  

I had a brain MRI but nothing showed....a mini stroke or stroke would show up on that right?  I will check out myoclonus, I've never heard of that before.  Does this usually go along with MS?

I definitely have noticed a significance in stress as a trigger for my symptoms as well as heat.   I have often thought about trying to find a female neurologist.  I just pray that this one can help me and takes me seriously.  If not, I guess I'll be on the hunt again.

Out of curiosity.....how many of you have have been diagnosed with MS but have had a negative MRI?

Thank you all and many blessings to you!
875426 tn?1325532016
An immediate relative of mine was diagnosed with a TIA after a spreading numbness experience, yet nothing showed up on the MRI from that.  What showed was old activity from previous activity on a CT scan (an old infarct which meant it had been there for at least months already) and then on the MRI, multiple little infarcts- no evidence though as I recall of recent activity.  But he is taking Plavix just the same, cholesterol and blood pressure are being monitored as well.
1453990 tn?1329235026
TIAs and stroke may not show up on a standard MRI.  Cranial bleeds will show up.  I have a friend in a California hospital right now with a normal MRI and what look like massive damage to the left and right cerebrum as a result of sleep apnea.  He seems to have caused massive brain damage by depriving his brain of oxygen in his sleep.  His MRI is normal.

It really depends on how damage occurs.  Hypoxia can kill the brain and leave very little for an MRI to detect.  A small clot can stop blood flow and cause necrosis and the MRI can see that.  There is no easy answer, it really depends on the mechanism of injury to the brain.
875426 tn?1325532016
Some questions for you that might make the doctor consider TIA- do you have a high unhealthy lipid count (LDL) or a high triglycerides?  Do you have high blood pressure or any other high risk factors for stroke?
1453990 tn?1329235026
The description of "frozen" kind of points away from a TIA or CVA.  Most of those cerebral event result in one sided motor deficits.  Something the effects both the left and right side motor functions that causes contraction of muscles on both sides of the body would make me think cord related.  If your back had hot water applied to it and you arched forward or backward, that requires balanced left and right sided muscle contractions.  This is something that is seen in Transverse Myelitis (TM).  

Things that go wrong the the motor cortex of the brain are typically left or right sided sided.  Massive events in the midbrian can  lead to total body effects like "decerebrate posture" or "decorticate posture," but these whole body postures indicate massive damage with poor prognosis (not your case.)

The fact that your event was left and right sided and of short duration makes me think you should contact your Neuro TODAY and let them know.  They may just tell you to stay away from hot showers until your appointment or they may decide to see you.

No matter what, contact your doctor.  I think the odds are against TIA or a CVA.

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