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1515844 tn?1293652102

Months of pain

I am a 49 year old male.
I became sick in March with a sudden onset of abdominal pain which felt like a tight band around my midsection.  During the first four months of abdominal pain and headaches I had no appetite and was unable to eat without pain and bloating.  This pain persists today, but has changed somewhat, becoming mid-epigastric, and radiating below my ribs bilaterally.  I frequently have sharp pains substernal. Also during this time my headaches increased possibly due to stress as my doctor was not able to obtain a dx at this time. I was taking motrin and Tylenol frequently without relief. I was seen by a GI specialist who completed a series of tests, i.e., scopes, hida scan, CT of the small bowel, gastric emptying, CT and MRI of my abdomen.  All GI tests have been normal. He started me on motilium 10mg qid and amitriptyline 10mg for pain.  I stopped taking these meds when GI was ruled out.
My headaches increased, and on July 15th I had an “electric shock” radiate through my rt temple which made the rt side of my face numb for a day.  I was seen in Emerg by a neurologist and a CT scan of my head which showed nothing remarkable. He recommended gabapentin and the following day Dr. Morley prescribed as recommended by neurologist.  My primary physician did not approve and suggested I stop.  I eventually stopped the gabapentin end Sept.  The headaches continue daily with pain in the rt occipital area radiating to my rt temple. I also feel pain and pressure on my left temple.  I have had h/a’s since 2002.  Two neurologists have suggested migraines however migraine treatment has not improved the symptoms.
Since 2004 I have been seeing Dr Filiatreault in Montreal for facet injections to the C1 (under fluoroscopy) which have usually helped my headaches. Prior to my most recent injection in Sept I had an MRI repeated as requested by Dr. Filiatreault.  The procedure showed an increase of frontal lesions with eight lesions on the right and nine on the left. The MRI was not tailored for assessment of demyelination and did suggest a repeat examination with MS protocol as clinically indicated. The most recent injection I had was in early Oct and has not provided me any relief as of yet.  
In mid-October I once again experienced an increase in pain, both headache and abdominal.  I was also experiencing significant tremors and “jolts” in my arms.  I went to Emerg where the attending physician suggested my pain could be neurogenic and provided me with Lyrica/pregablin samples.  He also ordered an MRI of the spine to rule out lesions however my family physician did not approve of another test.
The pain is constant in my head as well as my Abdomen which is at times incapacitating.
I have been on sick leave, from the Military often bed-ridden for the last 7 months.  
My Dr. has prescribed Zoloft 100mg, Codeine contin, T’3s, imovane and has tried numerous benzos without success. Because of my headaches and the present MRI my Dr. has referred me to Dr. Freedman an MS specialist in Ottawa. It takes 8 months to see him and he usually wants a confirmation of MS before seeing him so that is why I am requesting to see a neurologist for an assessment.
Other symptoms I suffer from are, since Mar, a 32 pound weight loss, tingling across the top of my head, tingling down my right leg while lying in bed, decreased sensation in left hand, tingling in rt arm, increased effort to swallow, fatigue, lack of clarity, intercostal muscle spasms, pain behind rt eye, chest pains (cardiac was ruled out in March) dizziness, diplopia and burning sensation from the occipital area to rt temple.
These symptoms are not daily but ones I have often experienced through the last six months and occur frequently.
While deployed in Africa in 2007 I got sick with the same type of abdominal pain and was admitted to hospital in Africa.  During this time my liver enzymes were elevated and the British Doctor’s Dx was viral hepatitis.  I was med evaced back to Canada and upon my return saw internal medicine where my blood levels were back to normal.  I was sick for 3 months and lost 15 pounds at that time.  
Since my physicians have been unable to find any organic cause they have labelled my pain as psychogenic.  I was assessed by mental health in Sept and was told I was a well adjusted individual with a physical illness.  I am at a loss and so are my doctors

1 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear Tgy,
The doctor in Montreal, Dr. Filiatreault, in September has already suggested you got MS and wanted a repeat exam with MS protocol on that basis, AND an emergency doc in October wanted an MRI to look for lesions, too, PLUS you already got an MRI that shows a number of lesions.  While you have no diagnosis yet, testing and physician requests so far strongly suggests MS or something very similar is at work here.  Let us assume, therefore, you got MS, and since this new doc in Ottawa, Dr. Freedman, supposedly wants diagnosed MS people so he can jump in with treatment in eight months, I'd say you already have your diagnosis, just bring him the above-mentioned records, if you don't get a definitive diagnosis before then.

I think I would ask your own doc couldn't he give you medicines for MS to help you during this LONG eight-month wait, or couldn't he fast-track the Ottawa visit, or isn't there someone local who can begin treatments.  If you've got the pictures and/or report that show all those lesions you mentioned, show those to your doc, which you could obtain probably from the doc in Montreal, Dr. Filiatreault, or his office may be able to fax over to your doc the report about the 17 frontal lesions.  I think I'd also mention to your doc that vision is affected by MS, and with all the pain from your eyes, you are naturally concerned about your vision and quite anxious to begin treatment.  Basically I'm just trying to get you some kind of MS treatment while you wait eight months to see Dr. Freedman in Ottawa, and since you gotta go thru your doc, those are just some tips for approaching him.  

That band of pain in your upper midsection, I'm no doc, but COULD be if you also have lesions in the thoracic spine, nerves come out of the spinal cord and wrap around the chest.  If the spinal nerves are compromised by lesions, you'll get this uncomfortable pain maybe like that band you felt, sometimes can make it hard to breathe.  I was in a car wreck, busted up my thoracic spine, and that's how come I know about how those nerves work.

I'm sorry you are having to lobby for yourself, and I could be all wet about MS.  But with three proofs suggesting MS, and your history of pain in the eyes, which in MS the vision is usually affected right off the bat, if I were your doc, I'd want you to start getting MS treatment sooner rather than later, altho for all I know, it's perfectly okay to make someone wait eight months to see a doc who needs a diagnosis of MS before he'll even lift his pen to write a script.  Check out some MS websites and see what natural stuff they do to help symptoms of MS.  Keep us posted, and I wish you God speed.
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