Avatar universal

Neurology, multiple sclerosis?

  About 10 years ago I had a short episode with pain in my eyes which seems almost constant where the vision went blurry for a few minutes.  Doctor diagnosed it as "optical migraine".  I have had episodes of what I now know to be vertigo and went to the hospital and they passed it off as panic attacks.   I do have panic disorder.  I have never been accused of being a hypochondriac.  In the last 2 years I started waking up in the middle of the night very early in the night having to go pee but then pee'd very little and cannot go back to sleep.  I have had a marked increase in  dizziness and confusion that does not seem to respond to my medication for panic disorder.like Klonopin.   But I really thought it was just really bad panic attacks despite the other panic attack symptoms were not there.  And the doctor passed off the urinating at night because I am a 46 year old male.  I have had an increase in clumsiness but just sort of passed it off, you know bumping in to doors, tripping on the steps, losing my balance and falling and I have had a weird sort of confusion that never seems to go away.  The confusion seems to be where I am talking or typing and suddenly words that I know very well just will not come to me....... like "toaster" or words that are related to my job that I see every day.  I have been forgetting what my passwords are to my computer system at work, my employee number and all such. People have to tell me words all the time cause I just cannot remember them, common words and I have to describe them in order to be told the word.  I forget how to spell things that I know very well how to spell, having trouble typing  and sometimes cannot remember a word at all and have to use another word instead.  In addition to these I also found out at the neurologists office when sent that I cannot stand for long with my eyes closed and cannot pass a field sobriety test.  I was sitting on the couch one Saturday morning on the laptop very early in the morning before anybody else was awake and I noticed the computer screen going blurry.  Then I got up to go get a cup of coffee and suddenly it felt like the floor had dropped out from under me and my hand felt like I was going to drop the coffee cup and I attempted to sit it on the dining room table 3 times before my double vision did not trick me into almost dropping it.  I laid down on the sofa.  I felt sort of partially paralyzed or something.  I could not walk anywhere in the house to wake anybody else.  I thought about trying to crawl to the antique telephone in the living room but decided if I made it there I could not dial it with putting my fingers in the number holes and turning it.   So I laid on the couch and when others woke up I talked like a drunk with speech slurring.  They called an ambulance and I could not even put on my own clothes.  But by the time the ambulance had me half way to the hospital I could talk better already.  I suffered from double vision and difficulty walking for about another 8 hours after this.  I was taken to the hospital and they checked me for stroke and heart attack and quickly released me.  I was released and spent the day in bed.  The next morning I felt fine.  On the following Monday I went to my family doctor and for some reason he decided I needed to be tested for some disease called MS.  I went through all the tests, evoked potentials, lumbar puncture, MRI with contrast and without and the Neurologist who was absolutely sure I had ms suddenly changed his mind and told me after he got all the tests back that I was tested for a variety of illnesses and I do not have any problems and I do not have MS and that maybe I should see a psychiatrist rather than my family doctor to treat my panic disorder and I might not be getting the proper care.  So I have had tests on everything from my arteries to my brain and spinal fluid and I have no other problems and I have not had a stroke and I do not have ms.  This Dr. without even knowing me has just assumed all my symptoms are psychological when he has seen in his office that I cannot pass a field sobriety test?  And a lady I know with ms has said I should ask for my records from him and ask for the full reading of the mri not just the "impression" but the only thing in my records is the "impression".  So tell me after I have written my entire story.  Am I suddenly a hypochondriac when I have never imagined illness in the past and my doctor is the one who brought it up to begin with?  I am walking so poorly when I stand for a while that I almost fell last weekend and stomped on a bunch of flowers at a museum tour of a historic home.  Yeah I guess I did that for show.  It embarrassed the living crap out of me.  I am getting extremely frustrated and do not know what to do next.  Do I just wait? Should I see a ms specialist instead of just a regular neurologist?  I don't know what to do.  HELPPPPPPPP.
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Avatar universal
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I cannot tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

A lot of the symptoms you reported like sudden onset double vision and clumsiness/trouble walking would make a physician suspect a multiple sclerosis attack.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that primarily affects the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves from the eye, the optic nerves). Symptoms may be mild to severe, ranging from tingling and numbness to paralysis. There is not one test alone or one symptom that can diagnose MS, but there are well-established criteria that help neurologists make the diagnosis. These include taking a thorough history, doing a thorough physical exam, conducting an MRI of the brain and sometimes the spine, and sometimes ancillary testing such as lumbar puncture and visual evoked potentials ((a test of how the nerve from the eye, the optic nerve, is functioning). If an MRI of the brain and spine is normal, the diagnosis of MS becomes highly unlikely. Alternatively, if someone has several lesions on the brain MRI, but they have not had distinct episodes of neurologic symptoms, or they have specific findings on neurologic examination, then a diagnosis of MS cannot be made.

Typically any important findings seen on the MRI are usually mentioned in the “impression” of the MRI report.

It is difficult for me to determine if you have MS without being able to get a detailed history, without being able to examine you, and without being able to see the MRI. However, you have already been evaluated thoroughly by a neurologist. If you had some borderline abnormalities on your MRI brain and spine making it difficult to diagnose MS, then a MS specialist’s opinion would be warranted but in the absence of any significant findings on your MRI report, a MS specialist may not have much to add on top of what your neurologist has already told you. You may ask to see the full report of your MRI and seek a second opinion if you wish ofcourse.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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Avatar universal
hello .can I 1st say i am not a doctor , so would not rule out what a professional says . I am just interested in MS and vitamin deficiencys  . i read your post with some interest. yes your symptoms do strongly point towards MS but also towards a condition called Pernicious Anaemia/B12 deficency I will post here a check list for you to compare. I would advise if you havnt already , to ask to be checked. good luck x

Common/early symptoms

    Shortness of breath – ‘the sighs’
    Extreme fatigue
    Brain fogs
    poor concentration
    short-term memory loss
    confusion (‘handbag in the fridge syndrome’)
    nominal aphasia (forgetting names of objects)
    Clumsiness/lack of coordination
    Brittle, flaky nails; dry skin anywhere on body
    Mood swings, ‘tear jags’, heightened emotions

Neurological symptoms

    'shoulder bumps’ – frequently bumping into or falling against walls
    general unsteadiness, especially when showering and dressing
    inability to stand up with eyes closed or in the dark
    Numbness/tingling – especially in hands, arms, legs, feet
    Tinnitus – nerve damage in the brain

Less common symptoms

    Irritability/frustration/impatience; desire for isolation, quiet and peace; aversion to bright lights and crowded spaces
    Unaccountable and sudden diarrhoea often reported following a spell of constipation
    Sleep disturbance
    even though patient is exhausted, is unable to sleep
    waking up still tired, even after many hours sleep
    Hair loss – can range from moderate to severe; premature greying of hair
    Poor digestion
    Burning legs and feet – Grierson-Gopalan Syndrome
    Neuropathic pain/fibromyalgia – often on only one side of the body
    Vertigo – inability to cope with heights, linked to the need for a visual reference as compensation for damage to the brain’s balance mechanism
    Hypo- or hyper-thyroidism – almost exclusively among females
    Rosacea – a reddening of the skin around the nose and cheeks
    Arrhythmia – irregular, fast or slow heartbeat
    Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Coeliac disease – sensitivity to wheat and/or wheat products
    Myasthenia Gravis – weak muscles leading to problems swallowing, chewing and opening eye(s)
    Vitiligo – white patches that develop on the skin
    Psoriatic Arthritis

This is for indicative purposes only and is NOT a definitive tool for self-diagnosing.

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