My wife is a heart attack survivor with CHF (since 2004). A couple of months ago, she had a week of fairly profound diarrhea, which was followed by more than a month of severe daily nausea and vomiting. Last Friday, she asked me to take her to the hospital because she was experiencing an unsettling combination of numbness and pain in her lower legs.
Over the course of a four-night hospitalization, the pain in her legs, feet, and knees, and later her abdomen and hands, became nearly unbearable. What's more, she lost all sensation in most of the area on the front of her body between her upper thighs and collar bone--for example, she can feel nothing in her breasts or vagina. She said, "You could hold a lit match to my chest and I don't think I'd know you were doing it."
Doctors suspected she either had Guillain-Barre or MS. However, all tests, including blood draws, lumbar puncture and electromyogram (a hellish ordeal), did not support either diagnosis. A likely unrelated finding was that she had significant "slurry" in her gallbladder, which gastroenterologists feel may account for the nausea and vomiting; they've suggested she have her gallbladder removed. Docs also tested her thyroid function, which too came back as normal.
Ultimately, doctors said they have "no idea" why she's feeling these symptoms. At least one doctor subtly implied my wife might be faking or exaggerating symptoms to secure access to more pain meds; this is patently ridiculous, unless I don't know my wife at all and she's become the world's most committed actor. She was released yesterday with follow ups scheduled for the future, along with instructions to return to the hospital if symptoms become much more severe or affect her face or lungs.
So, my question is: if what she's experiencing ISN'T GBS or MS, what might it be? Any ideas? Is it possible, with such tests completed, that they could still be wrong about GBS? Nothing else that we've considered matches her symptoms as closely.
My wife continues to be in severe pain, is a significant falling hazard (her knees buckle), and is at a loss to understand why she feels so poorly. Any thoughts from the neurology/rheumatology community would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance.