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Old 12-23-2010, 08:15 AM   #1
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Many symptoms over 3 years, MRI in 2008 was clear but could I still have brain tumour

Hello, please help, 42 year old male. About 3 years ago, I started having numbness in my left arm and hand that would wake me up in the middle of the night. My first thought was a possible heart problem, and although my cholestorol is borderline high, the doctors said there was no immediate threat as long as I made changes to my diet.
Over the following 3 years, these numbness episodes came and went. In March 2008, I had an MRI on my head and neck and no problems were found. The doctor thought it might be something to do with a nerve in my neck, but a series of x rays and tests have founf nothing there.
In September this year, the episodes became more frequent and more severe - both arms and hands crippled when waking up in the middle of the night, taking several seconds to shake them back into life. I started having pains and a squeezing sensation in the sides of my chest, palpatations, and severe pains in my shoulder blades. During the day, my shoulder blades and arms would often ache. More heart tests were done, but again, nothing found, ECGs etc. Just more advice to watch my diet.
December 3rd this year, I started having headaches. These would be all over my head, sometimes on the top, sometimes at the back, the sides, even the base of the skull. I also started having shooting pains in the right side of my head during the day, that last a second or so. And I kept waking up with numbness in both arms and now also leg cramps.

2 nights ago, I awoke at 3.30am with a terrible headache, it felt the whole front of my face was throbbing. I took an ibuprofen tablet to calm it down, but I had a headache (mainly at the back of my head) all day yesterday. This morning was worse than ever. I couldn't get to sleep, every time I lay down the headache would get worse, and also, I'd feel twitching sensation in my right leg and arm, not like a fit, just one twitch each time I felt myself dozing off, to wake me up. And it felt like my whole body was throbbing. I still feel achey now, at the base of my skull.

I'm also suffering pain behind my eyes, particularly my right eye, and 'floating shapes' when I look at a white screen or wall, or even a white cloudy sky or snow. The Doctor just says I need my eyes testing, I may need new glasses, as I use PCs and screens for work 10 hours a day. This started the same day as the headaches.

Doctors say 'no, this isn't a brain tumour', and want to do more x-rays on my neck, because they say I have bad posture. But everything I read online suggests symptoms of brain tumour. This week I have started feeling nauseous, have missed evening meal 4 times in 7 nights because I just can't face food.

My problem is this, if I had mild forms of this arm paralysis 3 years ago, and an MRI showed no tumours, could the worsening of this, and further symptoms, mean that there was something that they missed, which has now grown too big to ignore?

 
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:46 AM   #2
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Re: Many symptoms over 3 years, MRI in 2008 was clear but could I still have brain tu

A brain tumour is certainly a possibility, but your symptoms are highly suggestive of nerve compression in your neck (cervical spine.) The cervical nerve bundles are vulnerable to compression due to posture that is less than ideal, and several hours in front of a computer screen every day can definitely lead to the problems you've described. A chiropractor or orthopedic doctor can help determine the extent to which posture is responsible for your symptoms, and should also be able to set you up with physical therapy to strengthen the supporting musculature and related body structures (and correct your posture, perhaps with the help of occupational therapy.) If physical therapy and posture correction do not provide relief, you may have a tumour, but it still seems more likely that your posture has caused nerve trauma, which often does not improve immediately after structural problems are corrected. If you still have pain, discomfort, numbness, or lack of motor function after postural defects are corrected, you might want to see a neurologist or pain specialist.

Even if MRIs, CTs, and x-rays are unremarkable (don't reveal significant tissue damage,) your doctors should know that all of these imaging procedures have limited resolution. Regions of trauma or defect smaller than a millimeter or so may not show up in imaging studies, so such trauma or defect must always be considered when symptoms do not match the imaging results. A pain specialist may be your best resource for problems that remain after your posture is corrected. Finally, make sure you take periodic breaks if you have to be in one position for prolonged periods of the day. Even thirty seconds of stretching and movement a couple of times every hour can help reduce the strains associated with posture problems.

 
Old 01-12-2011, 02:04 AM   #3
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Re: Many symptoms over 3 years, MRI in 2008 was clear but could I still have brain tu

Hi male 42. When I read your post I really felt for you. For the last 3 yrs i have suffered and my headaches have got worse over time i currently have 24 headaches a month (sorry i am going on about myself). I read up on medical things all the time and i have found that an MRI does not always show everything my suggestion is push for an MRA, CT and ECG scan. I see a doctor from a pain management team at the hospital and he does really help, he is there for me and to discuss how I am feeling etc not to rush me out to see another patient. Keep me posted x

 
Old 01-12-2011, 03:40 AM   #4
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Re: Many symptoms over 3 years, MRI in 2008 was clear but could I still have brain tu

I suppose this is "hijacking" the current thread, bit I don't know how else to respond to you, brunette 38. You say you have 24 headaches a month? Is that 24 days a month with headaches all or most of the day, or could you mean that you typically get a total of 24 headaches a month, with some days headache free and some days with multiple headaches? If it's 24 days with headache, are your headache-free days on the weekend, or is there some other difference in activity, diet, sleep patterns, etc. that separate the "headache" days from the pain-free ones? Where is your pain, and did it come on suddenly after a fall, accident, or other trauma to the body?

I'm interested in other people's pain stories because of my own 30+ year battle with occipital neuralgia, and I try to help others understand their pain and obtain effective treatment.

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Originally Posted by brunette 38 View Post
Hi male 42. When I read your post I really felt for you. For the last 3 yrs i have suffered and my headaches have got worse over time i currently have 24 headaches a month (sorry i am going on about myself). I read up on medical things all the time and i have found that an MRI does not always show everything my suggestion is push for an MRA, CT and ECG scan. I see a doctor from a pain management team at the hospital and he does really help, he is there for me and to discuss how I am feeling etc not to rush me out to see another patient. Keep me posted x

 
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:07 AM   #5
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Talking Re: Many symptoms over 3 years, MRI in 2008 was clear but could I still have brain tu

I had for example December which has 31 days I had 22 12 hour headaches and yes sometimes it does fall on a weekend but not all the time. The pain is not always in the same place, sometimes its the front of my head, sometimes down the left side and other times it starts at the back of my head. the headaches started in 2007 but i went to see a neurologist a few weeks ago (he didnt help much as he said he didnt deal with my type of headache but he did say i saw a collegue of his in 1997 for similar problem. the headaches are more frequent now than last year and no trauma since 1991 unless a punch off my ex in 1993....

 
Old 01-12-2011, 08:28 AM   #6
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Re: Many symptoms over 3 years, MRI in 2008 was clear but could I still have brain tu

Did your headaches come on all of a sudden, or did they develop slowly? Since your pains started, have there been any changes in severity, duration, frequency, or any other characteristics? Have there been any other physical or mental changes to your overall health, like diabetes, hormonal changes, depression/anxiety, increased/decreased blood pressure, or anything else? It doesn't seem likely to me that your ex's punch in 1993 caused the kind of trauma that would cause your head pains, unless your head bounced off a wall or you suffered a whiplash injury. Even if you had, it would seem unusual for your pains to take 14 years to develop from such an injury. However, some neurologists have raised the possibility of "innocent injuries" leading to nerve damage years or even decades afterward (at least that's what they told me about my neuralgia.)

I'm not presuming you have neuralgia, though it is perhaps as likely as anything else. I'm glad you're seeing a pain specialist, because as I and others have experienced, pain specialists seem more able to treat pain as a primary symptom instead of a nuisance.

What are you doing for your pain? Does anything make it better, and does anything make it worse? What therapies have you tried?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brunette 38 View Post
I had for example December which has 31 days I had 22 12 hour headaches and yes sometimes it does fall on a weekend but not all the time. The pain is not always in the same place, sometimes its the front of my head, sometimes down the left side and other times it starts at the back of my head. the headaches started in 2007 but i went to see a neurologist a few weeks ago (he didnt help much as he said he didnt deal with my type of headache but he did say i saw a collegue of his in 1997 for similar problem. the headaches are more frequent now than last year and no trauma since 1991 unless a punch off my ex in 1993....

 
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:30 PM   #7
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Re: Many symptoms over 3 years, MRI in 2008 was clear but could I still have brain tu

hey moroder,

I think you have got yourself into a cycle of symptoms feeding the anxiety and vice versa.

if the docs are telling you it isnt a tumour, then it is very likely not to be, you sound like you are getting yourself into a frenzy which will lead nowhere.

you had an MRI before that showed it wasnt after all this started, so logic should tell you its something else, like nerve compression etc.

you sound like you need coping strategies more than you need another MRI, as i just posted on another thread that sometimes going through the diagnosis can be as bad as the illness itself in terms of its effect on your life.

as for floating shapes, are you sure they are not just floaters as described in wikipedia

I have quite a lot of them as I have got older but dont really notice them now unless in daylight when looking at sky etc.

because you are in a "hyper-vigilant state" loooking for symptoms, you may just be noticing what was already there, the brain is very clever with the tricks it plays on you !

hope this is of some help, regards elpirata

Last edited by elpirata; 01-12-2011 at 04:40 PM.

 
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:04 AM   #8
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Re: Many symptoms over 3 years, MRI in 2008 was clear but could I still have brain tu

Hi, I have had high blood pressure over the last few months but the doctors tell me its because i am over weight which adds to the depression, i tend to put on a brave face infront of family and work etc as i am on the sick but i am at breaking point if i am honest. i could give u a long list of what i have tried with little or no effect at the moment they have me on pregabalin 75mg twice a day i have been on these for a month tomorrow and they seem to be making me worse. its the 13th January and i have had 10 days of headaches, seeing my pain specialist today

 
Old 01-20-2011, 03:26 AM   #9
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Re: Many symptoms over 3 years, MRI in 2008 was clear but could I still have brain tu

Hi, went to the pain management clinic 14th Jan he said if the doc increases my pregabalin twice and all else fails meaning I have little or no reduction in my headaches he is prepared to give Ketamine a go. The doc on the 15th increased my meds to 150mg twice a day and in 2 weeks time i have to increase them again to 150mg morning and 300mg on a night. its the 20th Jan and I have had 14 days worth of headaches lasting between 8 and 12 hrs. Is there any other way we can chat as I found u very helpful Jverive xxx

 
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