Hi Everyone. I heard back from the doctor’s office about my MRI. I was told, over the phone by the nurse, that the MRI was normal but to call back and set an appt should I have new symptoms. I continue to have problems like unexplained weakness/exhaustion, eye pain, headache (but only right side), off balance, intense itching, sharp muscle pain/spasm, tripping or veering into wall or table, etc; but the symptoms do not occur all at once. One day I will have wrist pain (like what carpel tunnel might feel like) but the next day that is gone and I feel something else. My question for everyone is a little embarrassing. I have fought constipation for many years, but recently I have had diarrhea without flu symptoms. Several times, I have been unable to make it to the bathroom in time. This has also happened with urine. Not that I soiled myself completely, but just that I was not able to make it to the bathroom before my system let go. Is this what being incontinent is like or is it a complete release without any forewarning? Sorry to ask this question, but this has been quite bothersome for me. Many thanks.
My understanding is that bladder and bowel problems are considered common symptoms of MS (among many others - fatigue, depression, pain, visual loss/disturbance, unsteadiness, dizziness, numbness, tingling, general weakness, etc.).
As far as bladder/bowel problems go, I think it can be all sorts - frequent urination, urgency in urination, hesitation and/or only being able to go a little, urinary infections, constipation or diarrhea and incontinence. I think it pretty much covers the range and can be quite different person to person.
My personal experience is that I used to (pre-MS) be more likely to be constipated if anything. Lately, it's been the opposite. Part of my MS seems to be a delicate stomach and bouts of diarrhea. Luckily, it hasn't crossed over to incontinence. But I think that if this is a new thing for you and you're also having other MS-type symptoms that maybe you should start keeping a journal and tracking it. Even if it's not MS, a journal of symptoms and their frequency could help sort out what it is - obviously being incontinent is something that needs medical attention no matter what the underlying problem is.
P.S. No need to be embarrassed! Trying to figure out what's going on with your body is responsible and proactive - not something to be embarrassed about. We're all here to do just the same : )
Just a final thought ... I don't think that the spinal tap is checking for a gene. I think that the idea is to take a small amount of spinal fluid and check it for immunoglobulins - which are a protein produced in B lymphocytes. The reason that they are checking for immunoglobulins is that B lymphocytes are overactive in a person with MS - so a high level of immunoglobulins (and therefore B lymphocytes) is considered one indicator of MS. It's not a definitive test though, it's just an indicator that can help with a diagnosis; especially when other tests are inconclusive.
Hey, bathroom issues are pretty common. I have gone through phases where I need to take laxatives to force stuff out, and times where I have to do what my Neurologist calls "planned voids." I have also had instances where when I do get the urge to "go" I REALLY need to go.
I, too, have had "almost accidents" where I barely make it in time. Yay, MS.
It's anyone's guess what it is going to be like for me, bathroom wise, on a daily basis. I just "listen" to the urges and answer them ASAP. Oh, yeah, and I keep in the back of my mind, "has it been over three hours since I last peed?" If so, I know I'd better go into the bathroom and try to go. (Usually I need to once the tushie hits the cushie, so to speak.)
Yes, you are not alone. I have MS and have to deal with bowel incontinence. I eat healthy, lots of fiber. I have to go 4-6 times a day. I am usually in my bedroom close to the bathroom. Most of the time I don't even feel the urge. I guess on the bright side they are not loose or watery. It started nine years ago but it was just every so often. I should have told my neuro about it but like you I was embarassed. I might have been dx sooner with MS. I am having a urodynamics testing done on Tuesday to determine how best to help me with bladder incont. Urologist is going to refer to a good GI to help with bowel problems. I hope you get it under control soon.
dx 12/06 MS
Avonex, Klonopin, Flexeril
Last edited by tiredbunni; 04-08-2007 at 10:31 PM.