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Old 08-16-2008, 06:25 PM   #1
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Chronic Pain... and/or/because of MS

I am 34 year old, almost healthy male.

About four years ago I had been suffering chronic headaches on the left side of my head that were classified as vascular headaches and not migraines. I saw a neurologist, had cat scans, the whole bit and then they suddenly went away.

Two and a half years ago I was on the golf course, I took a swing with my driver on the 4th whole and had this incredibly sharp pain develop in my left forearm, wrist and hand. Thought it was a sprain or strain or something... but it just sort of hung around. It kept up for a few months. Went to physical therapy and they said, hey maybe it is your neck.

Had scans, pain therapy, the whole bit and nothing but still have pain. Been seeing a neurologist regularly. Pain is on my entire left side. It is mostly a cold sore pain that moves from my hand, wrist, leg, back, etc with spikes every month or so.

If I get excited, (ie. Laugh at my two year old son eating. Cheering at a sporting event.) I get a buzzing feeling like static electricity throughout my left side from the top of my head down my left side. Lasts maybe 10 seconds. My fingers also shake on my left hand from time to time. All of this stuff hampers my ability to drive, play guitar or ride a bike and golf. Only I notice when the effects occur but it is starting to get really noticeable especially when I limp.

Last week I woke up and my whole left arm was numb on the underside from my shoulder to my palm but the top of my arm was fine.

I am getting another MRI Friday with dye for contrast of my brain. I regularly take tegetrol and elavil to calm this stuff down but I am have been stuck with moving pain (5-7 on a scale of 1-10) with these spikes of weirdness or incredible pain every month or so. I have had three negative MRI's, a few negative cat scans and one negative spinal tap. Everything they try and test me for comes up negative but the MS question still lingers.

Anyone with MS experience a similar situation?

 
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:14 PM   #2
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Re: Chronic Pain... and/or/because of MS

Hi, sb1234. We see reports from some people whose doctors have told them that pain is not a symptom of MS and yet, we see people with MS who have pain so we know that's not true. I personally have never seen the electric sensation described exactly the way you're experiencing it but there is something in MS called L'Hermittes Sign that you might want to look up. It's usually associated with c-spine lesions. Have you had MRIs of the spine or just of your brain?

I'd suggest you have a look at the link in the post at the top of the page called "The Differential Diagnosis...". It explains what is involved in getting a dx of MS and references around 100 other conditions that can mimic MS. I'm curious , especially because of your headaches and some of the other things you mentioned -- do you know if they ever looked for Chiari Malformation?

Good luck to you and please let us know what happens -- that's how we learn and can also help others.
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Dxed RRMS April '07
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Last edited by Bearygood; 08-16-2008 at 07:24 PM.

 
Old 08-16-2008, 07:43 PM   #3
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Re: Chronic Pain... and/or/because of MS

C-spine has been fine. I have had three of those MRI's. The first brain one I had was in 2006 but all I really got back was a "you are fine". This is the first one with dye. Doc honestly figured I would go away but the numbness came on suddenly and is now gone.

I hurt bad on Wednesday and today I am totally fine except for some light pain in my left arm that is always there. The tests have always been for MS because of the way things come and go.

I have been tested for many, many other things via the blood tests and spinal tap. Still nothing...

 
Old 08-16-2008, 08:00 PM   #4
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Re: Chronic Pain... and/or/because of MS

Well, as I'm sure you know, there is certain evidence needed for an MS dx. It's in the link cited in the thread on top of the page. It's called the McDonald Criteria, which was updated in 2005.

As mentioned, there are other diseases listed there that mimic MS and I mentioned Chiari because your sx sound very much like another person who was here and thought she had MS but was finally dxed with Chiari. It's not that common and often overlooked. If you're at all curious to see if your sx fit, you can search for posts by cindys601 on this board and also the Brain and Nervous System Disorders board.

Good luck with your MRI and please keep us posted.
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Last edited by Bearygood; 08-16-2008 at 08:20 PM.

 
Old 08-17-2008, 01:50 AM   #5
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Re: Chronic Pain... and/or/because of MS

Sorry to hear you're suffering with such pain.

I'm one of those who suffer from severe pains. Unsure if they're migraine, trigeminal neuralgia, or MS. All I know is, it's neuropathic in nature.

My neurologist fully understands that those with MS can and do experience pain thankfully.

I hope you are able to get some answers.
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:10 PM   #6
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Re: Chronic Pain... and/or/because of MS

hi Sb1234. I just wanted to ask you what type of doctor you are seeing and if you are sure what they were looking for when they did the spinal tap. MS is mainly shown by Spinal and Brain MRIs, and Im glad youre having another brain one soon, because the most important thing to know about MRIs is that they can change every few days. Waiting a year is a long time to check to see what has changed! Just because you werent presenting lesions before and you were "fine" doesnt mean something wont show up this time..

But again, are you seeing a regular Neuro or an MS Specialist? And are you completely confident in this neuro? Next time you see him, I would ask for complete copies of all your past lab tests, results, MRI reports and Spinal reports..I would keep those copies close at hand and quite honestly be going for a second opinion. This person you are seeing doesnt sound very aggressive; and with the pain you are in, Something has to be causing it, right?

Wishing you the best - let us know what shows in this next MRI.

Get copies of the films before you leave- they will give them to you if you ask. Get a copy of the report from the doc who wrote for the test.
Nikki
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