I was asked about my numb fingers and hands and if it ever went away....
To answer that question, I thought Id start a thread where everyone could chime in with their stories...this seems to be a prominent MS symtom.
My numbness NEVER went away. 5 years later, im sitting here typing with voice recognition. I can type, my brain remembers how, but I make so many mistakes! Also Im doing my doctoral degree right now, and I do that mostly online- I type alot. (not to mention reports for work all day long- I work 50 hours a week, too). So for me, its a MS thing - permanent nerve damage, caused by a lesion on my brain. My Neurologist can actually show me where the damage is, on my MRI, which has led to this. ITs defintaely not carpal tunnel for me!
Interestingly enough, this was my onset symtom. I probably have had MS for ten years, according to my doctor; however I didnt suspect a thing, until this happened, and even then, MS was the furthest thing from my mind. My primary doc, thought it was a pinched nerve- so he sent me for a CT scan, which led to abnomalities which the radiologist called in a Neurologist, who immediately ordered the MRI. That led to the fastest MS dx on record from what I can see. I knew within hours what was going on, it was confirmed within 72 hours by a spinal tap and a trip to a MS specialist....it happened fast.
Being able to have your numbness come and go, sounds very much like Carpal Tunnel to me, but Im not an expert. I dont think with MS, it comes and goes with simple raising of the hand, or movement. True MS issues, come from attacks on a nerve.....unless its just the beginning of an attack, maybe?
Im sure others have different answers, but this has been my experience.
I've noticed I wake up quite frequently with a numb hand, arm etc but I can shake it off. It's just so coincidental though that I never had this and now i have MS but because I can shake it off I wonder if it's just from sleeping wrong, getting old etc or related to the MS. I don't mind it now becuz I can make it go away. If i was stuck with it, like you, that would be something to deal with. I tell myself I have many friends w/neck/back issues that deal w/numbness all the time and you would never know it. Many more people deal with issues than we realize. They just don't all talk about them. It gives me comfort seeing them so strong. Nik, thanks for the kind words. I can't say "I'm there" but "it is what it is" and I try not to project years in the future, I am just going to assume I will be one of the ones that deal with it fine.
You willl deal with it fine. Im sure of it! Im not entirely sure if being able to shake it off makes it any less of a MS thing, or not. My doctor says no, its not possible, because an attack, is either permanent or not- until you know that, the symtoms remain...if it ISNT permanent, they eventually go away. That can take days or months. When I first got dx like this, they told me "give it 3 months' after 6 months, I finally realized it wasnt going to ever stop tingling and burning.
Its intereresting, this question. The person who asked me this describes her pain somwhat like yours- I wonder what it means? Just be grateful, you can "make it get normal" that easily!!! Im jealous!
Nik, curious-- if you woke up with the numbness and immediately addressed it, why do they say it was permanently damaged. I know that they say if we get steroids etc right away it can help the swelling and permanent damage..did you have numbness on and off before but never thought about it? It's troublesome because so many of us have numbness but it comes and goes. How does one know when to consider it an exasberation and when it's just a part of the disease. How do you use that hand today?
Jodi. Nope. Woke up with it numb and within 24 hours it was addressed, and no, I had never had any problems or numbness previous to that.
My doctor told me the first week, that it should return to normal and give it up to 3 months to see if it reverses itself. I was given 1000 mgs of IVSM starting the 3rd day, for 5 days, which did nothing for me at all.
After 4 months of it not going away, he gave in and agreed it was permanent damage from an attack on a nerve in my brain. Remember, I was still leaning towards a pinched nerve in my back or neck (I also have 3 massively herniated discs in C3, C4 and C4, which affect the hands and fingers). I went for PT, I went for nerve blocks in my neck. I had every sort of accupuncture and massage therapy. I learned JUST HOW Dangerous Chirpractic can be, especially when it increasd the pain about 20 times having tried maniputlation (after I was told NOT to do it by my doctor).
I saw neuro surgeons, I saw pain specialists, I cried buckets. The entire time, my Neurologist telling me it was MS. I had 3 MRIs in the first year, each time, showing that particular Lesion he said was "causing the numbness" clearer and larger. Interestingly enough, 4 years later, it is now a black hole. I have no more brain tissue to support the lesion and its gone...instead, where it was, is a hole, clearly shown on my MRI.
Now, I pretend that the pain isnt there. Humidity and Cold make it much worse then every other day. i wear gloves all the time, even in the house sometimes! I deal with it, because I have no choice. I burn myself on the oven regularly, because I cannot feel the heat. I type with voice recognition 85% of the time, because I cannot feel the keys on the keyboard. Remember, Im in Grad School. Me banging out a 50 page paper happens twice a week! I have to use voice recognition for those things as well.
Like everything else MS, you get used to it. I was told once to find my new "normal" and I have successfully done that. What is normal for me, certainly isnt normal to most people, but for me, being able to burn msyelf means I have a hand! If I didnt, then we would be having quite a different conversation about prosthetics, right?
Jodi, every day I deal with hospice patients. I am very much aware of the difference between chronic disease and terminal illness. I dont mind having MS! Its so much better then the alternatives!
Thanks for the info! As you know I don't have MS, as of yet no diagnosis but thats how my ordeal started. I woke up in the middle of the night with my hands asleep but I could shake it off. The next day they felt vibrating and partly asleep and numbish. This lasted a couple weeks and went away. It comes and goes now but for the most part its not always there. I was told I have Carpal Tunnel, I had the EMG done that determined it was mild. It causes other strange symptoms like my shoulders falling asleep, tightness and wet feelings in my forearms. Burning sensations in my fingers liike I just put them in snow and came into a warm house. Thank you for sharing your information. You are an inspiration!