I went to the ER yesterday because I have been experiencing an increasing amount of pain in my feet and now also in my hands, and it all started with my toes first swelling up and now they are ranging in color from deep red to dark purple/gray. I seem to have a strange feeling, almost like my skin is numb, but I can still feel, except occasionally. I have also experienced a couple excruciating cramps/spasms - one in my butt next to my tailbone, and one in my calve. My mom has MS. But she never experienced purple toes...
I have been having trouble opening and closing bottles and gripping door knobs, but not all the time, and because of the ER doc I'm starting to wonder if that's just in my head. Would decreased grip be present at all times? Perhaps I'm only responding to the pain in my palms...
The ER doctor first tested my grip and reflexes, which were "normal" at the time (I felt like my grip was a little weak, but it was there...), and then he ran a bunch of blood tests and ran CAT scans of both my chest and stomach because he thought it might be Vasculitis. Everything came back clear, except that I have a UTI, which happened because I don't lubricate properly, even when I'm aroused (I did tell the doc this, too).
The doc told me that these tests being clear was "good news" but I honestly don't feel like that - especially now, after I've taken the 800mg of ibuprofen that he recommended and, if anything, my pain has increased. And my left big toe, which always stays white while the others are dark red or purple, went completely numb for about an hour today. Oh, and the butt cramp wasn't because of the UTI, because I've been getting that same cramp for over a year now - usually right when I wake up.
I've been directed to a rheumatologist to double-check that it isn't Vasculitis. Anyways, I don't feel lucky that I can't drive myself to school or write/type too much... I feel that sharp pain, but also a pain like a vibrating spring. I am pushing myself to type this right now because I'm just really scared - most of all that doctors won't find out what is causing all this and will tell me its in my head (despite the purple toes). I couldn't deal with that. The ER doc wasn't taking my pain too seriously... and he said the blood tests didn't show any inflammation, even though I know right now that my entire jaw is inflamed and is pressing up on my ear canals (this is from my bruxism, which has been unresolved because of a lack of health insurance) and now I know that my urinary tract is also inflamed...
He said, however, that a test for anti-bodies was not run.
Plus, I don't trust that ER doctor too much now, since the pain isn't going away, and moreso because he recommended I just start jogging again despite my pain (which, even if nothing is wrong with my feet right now, the compensation that the pain would instinctively cause in my gait would likely cause an injury - I'm limping quite a lot just when I walk). And I got the feeling from him that he didn't believe a lot of my claims.
I'm really afraid of not getting a diagnosis... or getting a BS one... and this pain interfering with school to the point that I might lose my scholarship...
I would check with the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic. They do well with MS testing. At this point in time, I would think that you need to take some time to go through the testing process.
As to scholarship loss potential, please discuss your concerns with your university. By law the university must assist you with any help you might need whether your problem is permanent or temporary. Usually this is the EEO office on campus. Here in Kansas you can get assistance. I got assistance when I was in college and I know three different people on campus now who are getting EEO assistance in the form of grants and other assistance.
MS diagnosed since October 3, 1982
MS onset circa 1977
Proud to be MED FREE!
Eternally blessed and eternally optimistic!<><