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Old 06-25-2012, 11:31 AM   #1
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Question Total numbness in right arm/hand

For about 4 1/2 days now my entire right arm/hand has been totally asleep and is much heavier then usual (I just woke up like this on day 1). I can't even raise my hand above my head for more than a few seconds without it falling down. Nothing has improved, and it has even kept me from driving. Anyway, I have a doctor appointment tomorrow, but if history has taught me anything, I'm going to be sent home w/o much help. So that is why I'm asking if anyone knows how to get rid of/lessen the effects of this? Cause' its really interfering with my daily life. I'll take any advice I can get here...

Please note: The only other time I have ever had a symptom this severe was when I had the exact same experience at the onset of all my other symptoms. Except that time it went away after 2 days. I occasionally wake up with a similar sensation, but normally it clears up within a few hours. Nothing seems to help aside from ice cold showers that temporarily lessen the severity. But that is it.

 
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:53 PM   #2
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Re: Total numbness in right arm/hand

In 1982 the good Lord hit me with a 2X6 because the 2X4 obviously did not work! It got my attention! My right arm went numb and became useless. The numbness went away except for 3/4 of my right hand, but my arm was still useless for about 6 months. When I saw my neurologist in the ER, he poked a pin in the areas of my numbness (I was blindfolded) and I presented with a Babinski reflex. He later told me that he suspected MS from the start. I was lucky that he was on call when I went to the ER. The pin test he told me followed my main nerves exactly and that he knew I could not fake it without having medical information.

I picked up crocheting and used it for rehabilitation of my hand.

You might try soaking your hand in ice cold water. I do this nowadays during the summer months when my hands go numb. In the winter when they go numb I soak them in luke warm water and wear insulated gloves.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:59 PM   #3
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Re: Total numbness in right arm/hand

IN 2004 I woke up with a numb hand and fingers and thought that I had slept on it wrong, possible curled up under the pillow? After 8 hours of it not going away, I was told to go to the ER, where I was told I had a pinched nerve...except that the CT scan didnt show a pinched nerve. Instead it showed abnormalities, which led to a Neuro consult....which led to a MRI, which led to a 98% chance of MS. This led to a MS specialist appointment, and a bunch of EMGs, VEPs, VFTs and even a spinal tap....which led (in 72 hours) to a positive MS diagnosis.

Fast forward 7 years. I still have a numb left hand and no use of my left fingers. My brain tells my hand to pick things up and hold things. I can even type, but not well. (I use voice recognition most of the time). I can still play the piano- because my brain tells me what to do....but I also burn myself quite often in the kitchen and have actually had frostbite on two fingers because I can neither feel hot , nor cold. This is from a MS attack on my brain which controls the area which sends signals to my hands and fingers.

For years I tried physicial therapy, accupuncture, nerve pain drugs (Lyrica, Gabapentin, Cymbalta) NONE of this worked. I have learned to live with the pain and ignore it. It is much worse during humid times (I live on the east coast where it is highly humid) and during extreme temperature changes, July and January being extreme temp changes in my area. Other than that, I deal with it and try to forget it. I cant wear my wedding bands, because they irritate the nerves on my ring finger , I cant wear any bracelets on my left hand because they also add irritation to an already irritated area- but guess what? I can walk, I can talk and I can think. SO, in the grand scheme of things, I see it as a glass half full.

You need to NOT walk away without answers this time. You absolutely NEED to insist that the doctor test you for everything he can think of, or refer you to someone who will. DO not be agreeable, be forceful. YOU are your ONLY advocate for your health. If this isnt normal for you (and its not normal for any one of us) then there must be a reason for it.....demand tests- a new MRI, with and without contrast of the brain and Cspine- demand an EMG (a nerve conduction test which will tell you if its nerve related or not) and demand answers.

If you dont fight for answers, no one else will. Please let us know how the appointment goes..
Nikki
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:56 PM   #4
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Re: Total numbness in right arm/hand

MSJayhawk, thank you for the tip! I have been soaking my hand in water and that has been helping make it feel a bit better at times.

MSNik, 7 years with that numbness never leaving?! I admire your perseverance but, I don't think I could stand having an unresponsive arm like this for 7 years. Aside from the annoyance of it all, it also makes writing quite difficult at times. I think I'll go crazy if they don't find a solution for at least a few of my issues.

Well I went to the doctor, and as expected, not much help. I was just told to ice the arm often to possibly reduce inflammation that might be present. I also took a second MRI of my head and cervical spine (its been 2 months since my last one) to check current marks in my head/look for a pinched nerve. Anyway, I am awaiting those results.

If those are the same then I'm not sure where I'll go from there. My doctors suspect carpel tunnel for the arm. But I think that is impossible because I have symptoms ranging all over my body so that couldn't account for all of them. The arm is just the most severe.

Thanks for the support. I am going to demand answers and if I don't make any progress on my next appointment this Wednesday, I will return to my Neurologist for a second opinion. Hopefully things will improve.

 
Old 07-08-2012, 07:04 PM   #5
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Re: Total numbness in right arm/hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcticWolf View Post
MSJayhawk, thank you for the tip! I have been soaking my hand in water and that has been helping make it feel a bit better at times.
Great news, I am glad it works for you. You have to do what you can, I hope you get answers really soon.
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