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Old 02-09-2013, 07:08 AM   #1
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Question about symptoms

Hello, just found this board and thought maybe I could get some real person input rather than continually searching symptoms on different websites. I am 32 years old and female. Just this week, out of nowhere, I had some chest and back pain when I stood up, it hurt when I would inhale deeply or bend forward and lasted for about 12 hours. I had an EKG and chest xray and all looked normal. The next morning, I woke up and chest pain was gone but my upper right back was hurting. A few hours later, my right arm went sort of numb feeling and my right hand started to tingle. I got scared and went to the ER. Er did another ekg, chest xray and D-dimer blood test to look for a clot. All results were normal. Er doc mentioned he thinks this is neurological and started to mention MS. MS had not even been on my radar. Left the hospital with some vicodin and was told to follow up with neurologist. My arm thankfully is no longer numb and my hand is not tingling, I'm just left with a sore back/neck area. I have some terrible anxiety after this ER visit and have been googling like crazy. I cannot get into a neurologist for another 2 weeks. I went to an urgent care center yesterday and asked if they would xray my cervical spine to see if anything odd shows up like a herniated disc but all xrays were normal. I am just so confused and now worried that this ER doc was onto something with his suggestion of MS. Any thoughts?

 
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:18 AM   #2
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Re: Question about symptoms

Welcome.

I would say that you very likely experienced an MS Hug. The doctors cleared you of a blood clot or a stroke and would also have cleared your cardio as well. As this is pushing into the realm of neurological and the doctor mentioned MS, I would encourage you to make sure the neuro you are scheduled to see is an MS Specialist. 2 weeks is very short to wait because many wait 3-6 months. If the neuro is not an MS Specialist, I would encourage you to contact your local MS Association or Society office for a list of MS Specialists in your area.

While you are waiting, you might want to keep a journal of your symptoms and make sure you have a copy of all of the tests and results already run. Again, Welcome!
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:51 AM   #3
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Re: Question about symptoms

Could it have been a pinched nerve? Good luck with diagnosis

 
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:57 AM   #4
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Re: Question about symptoms

Thank you both for taking the time to respond! I originally thought pinched nerve, urgent care said that would not show on the normal xray they did so I guess no answers until I get to neuro and hopefully get MRI. Just searched "MS hug" and I guess it could fit the description. Then of course I read that you can get chest and back pain from pinched nerve so I am just all over the place thankfully I didn't feel any terrible pressure, just uncomfortable when it happened and thankful for a hot bath that eventually soothed it. I do have scoliosis in my spine which has not been looked at for years so I think it may be time to check on that too. My brother was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia a few years ago..Either way, this board has helped out in seeing that life will not end if I would have MS. I have 2 young kids and want nothing more than to be here to see their kids.I would hate not to have the ability I have now to keep up with them!.The ER doctor did mention MS, along with cancer and brain tumor, YIKES! I suspect this neuro is not going to be great as I was able to get in so quick but if it gets me for an MRI sooner, I'll take it for the time being and go from there! Just one more question, After an MS hug, are you typically left with an achy back pain? The back pain is better after a few days but can still feel it if I turn the wrong way.
Anxiety acting up, time for me to get off the internet

 
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:34 PM   #5
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Re: Question about symptoms

Hi there. Im actually going to take the opposite approach here. I do NOT think it was the MS hug....your information describing what you went through, how it went from chest pain to upper back to some numbness to no numbness, just doesnt sound like MS to me at all......the fact that a hot bath made it better, and not worse, really sends out signals that this isnt the MS hug and probably isnt MS.

I do NOT think this is neurological. I do think its muscular or possibly related to a disc issue. Yes a pinched nerve falls into neurological as well; however it is skeletal in nature...and you are correct, a pinched nerve would not show up on an xray, but youll need a CT scan to show that.

You are very anxious, and thats quite understandable...but please try not to be. Anxiety makes everything worse- AND also causes us to overthink things. Without trying to make you feel bad, Im going to also suggest that you stay off the Internet looking up symptoms. Its the worse thing ever to do to yourself.
I dont know how much you know about those things, but anytime someone searches symptoms they come up with MS...its the most searched disease online..and because MS has so many symptoms- its always reverting back to MS no matter what you put in....also, just so you know, 400 other diseases present like MS...and you didnt mention a single thing in your post which sounds like MS in particular. You didnt mention any of the most common symptoms. This is supposed to make you feel better, ok?

The fact that you were prescribed Vicoden, is very strange. Its a pain killer, and would have absolutely NO effect on the nervous system as far as MS would go...did it help any?

I want you to think about getting better and taking care of yourself and your family. Think positive, because this isnt going to be life threatening, whatever it is....let us know how the Neurologist visit goes- its worth going, because he will order the correct tests for you; however I do NOT think its worth investing in a MS specialist at this point, the wait, the cost and the anxiety just dont seem to be critically important yet...if this neurologist also says MS to you, THEN yes, Its important to start being seen by the right specialty, but at this point in time, I think a regular Neuro can start to rule out other things or point you in the right direction.

This is only my opinion, but from what you wrote, I think youll find out that this is probably treatable, and not likely to be MS related at all. Youre missing too many key components..and thats a GOOD thing!

Let us know what happens...

nikki
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Last edited by MSNik; 02-09-2013 at 01:35 PM.

 
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:42 PM   #6
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Re: Question about symptoms

I've never experienced a MS hug, so I cannot comment on that. The tingling is something that happens w/ MS. Of course, it happens w/ other stuff too. I was 32 when I was diagnosed & never thought of it till a friend mentioned it about my bladder issues (30). I googled like you & found 2 different MS checklist, imagine the shock when everything on both list were checked. Since the start of my investigating, I've learned that MS is a livable disease & isn't always as bad as think. Of course some things you search will be scary, so take everything w/ a grain of salt. I'm not going to say that MS is great, but it could be a lot worse. There were some things that came up as possibilities that were...well, MS is way better an option. 2 weeks isn't long to wait, but do some research about Neuros. You do need to see an MS one, but I couldn't get in w/ one till I had all the other tests done, which had to be ordered by different neuros (not usually the case). Don't be against traveling a little for a better one. I live in a small town, so I have to go 2 hours out to get to mine. Don't have anxiety about it, one reason: you don't know if you have it. But if you do, it's not the end of the world & can actually feel relieving to know your not crazy if you have a lot of other crazy issues. Good Luck!

 
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:44 PM   #7
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Re: Question about symptoms

Thanks for the responses! I agree I need to stay off the Internet searching symptoms. I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond. I will def check back in to update. As for the Vicodin, I didn't take it, not a fan of meds like that if I don't need them. Just been taking Motrin for the back pain along with Hot showers and baths bc I feel almost pain free in the tub again thank you and I hope all of you are doing well!

 
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:35 PM   #8
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Re: Question about symptoms

I am just here to lend you a friendly vote of confidence. So glad you do not have to wait too long to see your neurologist. However, if you do not feel resolve after doing so, don't hesitate to find an MS specialist. I can't completely say that your symptoms sound neurological one way or the other except possibly the tingly in your arm but that could also be from a pinched nerve and such.

Either way, a good neurological check up is certainly a smart move. Hang in there and let us know what you find out.

 
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:49 PM   #9
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Re: Question about symptoms

If you feel weakened, lethargic, or numb after a hot bath or shower, you might have neurological concerns. If you get relief from the Motrin or other anti-inflammatory, your problem is likely muscular and not neurological. I would watch your symptoms and keep a journal.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:00 PM   #10
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Re: Question about symptoms

Thanks, I think I will start a journal. I've been living in the bathtub so I'm not feeling weakened, lethargic or numb afterwards. Oddly enough, my right shoulder and arm have been feeling a bit off today and after the most recent bath it's back to normal for now. ER doc mentioned he didn't believe it was muscular bc I didn't have tender spots when he was pushing on my back.again ER doc threw out cancer and brain tumor along with ms so he was not much help I don't' know what to think! The pain is bearable now where I don't need to take anything. I go to my family doctor first then the neuro 2 days later so we'll see. Thanks again everyone for the input!

 
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:25 PM   #11
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Re: Question about symptoms

I treat my most painful areas with a heating pad. A hot shower or bath will drain me of energy. MS can affect each person differently. Maybe a bath is your remedy! I am glad you can get some relief.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:44 PM   #12
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Re: Question about symptoms

Nekole, keep in touch. Im sticking with my original feeling, based on what you told us- but its my NON medical opinion, and I do think youll find out that this is either a pinched nerve, OR a disc issue.

Too many things you are telling us practically point the opposite direction of MS! Lucky you! I hate that so many people jump to the MS conclusion because they have similar or like symptoms (I do as well) but when you look at your entire story, the history, what helps, what you are doing to feel better and the progress you have made in a week, its not adding up towards MS...

Go see your family doc, maybe he can order a CT scan for you and rule out a few things, and see the Neuro- and let us know what you find out, ok?

Im glad you found us!
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:47 PM   #13
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Re: Question about symptoms

I'm thankful for all the opinions. Also glad I found the board to hear "real life" thoughts. I will definitely check back in. First appt with Family doc next Monday. Yes I know you probably see and hear all sorts of people jumping to the MS conclusion and i assume it gets annoying Honestly like I originally said it was not on my radar until ER doc brought it up to me. Out of tumor, cancer and MS, it seemed like MS could fit with the numb arm, tingly hand, back pain....I don't think my anxiety helps much as I read a symptom and within an hour swear I start to feel it. It's hard to tell what's going on. Although I will say I definitely had some odd muscle twitch in my neck tonight, not painful, just a second twinge of course on the right side where all my issues have been...looking forward to my appointments!

 
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:10 PM   #14
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Re: Question about symptoms

Anxiety as a stand-alone problem can present with MS like symptoms or it can be part of MS. An MS Specialist can help sort these out for you. That is, even if you do not have MS, an MS Specialist can help identify the stand-alone anxiety.

Your Family Doctor can help you a great deal by running some of the tests which could very well identify your problem as other than MS, otherwise, your Family Doctor can run tests to help eliminate those things which you do not have.

I would be happy if you did not have MS, but in the end, if you are "stuck" with MS, you have found the board here which I hope you will always find warm and generous support.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:26 AM   #15
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Re: Question about symptoms

Nekole,
I didnt want you to think I was being defensive....but knowing how many people read symptoms and jump to the MS conclusion, its important to realize that MS presents exactly like 400 other diseases, and symptom checkers are probably the LEAST helpful way to figure out what is going on. Therefore, when someone has MS like symptoms, they still only have a 1:400 chance of actually having MS.

Your story, has some twists and turns in it. And your self admitted anxiety over it, make you PERFECTLY NORMAL! Anyone dealing with your level of pain would be anxious and anyone who had the symptoms you have (including an ER doc) might think neurological and MS... however, my gut tells me that you have something else going on here, and that a few proper tests might shed some light on this. Im not a doctor~ but I do have MS, including the MS hug, neuropathy (tingling of the extremeties) and all the classsic MS symptoms....the biggest part of your story which makes me think its NOT MS is the fact that you have yet to mention a single one of the classic MS signs....and im not going to tell you what you are missing, for fear that it will bring them on out of anxiety.

Your family doctor is a good place to start. Ask to have an entire blood panel done- rule out any vitamin deficiencies. Ask about a CT scan for your neck and areas where the nubmness present. All of these things are precursors to MS testing anyway. There is no one test for MS, its a process of elminating everthing else. If you want more info on MS, familiarize yourself with the revised McDonald criteria, which is what all doctors must use to make this diagnosis.

And as far as the anxiety goes- try to breathe through it. Its overwhelming when you know something is wrong, but dont know what it is...but 399 times out of 400, its not MS. and, as everyone has stated, even if it is, its not the worst thing to have to deal with. We are all here for you and look forward to your update.

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