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Old 03-08-2013, 05:54 PM   #1
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Dramatic symptoms, MRI shows 1 lesion

Hello everyone,

I have been reading these posts for a couple of days and there seem to be very nice people here with a lot of knowledge. I am posting on behalf of my sister who seems to have MS symptoms but her diagnosis is inconclusive so far. I know MS has a varied symptoms, however, I'm hoping that something in her list of symptoms would seem non-MS related to you who have much more knowledge than I do.

Her symptom started with numbness in her tongue and jaw, followed by aggressive dizziness / vertigo and constant vomiting that became worse over the next 2 days. She went to ER and the doctor said it's psychosomatic and sent her home. She worsened so much that the next day she could no longer stand or walk on her own due to the vertigo /dizziness and weakness in her legs and she also developed double vision in her right eye. She went back to the hospital, CT scan was done and came back normal for any stroke, hemorrage etc, and again she was sent home and told it's "in her head" and try to relax, etc. She finally went to a private practice a couple days later and saw a neurologist who ordered an MRI and the image showed one clear lesion. This was followed by a lumbar pucture test the same day that came back negative for MS-related signs. In fact it didn't show anything. She received intravenious corticosteroids and the doctor wanted to send her home as "healthy" the next day, although she still can't even walk.

I know the LP being negative doesn't rule out MS. But I also know that so many other illnesses have similar symptoms as MS. My question: can the onset on MS be so dramatic that you go from perfectly healthy, never had any prior symptoms, to the inability to stand on your own feet within just days, bearing in mind that the MRI did show a lesion?

The hospital wants to send her home, saying it's psychosomatic, but what about the lesion? The neurologist says there can be lesions that mean nothing / nothing serious. But quite a coincidence to have these debilitating symptoms too, and a leasion. I am so scared and worried over her, and it seems she's not being taken seriously.

Thank you for reading my post.

 
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:03 PM   #2
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Re: Dramatic symptoms, MRI shows 1 lesion

Hi AFSparrow,

I have no input but I pray your sister gets better and finds answers soon.

 
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:08 PM   #3
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Re: Dramatic symptoms, MRI shows 1 lesion

AFSparrow, Welcome.

I am perplexed that the ER did not arrange for an MRI when the CT came back clear. As to the neuro "This was followed by a lumbar pucture test the same day that came back negative for MS-related signs." There are NO SIGNS for MS. While 85% of Msers who have had an LP (not all get one) have O-bands, the presence of O-bands does/can demonstrate the presence of demyelination OR NOT!

Muddy waters!!

Are any of the neurologists MS Specialists? MS Specialist will or should follow the Revised McDonald Criteria to diagnose MS. If this is not your sister's case, find an MS Specialist. A single lesion could be the cause, but there may also be anxiety accompanying her. An MS Specialist is best equipped to assist.

As to the vomiting, I have had my share of vertigo and the woozies, but never once vomited. As to how to answer them when they say it is all in her head.....statistically it is in her head. Most of my lesions are in my head....

Keep up the fight because you need definitive answers.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:10 PM   #4
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Re: Dramatic symptoms, MRI shows 1 lesion

BTW AFSparrow, My LP results have only been "normal" even though I have had MS for over 35 years.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:00 PM   #5
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Re: Dramatic symptoms, MRI shows 1 lesion

AFSparrow,
Im sorry your sister is going through all this. Im glad you found us...

MS can come on suddenly, but when it does, there are things to see which back up what is going on...for instance, one lesion- couldnt possibly be causing that many problems, and one lesion, isnt enough to get a MS dx. Also, just so you know, lesions can be caused by lots of things. Infection, prior head trauma, even migrane headaches can leave lesions...

An LP wasnt going to help in this case, unless they were looking to rule out Meningitis- the only conclusive test that would have made sense.

Anxiety can cause every single symptom which you listed, although it doesnt sound like this is an example of anxiety....it sounds like your sister has something going on...and at this point, she needs to be seen by a better, more educated, Neuro who has some compassion and is wiling to spend some time on this.

A MS specialist will run more tests than you can imagine and those tests will either point towards MS or dictate where else she should be looking, but at this point, I would request an MS specialist. Whos to say that the last neuro you saw didnt specilize in Strokes- or Dementia- or Parkinsons disease?

Most lesions, as the neuro told you, are meaningless......and MS specific lesions are specific in size, placement and shape... Did your sister have the MRI of both the brain and Cspine? Was it done with and without contrast? If not, it should be...contrast will pick up things that without it, might be missed..

Im really sorry you are both going through this.....dont give up and see if you can find her a referrral to a MS specialist. If you dont know where to look, the MS society in your area can help you by giving you some names..

Nikki
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:52 AM   #6
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Re: Dramatic symptoms, MRI shows 1 lesion

Hi AFSparrow
Am not an expert but can only give some hints based on my experience.

When your sister was seen at hospital in ER did they run extensive blood tests?
I think that they normally do this to rule things out rather than just looking for something wrong. Also has she been seen by an ENT consultant ? it could be that she has something going on with her inner ear.

I had terrible vertigo/diziness for weeks which I thought was ms related but turned out I had an inner ear problem.

I hope that your sister gets some answers soon as stress and anxiety seems to make everything worse.

Maxine

 
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:25 AM   #7
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Re: Dramatic symptoms, MRI shows 1 lesion

Thank you everyone for your replies. It's a very good point that she should be seen by an MS-specialist. I have looked up 2 in her area now.

It also occurred to me that perhaps she only has a couple of "real" symptoms from the lesion, such as the numbness in her face/mouth and the double vision in the eye, and the vertigo and nausea is anxiety triggered... Until the lesion was discovered I was hoping it would be vestibular neuritis.

Another question: if her symptoms are indeed MS, have I understood it correctly that these will dissipate (like the double vision) if and when she goes into remission, even though the damage is irreversible/there is no cure? Is it because your brain readjusts?

 
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:22 AM   #8
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Re: Dramatic symptoms, MRI shows 1 lesion

AFSparrow,
you asked " if her symptoms are indeed MS, have I understood it correctly that these will dissipate (like the double vision) if and when she goes into remission, even though the damage is irreversible/there is no cure? Is it because your brain readjusts?"

Symptoms come and go....unless there is permanent nerve damage. If a nerve in the brain is damaged, it wont regenerate, and sometimes numbness is permanent. I have this problem- my onset symptom was waking up with numb fingers/ hand and 8 years later, its still numb. Vision, usually does correct itself. The optical nerve is different....Another amazing thing about the brain is that when a nerve is damaged, the brain will look for new pathways to send a signal....so even though a nerve is permanently damaged, if there is another way to get the signal where it needs to go, the brain will find it. Its hit or miss whether or not these things will ever stop, or come back again.

Its not likely that your sister is going to get a MS dx right now, if she only has one lesion; however, as I had asked you before - were the MRIs performed correctly? With and without contrast, of the brain and Cspine? Lesions can hide in both places....also, was the lesion actually demonstrative of a MS lesion? IF the neuro didnt think it was significant, it may have been a very old lesion resulting from something many years ago.

Your sister is in a difficult situation. Its going to take some extensive testing which will be ongoing for awhile. More than likely, she isnt going to get an instant diagnosis...now the bigger question is how much of this is anxiety?

You should have her see a good opthamologist as soon as possible as well. Get her eyes checked out by a very good medical doctor. A Neuro-opthamologist would be even better, if you can find one in the area.

Keep us posted.

Nikki
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:22 AM   #9
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Re: Dramatic symptoms, MRI shows 1 lesion

Quote:
Originally Posted by AFSparrow View Post
Thank you everyone for your replies. It's a very good point that she should be seen by an MS-specialist. I have looked up 2 in her area now.

It also occurred to me that perhaps she only has a couple of "real" symptoms from the lesion, such as the numbness in her face/mouth and the double vision in the eye, and the vertigo and nausea is anxiety triggered... Until the lesion was discovered I was hoping it would be vestibular neuritis.

Another question: if her symptoms are indeed MS, have I understood it correctly that these will dissipate (like the double vision) if and when she goes into remission, even though the damage is irreversible/there is no cure? Is it because your brain readjusts?
The real symptoms could all be due to the lesion, or could all be due to anxiety, OR a mix. On top of this conundrum, if MS is involved, is the anxiety part of the MS or is it separate. There are too many variables and this is why an MS Specialist will be in the best position to help your sister. MS can indeed cause vertigo which could indeed cause the nausea. Though I have never vomited, it does not mean that my experience is or will ever be the same as your sister should she have MS.

I think that is a great thing to get her to see an MS Specialist. Your sister will be able to exit limbo land with her sanity intact! The journey to the diagnosis can be stressful and often times the patient is left thinking themselves to be crazy. Each patient should know that MS and Anxiety, even if separate, or another MS mimicry are quite real. The symptoms are real and can be quite debilitating. Your sister needs to find a way to stay strong. You might need to help her in this task. It is not easy and there will most certainly be a grieving process. Avoid any and all pity and remain firm. Indulge in some sibling relaxation. De-stressing is important.

I am glad you are there for your sister. Watch your own health as you can wear yourself down too. There is a caregiver board on this site too.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:40 AM   #10
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Re: Dramatic symptoms, MRI shows 1 lesion

Thank you again.

The MRI was done with contrast, and I just learned that the singular lesion was found in the cerebellum.

She is still in the hospital, her vertigo and balance problem is so bad that she can't walk on her own at all. She is in another country so getting information through my parents etc is frustrating. But I am flying over in a couple of weeks myself.

I will have my parents to get her checked by an ophtalmologist as well. She may be able to the the MS specialized nero on Monday.

It's a good reminder that MS diagnosis will take time, we will not get it right now. Maybe I should calmly remind her about that too.

I really appreciate what you all do on this board. I wish you a good weekend!

 
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:00 AM   #11
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Re: Dramatic symptoms, MRI shows 1 lesion

AFSparrow,

Depending upon which country she is in, it may be difficult to get the proper diagnosis. I am glad you located 2 MS Specialists. You might want to print a copy of the Revised McDonald Criteria to take with you. This is the accepted international standard for diagnosing MS.

Do let us know if we can help further. With the internet, you can reach us when you are over there, hopefully!!
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