| | cerebral palsy / multiple sclerosis?
Please bear with me for this longish post....
I was diagnosed with right sided spastic hemiplegia Cerebral palsy at 10 years old. I wasn't told of this until 16, but didn't have much concern (aside from being bothered by not being told earlier) because it was not affecting me much at all, just a very slight limp when I was tired or very mild tremor in the hand. I could never be a jock, but oh well, lol. Still I was active in sports like tennis, cross country, and swimming growing up.
Fast forward to 26 years old. I started to have lower back pain when standing, with shooting pains in the legs and slight burning in the feet during customer service work. Then came fatigue, to the point where I could not work three shifts (days) in a row. So, I luckily was able to switch to desk jobs.
At 27 (last year), I started to have more noticeable fatigue than before. This was accompanied by increased weakness/tremor in both arms and legs. Also, I would go through intense 'spells' of arthritis and leg weakness/spasm with numbness/tingling/electric shocks that would come and go, but each time I would not fully recover. It would be 1-2 days of intense symptoms and then subside, with fatigue afterwards, recovery taking sometimes as long as 1-2 weeks. On a side note, bladder urgency also became more noticeable.
Several times over the past year or so, flare-ups would be accompanied by a bout of relatively intense spasticity. Also, intermittent eye pain (which feels like pressure) comes and goes.
Because of these symptoms, I had to quit my last job. Now, at 28, it has become more difficult for me to walk, and I use a cane or scooter in stores.
My doc says that Cerebral palsy can't get worse, but perhaps it is aging with cerebral palsy that is bringing these symptoms on. Even so, two docs that i've seen so far who are trying to help (one neuro and my new general prac) think it could be multiple sclerosis.
I got an mri (without contrast) that showed periventricular leukomalacia, ventricular lesions or brain damage common to cerebral palsy.
And in all honesty, the research that I've done on websites and asking people with cerebral palsy online, none have had such a rapid functional decline at such a young age, altho i guess technically it *can* happen.
I am concerrned about the tests that are done for multiple sclerosis that I might have to go through soon. Are the evoked potentials very painful? I'm sure a spinal tap is no fun. Is there any way these can be avoided while a diagnosis is made? I am *very* sensitive to pain.
The other confusing part is that I've also been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, tho I don't know if that was a grab bag diagnosis by my ex family doc who just wanted to label what was going on with something.
Thanks for your help in this! Also, would an MRI with contrast be more helpful?