Hey everyone, thank you for taking time to read my post. I'm a 26 year old mom, with a 16 month old son. I am breastfeeding. I've been having some concerning symptoms for about the last 10 months or so. The symptoms seem like they started when my son was starting to wean from nursing full time to only a few times per day. He is currently nursing twice a day.
It started with tingling fingers and right foot. I went to a doctor right away, and he told me it was due to nursing positions and hormones. He told me "I'm not concerned that it's MS". And that sent me into an anxiety spiral like one I've never experienced. I became semi-certain that I had MS and long story short, I ended up getting an MRI.. all normal. The symptoms continued, so I sought a second opinion who decided that my stress level and lack of sleep was causing the tingling and other symptoms. I don't feel overly stressed, although my symptoms stress me out. (Chicken/egg?) She told me to check back in three months. Three months pass. Still experiencing symptoms. Again, doctor diagnosed that it was due to stress, hormones and an average of 5 to 6 hours of sleep a night.
Pressure around right eye in sinus areas (CT scan of sinuses was normal).
Persistent cold symptoms (feel like I've been "stuffy" and sore throat off and on for the last 5 months+)
Tingling right foot, and occasionally pinky and ring finger areas)
Random pin ***** tingling around body (an area will tingle for a few hours then stop, this migrates around my body)
Facial tingling (even my eye has tingled - gross feeling).
Visual disturbances (floaters, blue sparkles, "starburst" type things that show up when I blink and then fade)
Unable to wear contacts longer than 4 hours or so due to dryness and discomfort, vision often seems blurry
Dizziness (often feel like I am off balance despite not moving)
Ear ringing (I hear frequencies that last a few seconds then stop)
Some deep ear pain
Joint pain in hips, shoulders, wrists, fingers..
Muscle twitching, (migrates around body)
And my latest.. a lump in my throat that comes and goes... really stays if I obsess over it.
I have a referral to a neurologist and haven't made the appointment yet.
I've seen a ENT NP who had me take augmentin (safe with nursing) to take care of a sinus infection if I had one, then had me get the sinus CT scan, which was normal.
I've had blood tests, all normal. Thyroid tests, normal. Blood pressure and weight are healthy. Vitamins levels tested, all normal (although Vit D was at 31.. pretty low but not deficient).. Normal MRI..
I did start taking a 5000 iu Vit D supplement as I live in MN and rarely see the sun, nor do I eat foods that would help with this. I also started taking some calcium chews daily. Those are my only supplements.
I am starting to feel a little crazy and I'm not sure what I can do to get over these feelings. My husband and I would like to start trying for another baby in about 6 months, and I'm terrified that if having one child made me feel like this, what will happen with the second? My son is amazing, and I love being a mom, I just want to be able to enjoy it without being distracted by my symptoms.
I have gone to a physical therapist for the foot tingling and he gave me some exercises that have helped. I've also started going to a chiropractor that seems to find a lot of tight muscles and things out of place, but that's kind of the goal to keep me coming back (right?)
If anyone has any insight on having gone through something similar or any idea on where I should go from here I would very much appreciate your help.
So sorry to hear of all these symptoms in what should be such as wonderful time in your life as a new mother.
One thing you mentioned really stood out to me... and that was the 5-6 hours of sleep per night. As a nursing mother, and with the demands of a toddler, you really need extra sleep. I would start there, as it an easy place to do so. Is there a reason you do not sleep a full 8 hours? I would make sure to get all the rest you need, especially with your symptoms.
It sounds as if you have had lots of medical intervention without much success.
I would suggest lots of rest, lots of water, good clean food and see if that does not help. A good multi vitamin might help too, as you mention your diet might be short in some areas.
Stress is also a very powerful component in good health. Is there a way to ease that stress though exercise, or relaxation techniques? Mediation is wonderful. Is your husband helpful at home, and do you have plenty of outlets for your own pleasure without your child? Time to be free of your responsible every second is so important to us mothers, and is often overlooked by both ourselves and our spouses.
Just remember, that childbearing and raising is a very difficult job under the best of situations, but it is up to us to provide proper attention to both the physical and mental aspects that motherhood entails. Be very patient and kind to yourself and I hope that will help a bit.
Thank you so much for your response. I don't really have a good excuse for not sleeping. I've always naturally been a night owl and somehow always end up staying up too late to finish some project or another. The nights I do try to go to bed early, my son may still be up as early as 4 am.
My husband is supportive, when he is home, but unfortunately he travels a lot for work and will often be out of town for a few nights in a row. I work (from home, son still goes to daycare full time) as a marketing manager 40+ hours a week, and I frequently pick up freelancing writing or design jobs. I'm also taking a few classes to make a career change to something in the medical field (potentially nursing or a PT or OT.. not entirely sure yet) so that I can hopefully work less to make the same amount I am now. Being that I work from home, I don't get a lot of interaction with people, so it can get pretty lonely.
I do work out (run and lift weights) a few times a week, but my aching joints (and muscles) afterwards add to my worries. I feel like it takes a lot longer for my muscles to recover from a workout than it used to. I have been thinking of going to some yoga a few times a week in addition (or instead).
Are 8 hours a night the recommended sleeping amount? Does anyone know if sleeping a few hours, waking up to tend to a little on, then sleeping a few more hours would also lead to sleep deprivation as well? I've had nights where I would sleep 5 hours, wake up for a half an hour, then sleep another 2 or 3 hours, then get up for the day. So some nights I technically got about 8 hours, but still didn't feel rested. My little guy didn't sleep through the night (like more than 5 hours straight before needing some coaxing back to sleep) until he was about 13-14 months old...
Maybe I should seek counseling? Every time I Google a symptom.. it leads me to an anxiety board, so it seems like that could be the underlying cause of all my "issues". I would also try weaning to see if some issues would go away, but that time is one of the few moments I can get my little guy to slow down enough to give me some momma time.
Wow, what a schedule! You have a busy life, but I do understand the loneliness that finds it way in as well. I encourage you to continue to follow any leads your doctors give you, including the visit to the neuro. When we continue to experience symptoms as varied as yours are, we must continue to dig our way through all the different approaches to a cause. You may have several interacting issues that add up to this combination of symptoms. If you can peal away at the onion, the symptoms may detach from each other.
If the neuro can identify any sources of some of your issues, perhaps the rest of the puzzle can fall into place.
If anxiety or stress related symptoms can be resolved, that would solve another part of the puzzle.
If you can make an effort to focus on your sleep habits, that too may help.
We have to be our own best friends and keep after any issues we have until they are solved. We cannot let one or two doctor stop us from getting the answers we need. It takes some practice and some encouragement. Yu can always get the encouragement here. Please keep us undated.
It is good you are seeing a neurologist. I would ask for a B12 and folate level on blood if that wasn't already done. There is a very sensitive test for MS called a Visual Evoked Potential test that can show problems even before an MRI shows anything. It might be worth having that done to check out the MS question and put your mind at rest. If all that comes back ok, and symptoms persist, because of the joint pains, dizziness, muscle twitching and dry eyes, I would ask for some screening tests for autoimmune disorders, including thyroiditis, (lump in throat feeling), lupus and RA. Many people are told their symptoms are from stress because the Dr doesn't know what it is and egos prevent them from just saying, "I don't know". That would be preferrable, really, to prevent patients from feeling like they are just crazy, which you are not. Good luck with this and keep us updated please.