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  • Numbness, Blindness, Brain Swelling, Irregular Periods, etc.

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    Old 08-25-2004, 07:39 AM   #1
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    Question Numbness, Blindness, Brain Swelling, Irregular Periods, etc.

    I was wondering if anyone had any idea what these symptoms could be caused by. My friend/cousin and myself where talking last year around June, July, maybe August and I told her I was concerned about my period. It was abnormal for me (turns out it was TTP causing it). She said she hadn't had her period in months. She was concerned too. Her parents made her take a pregnancy test. Well, as close to making her as you can make a then 18 (well a bit over 18 and a half at the time) yr. old do something. Anyways, the test was negative. Well, afterwords she did have her period. It lasted for around a month. I'm not sure when she finally had her period. I just remember it lasted about a month. Anyways, my friend had been complaining even before this, that she was having problems with numbness in her butt. I wasn't too concerned about that symptom alone, although she did seem convinced that it was abnormal to feel THAT numb in her bottom. Anyways, my friend went to see a nurse practitioner about her month long period which was still going on at the time. The woman gave her some hormone pills. Not birth control pills, but some other kind of hormone pills. The nurse said that after she took them she may have another period, but things should straighten out afterwords. My friend took most of them when she noticed some vision loss in her left eye. I remember she told me that her vision in her left eye was getting blurry. She also seemed to think colors looked slightly different. She told her mom who took her to the emergency room where they could tell her nothing, except they didn't suspect the medication and she should take the 2 remaining pills and see an optometrist. So she took another pill. Her vision seemed to be getting worse though and I don't think she took the last one, because she was afraid. Anyways, her period did stop temporarily, but then she had another more normal period and when it ended she thought maybe that would be straighted out. At least she thought her period might go back to being normal for HER as she has never had very normal periods. Just more normal than that one! Anyways, her eyesight continually got worse until she went blind in her left eye. It actually happened pretty quickly. It didn't take long for total blindness to set in her left eye. I remember she had had an MRI in the emergency room and the scans showed swelling on the left side of her brain ( it was her left eye that she went blind in ). However, there was no tumor. Anyways, she has seen several optomestrists and all except for one said nothing was wrong with the eye itself. One said her optic nerve was okay too. HOWEVER, I know I am not a doctor and I am not very educated in medicine or anything of the like, BUT ANYONE could see in the MRI scans that her left optic nerve and right optic nerve looked different. One of them showed up more white and bright and the other looked a lot more dark. So I don't care what the otpometrist said, there was definetly less action in her left optic nerve. Anyways, some vision came back in her left eye, but now she says there is still this big black spot in her vision so she can see above the spot and below and to the sides of it. I think even that is blurry though. Also, her periods are still messed up horribly. She will skip them for like a month or more, then she will have her period and bleed for a month or more. She says she has very heavy blood flow ( they were always heavy, but not like this ) and that they are very heavily clotted with huge clots. The numbness which started in her buttocks, at some point during this whole ordeal spread to other parts of her body. It doesn't STAY numb, but numbness comes and goes in her legs, feet, butt, chest, neck, and I don't know where else. She also had some tingly sensations or weird electrical feelings or something, I think. She was also having headaches and feeling weak before she lost her vision. She tells me she fears for her right eye which is sometimes blurry itself. She seems to have trouble with colors just a little.... So to sum it up she lost vision in one eye, regained partial vision, but has a big blindpot in that eye and blurred vision. She had brain swelling on the same side of her head as the lost vision. She had headaches, light headedness, weakness, and faintness. She took spells where she almost blacked out on several ocassions, but I'm not sure if she ever completley passed out. She is suffering from numbness (Comes and goes I think) in legs, chest, neck, butt, feet, and I dunno where else. She has experienced tingling or something to that affect (I think she told me that she had that problem). Her already irregular, heavy, clotted periods, have become VERY irregular, skipping a month or more and lasting for a month or more. They also sometimes seem to stop only to start again. They are very heavy and she said she passes HUGE clots. I think she has to press down with her kegel muscles to pass them sometimes. This has caused her to have to take iron pills. I think I about covered it all and summarized it here. Just one more thing. Although, I think the hormone pills might have been partially to blame, I do not think they are the whole problem, because my friend was experiencing some of these symptoms before she took the medicine. I know she was feeling numb in her butt and had missed her period for months ( but wasn't pregnant) before the pills. I think she may have already been having the weak spells too. What could this be? I am almost positive that she told me she was tested for diabetes and came out negative. So that doesn't seem to be the problem. What gives?

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    Old 08-26-2004, 09:41 AM   #2
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    Re: Numbness, Blindness, Brain Swelling, Irregular Periods, etc.

    I think she should have another MRI with contrast this time. Something has got to show up there. This just sounds awful! It does sort of sound to me like MS, that should show up in an MRI.
    I am sending out positive wishes to her.

    Old 08-26-2004, 07:20 PM   #3
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    Re: Numbness, Blindness, Brain Swelling, Irregular Periods, etc.

    Thanks for the reply and the well wishes. It's appreciated. I just want to add something about her symptoms here. She said that everything looked really bright before her eyes went out. She said it was just sort of bright at first. I think she said colors looked brighter. However, it was more than that because she said it looked brighter as in lighter in the room. She said it got to the point that she couldn't tell if the light was off in the room because everything looked so bright to her anyways. Then she said it started to get dark until it - her vision - went out. I know she also said that it got blurry at some point. I think it got blurry while everything was still bright actually. She was supposed to see a doctor today, but for some reason he didn't show at the office. Had other business I guess. So she rescheduled.

    Old 02-03-2006, 12:54 AM   #4
    Anita Porpoise
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    Lightbulb Re: Numbness, Blindness, Brain Swelling, Irregular Periods, etc.

    Wind_Dancer and Pip27,

    There is a very common tumor that could be causing these problems. It is a Pituitary tumor. They are estimated to be in about a fifth of the population, but a large percentage of the people with them, live their whole lives never knowing that they have one.

    In women, they usually are found sooner then in men, so they are usually significantly smaller in women. So they rarely show up on MRIs. But when activated they can cause all kinds of bizarre symptoms.

    The easiest way to find these is by blood testing of your hormone levels. Also it is important to see an Endocrinologist......they study the glands and the Pituitary is a gland.

    My Pit tumor did not show up on an MRI, but they could see an indentation in my optic nerve and the blood test further verified it's existence. Due to 2.5 yr loss of periods, I went to five different obgyns and they all concluded that it was in my head But after one appt with an Endocrinologist, he was able to diagnose me.
    Yeah technically the gyns were right......but that was not what they meant. And how do I know that, well when I requested my records from them, the ones that checked my hormone levels, had the same results as the Endo, but didn't tell me, refer me or anything......just filed it. See an Endocrinologist.

    It is commom for the tumor to cause loss of peripherral vision and end up with tunnel vision. But after the tumor is removed or shrunken, the lost vision usually return

    Special note to Pip27:
    I have been to a zillion optometrist and optomologist (surgeon)...none of them have ever had the same results as any other.
    You should be seeing an Optomologist, not an optometrist. You said that they said that your retina, etc. were ok. Did they check your optic nerve. They should have used a machine with a camera. You would either see a polaroid of your optic nerve, or they would have a machine that downloads the picture to a pc.

    To both of you, nothing of what I wrote may relate to you, but I wanted to share this information that I've learned along the way.
    Hope the best for you both.

    Last edited by Anita Porpoise; 02-05-2006 at 08:40 AM.

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