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vanjaradic 10-19-2003 03:18 PM

loss of senses...whole body numbness
I'm writing this question because medical service is very poor in my country.I'm a twenty years old student in collage of electric science,living in Bosnia.I've first noticed certain symptoms five years ago...I was on school excursion,and i didn't sleep for whole two days.After I finally got my sleep I felt strange when I woke up.I've felt lightheaded for like a few days,and it all got back to normal(but it wasn't really normal).After that Iíve noticed that my senses(touch at first) are slightly numbed. At first I didnít paid much attention to it. But later the symptoms got stronger and stronger. At first Iíve noticed reduction in my senses after I didn't had much sleep(example: I was at the new year celebration party and stayed awake till 7 am).Throughout the years the symptoms started to increase, at first slowly...but in the last 6 months the symptoms become to grow more rapidly,so Iíve experienced changes of senses in a daily basis. The symptoms seem to be less noticeable in the morning, but as the day progresses it becomes more evident(like the nervous system starts to get fatigued is some way).And also I have some sporadic tremors of many muscles including the eye twitching.
So Iíve decided to see a neurologist...about this symptoms.So...then I was so dissapionted,because the doctor just checked my reflexes and motoric functions,and said that the neurological exam is normal(which seemed to be very unprofessional).Than said that I must see a psychiatrist(he thought I was a hypochondriac...that I was simulating my symptoms),of course the psychiatrist determined that the hypochondria was not the case after many tests.So after I did an EEG scan,and the electrical activity of my brain showed normal behaviour.I'm not sure that we even have an MRI in our hospitals.So...i'm confused, Iím having symptoms that are progressing in time,the doctors don't believe me,my parents don't believe that Iím actually having this problems(they are thinking that Iím simulating this. So I could avoid the final exam in physics...), and I need any help I can find to find the cause of these symptoms. This is a desperate measure...thanks in advance

deeg1 10-21-2003 11:00 PM

I've had similiar problems. I'm a 30 year old graduate student. My symptoms all started after a long night in front of the computer. Pain and tingling started in my upper back. To make a long story short, the strange sensations spread and eventually my whole body felt desensitized. I saw a neurologist-he thought I was causing the symptoms myself-He prescribed an anti-deppressant caused trazodone (he didn't tell me it was an anti-depressant nor did he tell me that he thought I was causing my own symptoms until the third visit). He told me initially that some how my nerves were out of sync and this medication would help. I had a strange reaction to the prescription drug which caused my symptoms to get worse- I kept complaining about the severe side effects but I was kept on the medication. Now even though I've been off the medication for two months and I have a terrible pressure sensation in my head as well as tingling and numbness that started only after I took the medication. I've seen two psychologists who did not think that this was caused by stress or a psychiatric condition. In fact they urged me to seek a second opinion. I saw a new neurologist who actually did tests but nothing is ever found (I had a brain MRI-I am having a spine MRI tommorrow). He thinks that it is definitely a physical problem and that stress over not knowing exactly what is causing the problem is making it worse. Although my symptoms were made worse by the side effects of the prescription drug, I still have the initial symptoms that are remarkably similiar to yours. I think you should be agressive in regards to your treatment-I think that doctors can not stand problems that they can't solve and are extremely quick to write them off to stress. Have you taken any prescription drugs that you suspect may have caused your symptoms or worsened them? At present, I am still teaching at my university as well as taking a class-no matter how bad I feel I refuse to allow whsatever it is affecting me to stop me-plus I have to work, I have two children. My husband and colleagues have been extremely supportive- initially my parents reacted in the same way that yours did-that chalked it up to stress. They are much more concerned and supportive now.

deeg1 10-21-2003 11:42 PM

I just wanted to add that the first neurologosist I saw came to same conclusions after doing the motor tests that you described. He was also very unprofessional--and got very angry when I questioned him and complained about the side -effects of the medication. Please see a new neurologist. You can find someone to take your symptoms seriously. I'm glad I found your posting- I've never heard of anyone with symptoms and experiences that were so similiar to mine. There is a condition called fibromyalgia- which covers many of the symptoms you have described-my new neurolgist suggested that I might have it (there are no definitive tests for it), but he wants to do more tests because of the insidous nature of my symptoms. It could have to do with the nerves in your spine- damage from repitive positions- sitting bent over continously. I saw a chiropractor who suggested that misalignment of mould also be the cause. Unfortunately, you can't tell for sure without an MRI- and even then it is difficult to determine soft tissue damage. I can keep you posted and tell you what I've already been tested for if you're interested.By the way, I first started getting my symptoms about six months ago.
There are several diseases that you might be intersted in getting tested for they all effect the nervous system and can cause the symptoms that you have--I've been tested for all of them and nothing was found--but I would strongly suggest them because they are the tests the new neurologist ordered.Here's a list: Lyme disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseaese such as lupus, rhumatiod athritis, regular athritis, Vitamin B defencies (common among vegetarians and those on low protein diets), shingles if you have had chicken pox-but this generally affects elderly people and there is always a chicken pox like rash, late stage syphillis, multiple sclrosis (generally an MRI or lumbar puncture is needed).

slyJohn 10-22-2003 12:46 PM

I'm a 20 year old majoring in electrical engineering. it doesn't sound like any of our majors are easy. thus, one diagnosis you could consider right now is anxiety like myself. i know it's not easy to accept that but it could be occuring subconsciously. for the past several months i have been having twitches all over my body. ive been to the neurologist several times, had an MRI of my brain, and MRI of my back, an EMG of my leg (cause it hurts for some reason) and some blood work done. everything normal. i refuse to accept i am perfectly healthy but nothing can be found wrong. i have had many other tests recently all normal. a number of things could cause your symptoms such as a hormone imbalance. if it makes you feel better, get some thyroid studies done and what not. your neurologist is simply ruling out anything serious wrong. i doubt you have a brain tumor or anything like that. perhaps he is wrong, maybe something may be causing your symptoms, but it may not be serious and something that will pass. an MRI would relieve you of worries i am sure, if you can get one somehow. if your symptoms were more sudden, i would be concerned, but you said this all started from not getting enough sleep one day. try to get some more rest.

scotland79 10-22-2003 03:10 PM

Slyjohn.... just because nothing has been found doesnt mean you suffer from anxiety, What cannot be seen by the medical profession, anxiety is their usual diagnosis. You know your body and there are many strange illnesses out there

vanjaradic 10-22-2003 04:01 PM

I admitÖIím a little bit under stress these days,it actually feels you are loosing control over your own life,and you canít do anything Ďbout that.I donít sound too drastic,do I? I really need my parents support on this(which Iím definitely not getting). They say ďwe believe in doctors opinionĒ,and when I say that Iím concerned about how severe this symptoms could be(or how severe is the cause of the symptoms),they say that Iím not competent to diagnose myself.Even talking bout my symptoms is too abstract for my parents,and they couldnít possibly imagine how it feels likeÖto be experiencing this.BecauseÖto them, all my behaviors are totally normal(my reasoning still works perfectly,my memory is ok,I have no trouble with my movementsÖetc).
I will try better to describe this abstract feelings I have: it feels like a passageway between the brain and the nerves is narrowing in some way(it correlates to your opinion that it could be the damage of the nerves in spine.What kind of test are used to determine this? MRI scan maybe?) . Feels like much less information is transferred to the brain.Iíve subconsciously ignored these symptoms(they were less intense then) when they followed me thru all of the high-school educational phase,that lasted for 4 years.But after I graduated my high school,my condition started to be very unpleasant.I had much trouble concentrating on the school tasks,and eventually the studying at night become impossible.I didnít want to tell anyone about my condition because I had strong urge to continue with my ďnormalĒ life.Even now Iím trying to have a ďnormalĒ know,hang out with my friends(they donít know Ďbout these problems),having fun,trying not to think bout this.
The neurologist didnít prescribe me any medications,just told me to go straight to the psychiatrist.He was very arrogant when I argued with him that I couldnít possibly simulate these symptoms.My argument was logical: if my condition is worsening when I donít have much sleep,there must be a physical problem, causing this.I am pretty sure about this.Donít know what could be the next step in my treatment.My circumstances are much different from yrs.You see..I live in a very undeveloped country,that doesnít invest much in medicine.So we donít have much neurologists to choose from,but I will try my best,because my future is at risk(I donít knowÖwhat will be the final result of this sensory reduction Iím experiencing. To be honest Iím too afraid to think of the outcome). I think that reasonable ďnext stepĒ for me is to ask for an MRI of head and spine area(like u did).
I would really appreciate if you could keep me informed of the progression in your treatment.

vanjaradic 10-22-2003 04:13 PM

Iím not suffering from insomniaÖI do get enough sleep on regular basis.My opinion: anxiety is not the case because generally, depression wasnít involved during past several years.I do consider myself a mentally stable person.The psychiatrist could have noticed,the anxiety problems...if they actually were present.

deeg1 10-23-2003 01:27 PM

I understand some of your frustration, but you are correct-your options seem to be much more limited. I have some questions for you. I believe you said that your sense of touch was different. Do you mean that certain areas of your skin are numb and tingling. Also do you feel pressure sensations and or tingling inside your head-on any part of your back or neck? I also don't believe that my symptoms can be all chalked up to stress or anxiety. However, this whole situation is probably causing you to stress out, worry, and be anxious. I think because I have had so many tests-and nothing has been found-a certain level of anxiety has decreased. My brain mri and all of the tests that I suggested you get-all came out negative-(my spine mri was rescheduled to next week).
Doctors have such a hard time dealing with symptoms that they can't figure out that they immediately blame stress or anxiety. I truly think that this is some kind of pressure being put on nerves in my spine-but this is an extremely tricky diagnosis. Initally i felt after I got a deep tissue massage-but then I went to see a chiropracter (a friend who had numbness and tingling on the right side of her body was healed after several visits) Anyway he manipulated my spine and tried accupressure and my symptoms increased instead of decreasing-he told me to go back to my neurologist and ask for an mri of my spine-he had also seen several people with similiar head-neck symptoms that had taken the same medication that I had. I have no trouble whatsover sleeping. in fact lying down makes me feel better-my symptoms are not as intense. I honestly believed as I mentioned to you before that this could be damage for continusly leaning over- I'm in my tenth year of college and I spent countless hours bent over writing and grading papers. I haven't lost my ability to reason-but I am slightly slower than I was before-It takes me a little longer sometimes to put ideas together-but my husband has assured me it is nothing obvious. The psychologist I saw (To deal with the physical symptoms and the trouble they were creating-not because the symptoms were suspected to have mental origins) told me that people with chronic headaches and pressure sensations inside the head often suffer from short term memory problems-she explained that this was temporary and would go away when the pronblem did--it occurs because your brain is focusing on the odd sensations-essentially your brain is distracted by your symptoms. I look normal-I act normal-I just don't feel normal. People I have told about my symptoms have mentioned that they never would have guessed while others have mentioned that I often look like I'm in pain. Until what is wrong with you is actually discovered, there are things that can help you deal with the odd sensation (or lack of) as well as any nerve pain you might have--BIOFEEDBACK for example. Right now I am taking a drug called NEUROTIN (I resisted taking any medication for several months after the strange reaction I had to the last one) anyway this is a prescription drug used to treat epilepsy but my neurologist says that he and other doctors have had some sucess treating nerve pain and odd nerve sensations such as numbness and tingling-and he has also said that sometimes whern there is a nerve trauma-sometimes the other nerves in your body can get out of whack-and this might be able to reset them.(again not due to a psychological reason causing anxiety-but a physical trauma to a nerve or nerve network) DO NOT TAKE ANY MEDICATION WITHOUT DISCUSSING IT WITH A DOCTOR-THIS MEDICATION IS NOT WITHOUT SIDEEFFECTS. and after two weeks it is only providing slight relief. If you can not find another neurologist-try seeing a different family doctor or general doctor-go over your symptoms-explain the concerns about your spine (a simple xray will not not show nerve damge or a nerve that is compromised due to pressure applied to it). If you can't get an MRI at this point-see if it is possible to get a CT skan of your brain-In the meantime do not let a doctor talk you into taking anti-deppressant drugs-unless you truly feel that this could be the route of your problems (and what what you've said-it doesn't think so) As far as your parents are concerned---a firmly believe that we are often better judges of what is going on in our bodies as medical doctors. I don't know what to tell you about dealing with them-this is why I would also suggest seeing a pyschologist-(not a pyschiatrist) you may need someone to discuss your frustrations with--and thay may also have some ideas about how to deal with them. I see a pyschologist on campus-is it possible that your university might have one? I hope that some of this is some help--and I do relalize that you do not have acess to alot of the testing and doctors that I do-just keep doing the best you can and I'll keep you informed if they find anything--Denise

slyJohn 10-23-2003 07:58 PM

[quote]Originally posted by lyndsay1979:
[b]Slyjohn.... just because nothing has been found doesnt mean you suffer from anxiety, What cannot be seen by the medical profession, anxiety is their usual diagnosis. You know your body and there are many strange illnesses out there[/b][/quote]

this i understand; my mom works at a hospital and i hear of things like this all the time. there are things a lot of people get that cannot be explained therefore anxiety is a temporary diagnosis to help relieve the worries like perhaps in this guy's case; for others anxiety is a real diagnosis. im just telling this guy based on my experience thus far and i have come to understand that anxiety is very tricky to the mind. but i do believe anxiety, the majority of the time, has an underlying cause to it. sometimes it cannot be explained like in my case but it passes over time. basically i am saying things like this don't always have to be some fatal illness. browse the threads among this forum and notice how many of these people who start these threads get similar symptoms that cannot be explained but pass over time. now im not saying i agree with your neurologist and that you are overreacting (i do want you to get as many tests done as you can) but i'm just trying to give you something positive to think about for now. just try to think on the bright side for now. things like this can be caused from simply not eating right or an unnkown allergic reaction.

seeing that you are from a country that doesn't have uptodate medical technology, i can understand your worries. you are probably very smart, smarter than most around you, and just too much knowledge that it is creating your worries. i'm not really sure what your options are. ask your doctor if MRIs are available. I would first have an MRI of your brain and then your back. I would also get bloodwork done. if your numbness is occuring sporadically, then i doubt the MRI of your back would show anything. MRI of the brain and bloodwork is most important then. but furthermore, it is very very rare to find anything abnormal in the brain at your age. i predict it will be all normal, but keep us updated and stay positive.

[This message has been edited by slyJohn (edited 10-23-2003).]

vanjaradic 10-25-2003 04:32 PM

Iím not saying that these symptoms are caused by some fatal illness or a tumor,Iím just open to all of the possibilities.
What worries me most,is that my numbness is not occurring sporadically, and itís not localized to any part of my body.I mean my whole body is affected in equal level.I would feel much better if the numbness was occurring in just one part of my body(leg,handÖ),but thatís not the case.All my senses are reduced(not just touch,I just noticed that first).I mean every information that brain perceive from all the sensory nerves is degraded.Including my sense of pain,taste,feelings of hunger,perception of sounds(for an example: I have to really concentrate on music,when I want to completely recognize sound ),Iím not sure that my vision is impaired,because its so hard to determine that. Also Iím too sensitive to bright light,especially strobes.
When I say that my symptoms are not occurring sporadically,I mean that Iím feeling numbness all the time(my condition doesnít get any better),it just ďdropsĒ to a lower level (when I donít have enough sleep),and stays constant until next degradation.Iíve experiencing a pressure sensation in my head(often followed by slight ringing in my ears) from time to time,but thatís very rarely. One time(before couple of months) I also had a strange itching all over my body(that was not localized),every single part of my body itched, it lasted for about 2 min. and suddenly stopped.
I did some of the blood work,and only irregularity was the increased level of lymphocytes in the blood differential.Iím definitely going to do some more blood analysis as soon as I see my family doctor.Iím planning to see a doctor after this weekend,and now it feels like Iím starting from the beginning.Iím just hoping that I donít get tired explaining my symptoms over and over again.cause they are so hard to describe.I have a feel that the doctors would take me more seriously if I talked about life on other planets, rather than just describing my condition. Terrible irony,I know.
Everybodyís sayin that my condition is very oddÖthatís all I get for now.

deeg1 10-26-2003 08:57 AM

now that you've elaborated a bit more--the whole body numbness that you described is the same I have. I have had the whole body itching as well as leg itching etc. The whole body numbness never changes is always there-Ive kind of just learned to live with it because I'm more concerned with the pressure sensation in my head--which oddly feels better when I'm laying down. Keep me posted on the blood work- were you told what the increase in Lymphocites could mean?

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