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questions about diagnosis and Dr. referral

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Old 12-24-2004, 11:21 AM   #1
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deenie HB User
questions about diagnosis and Dr. referral


I am 42 y/o female. Since college I remember having muscle spasms/pain below my right shoulder blade. I was told in grade school that I had mild scoliosis. Since that time, it's gotten worse but is sporadic - sometimes it's every month - other times it's much less. When I felt stressed over the last few years, it would then sometimes "buzz" or tingle before going into a spasm in the days following. Over the past few mos, I've felt it also under my left shoulder blade from time to time. Now, I've also had 2 children in the past 2 yrs so now I have a 30+lb 22 mo old and 20+ lb 6 mo old. Needless to say, my heavy lifting and stress level has gone up considerably. I feel the tingling and/or pain almost daily.

The newest occurrence is pins and needles in my right shin area that lasted about a week or so. It's still not right and feels just "weird" - kind of heavy, just different and that's been for over 2 mos. Also, I've noticed the underside of my left pinky toe is numb as well as a 2 inch patch on the front area of my right heel. I think I've had that before but never noticed it. Not sure.

Went to a neuroligist and she ordered bloodwork to rule out Lyme, chol., thyroid issues, connective tissue diseases, etc. Also, 2 xrays- thoracic and lumbar areas. She was thinking it could be a disc issue. I asked about MS and she says that's always a consideration in a woman my age. That scares me to death. She said she's very conservative and that's why she didn't send me for an MRI.

Well, the bloodwork was normal and so were the xrays. I brought up MS again and she said she wants to "rule out demyelination" so is ordering an MRI of spine and thoracic areas. When I asked her if I could wait until I'm done nursing my baby (few more mos), she said yes and even said I could wait to see if I had any more symptoms. She said it could still be a disc issue that the xray didn't see, an unknown virus that affected the nerves, etc. Basically she didn't commit to anything and didn't know.

When I was pg with my son a couple of yrs ago I had seen this neur because several times I had seen squiggly lines that lasted a few seconds during my last trimester. She attributed it to possibly an ocular migraine and the opthalmologist said it was probably that too - due to all the increased blood circulation. I would assume if it were ON, the opthal could see it when he looked at my eyes. The opthalm did a very thorough exam. Also, I never had it since and not even with the pg of my daughter in the year following. I do get migraines though although this was different. It didn't block my vision and usually happened when I got up from bending over. I'd see these squiggles and then they were gone.

All of this has me panicked. I don't want to be spinning my wheels chasing a dx since I had two children under the age of 22 months. A few mos shouldn't make a difference and I'd like to research this as much as possible. I live in NJ and would like to go to a Dr. who specializes in this somewhere in NY/NJ. Any suggestions? I know it's a hard thing to pinpoint but I want to go to the best so I know if it's even MS that I'm dealing with. Thank you so much...

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Old 12-26-2004, 09:21 PM   #2
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Re: questions about diagnosis and Dr. referral

I live in New York and I go to the MS Care Center at NYU Medical Center/Hospital for Joint Diseases. My doctor is the chief of neurology at NYU and the director of the MS center. His name is Dr Joseph Herbert. He's very good. If anyone can diagnose you (or hopefully rule it out) he can.

The numbness and tingling that you are describing could certainloy be from a disc problem like your doctor said (are you having any other back problems?) or it could be from MS. The best way to tell if it is worth investingating further is to get the MRIs that your doctor ordered. Does she want it with contrast? )why else would you be waiting until aftet you are through nursing? )

Oh, my doctor also has an office in New Jersey. I'm just not sure where exactly.

Last edited by purple2067; 12-26-2004 at 09:22 PM.

Old 12-27-2004, 07:52 AM   #3
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Re: questions about diagnosis and Dr. referral

hi there i, i have similar symptoms and waiting for mri, it is scary the thought of ms, aprilx

Old 12-27-2004, 10:20 AM   #4
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purple2067 HB Userpurple2067 HB Userpurple2067 HB User
Re: questions about diagnosis and Dr. referral

I was terrified too, when I got the diagnosis. Right away, when people hear MS, they think the worst. Don't do that. Don't think the worst. With the advancement of new medications, MS has really become something that you can live with and manage. But you've got to have the right doctor. You must see a neurologist who specializes in MS. When I first stared having symptoms, I saw my ophthalmologist because I was having trouble seeing. I had optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve, characterized by blurring and decreased color vision). He was the one who told me to see a neurologist. I told him that there was no way I was seeing a neurologist, because I don't have MS. (deinal, denial, denial) He's my friend though, and kept insisting. So a few months later when I complained to him that I was having numbness in my mouth, he told me to at least go see my general practicioner. I did, and he made me go see a neurologist. The one who I saw told me that there was probably nothing wrong with me, and that with my symptoms he didn't even think I needed an MRI (moron!) At my insistence however, he sent me for one. The radiologist who read it knew my mom very well, and was the one to sit me down and give me the diagnosis. The neurologist said that he didn't even need to look at the MRI, if that's what the radiologist said. He just wanted to do a spinal tap and start treatment. He told me that he does treat *a few* patients with MS. Realizing that he is an idiot, I told him "I'm sorry, but I want someone who treats more than just a few." So I went on the internet and looked at the web sites for some of the major NYC hospitals. A friend of my brother works with the drug Rebif, and he was the one who hooked me up with my current doctor.

I was diagnosed when I was 22 (well, a month short of my 23rd birthday.)

Oh, deenie, I just thought I'd let you know that a lot of people have their first attack of MS while pregnant or shortly after. That's when a lot of people get their diagnosis.

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