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shellymay 07-13-2007 06:24 AM

I have not been diagnosed with MS, but I was wondering for people who have if what I have recently been experiencing is related to MS.

I have been having trouble with one of my hands feeling like it is swollen but might not be necessarily and it is also tight and feels funny to try to make a fist. Also my legs are sore to the touch and sometimes feel swollen but I don't know that they are. They also feel tight and my ankles also feel tight and funny when I move or just sit. I have also been experiencing muscle spasms more often.

One more thing, I have also been experiencing pain in my neck shooting up behind my ears. Does anyone have neck pain?

Your help would be greatly appreciated. Doctors aren't helping me and I am trying to figure this out on my own. Thank you for your replies.


shellymay 07-14-2007 07:18 AM

Re: Swelling?
Has noone had these symptoms? Please let me know either way or if you think this is or is not related to MS. Thanks for your replies!!


KTMorra 07-14-2007 07:50 AM

Re: Swelling?
Hi Michelle

I don't know if the swelling is related to MS or not but I was just diagnosed in February of this year and I have a similar problem. I have trouble closing my right hand because it feels "tight". It is also completely numb. The same is true for both my feet. It's not unusual for me to go through the day and about mid afternoon notice that I can't see or flex my ankles because of swelling. Weird I never really put this together before.

I have multiple lesions in my spinal cord from the cervical down through the lumbar region. This is probably the cause of my numbness but the swelling part I can't explain. The heat does make it worse though.

Hope this helps a bit.

Take care

shellymay 07-14-2007 09:28 AM

Re: Swelling?

Thank you for your reply. I understand completely. I don't know if my leg or hand is swelling, if it is it is so slight that it isn't noticeable. I think that I feel like it is swelling because it is so tight and hard to move my ankle and hand. My hand and leg also feel really heavy when this occurs.

How long did it take you to get a diagnosis? I'm glad that you know what you have so that you can start doing something about it and it probably relieves your mind a little. I hope that you are doing well and thank you so much for your reply.


gina07 07-14-2007 03:07 PM

Re: Swelling?
Hi, I am new to this board. Bear with me here or just go to the end.
With regard to your hands being swollen and tight, have you been told that you have carpel tunnel? I was diagnosed with it in 98. After several months of treatment, and doing certain hand exercises, the swelling, pain, and accompaning numbness issues were under control. Since then, by avoiding too much tedious hand activities at any given time, remembering the hand exercises, and using my wrist braces at night when I have an occasional flare up, I am mostly symptom free.
I also have swelling of the ankles, more in my left than my right. I have been overweight for many years but otherwise pretty healthy until about 5 or so years ago. (I am 49) Gradually, after many diets and lots of yo yo ing with the pounds, I was determined to be pre-diabetic, my cholesterol went just past the point where the doctors wanted it, I was experiencing major leg cramps (especially in the morning), pain in the chest and back, pain in the side, not sleeping well (the more I slept, the worse I felt) and then tested for and was told I had sleep apnea, was holding water in my ankles allll the time and started on a water pill, my life long allergies became worse (started having the neck to ear pain off and on, and congestion in the ears), started into pre-menopausal/menopausal symptoms, had on and off menstrual cycles, my iron count and ferritin levels became low, and on and on and on.
My doctor could not then, nor can he now tell me why I am holding water in the ankles. However, we started with tests and elimination of possibilities. Many, many blood tests later, EMG's, Cardiograms, stress tests, sleep disorder tests, etc.. brought me to using a CPAP machine. So now my body was getting the oxygen and sleep it needed. The cramps (and the muscle aches) completely stopped (the worst cramping was one morning where my leg cramped for a solid hour--I was in pain for 2 weeks from that). Two months later I had made a lot of progress but was still having what is called mini sleeps-- when you fall asleep in the daytime for one or two seconds to several seconds. My doctor prescribed Provigil. No more mini sleeps. (I didn't mention before I was also dealing with stress--don't we all-- and depressive symptoms possibly due to the lack of sleep or the hormones) Depressive symptoms came down to a dull roar.
Then he ran tests on my heart and then did a full scale stress test. My heart is very fortunately fine. Then I went to a Gastroenterologist. He checked my liver, spleen, kidney, gallbladder, etc.. Did an abdominal sonogram and an endoscopy (down the throat and into the stomach to check the esphogus and stomach for infection, damage, ulcers, etc..). The sonogram showed a slightly enlarged liver and spleen, and one gallstone, and the endoscopy turned up an irritated stomach lining (turns out from being lactose intolerance), acid reflux, and a hiatal hernia.
You can imagine my reaction. Yikes!!! Well, in addition to all this and the doctor constantly wanting me to lose weight, and me constantly on a diet and still gaining weight, the hormones were begining to wreck havoc as well (the weight gain at this point is attributed to this).
Hang in there, I'm getting to the point soon.
I had already begun talking to the doctor about gastric bypass surgery and finally I went to the appropriate surgeon and got insurance clearance and got it done. I had the gastric bypass, the hiatal hernia, and the gallbladder taken care of laproscopically all at one time. This was nine months ago. I had to modify my diet two weeks prior to surgery, and although I gained a few pounds with swelling from surgery, I have since then lost over a hundred pounds.
Now I can get to the bottom line. About 4-5 months after surgery weight loss slowed almost to a stand still and my body was becoming run down. I was taking all the vitamins that I was supposed to (double normal after gastric bypass) and meds as well. My cholesterol problem and pre-diabetic conditions disappeared. No more carpel tunnel problems.
However, blood tests at that point revealed a low Vitamin D level. I was told to take more Vitamin D. Within a week, the scale was moving again, I was no longer run down, and felt really great. --This is not to say that you or anyone else should automatically take Vitamin D or change your vitamin regimen--never do this without talking to your doctor.-- The bottom line is that our body functions would like a well oiled machine. They run in conjuction with each other. When piece begins to slump, eventually other do also. Some people say you gain weight because you have sleep apnea, others say you get sleep apnea when you gain weight. Both are correct, it can happen either way. Vitamin D deficiency (or other vitamin deficiencys) do not come about overnight. After much research, I have found that it can take 5-15 years to become bad enough to diagnose. Vitamin D, in particular, can be absorbed by many by being in the sun for just a little while each day. But a defieciency can lead to hormonal inbalances, anemia, muscle aches and cramps, insomnia, poor immune system function, etc... Hence one becomes suseptible to other issues as I did. Immune system function in particular--can have digestinal, asthma, and allergic repercusions. Which in turn can cause the pain in the neck shooting to the ears. This is not the only reason for this type of pain.
Has your doctor done a really through blood work up on you?
Sorry to go on and on. Hope this helps somehow. My biggest problem now, it that I am still holding water in my ankles. Any thoughts?

MSNik 07-15-2007 07:20 AM

Re: Swelling?
Oh Michelle...

What you are experiencing with the "swelling feeling", in relation to MS is normal. Im having it too right hands HURT, my rings are tight, and my fingers are tingley and numb...this is typical MS thing, and is caused by the nerves in the hand. THey can be supercharged due to humidity too, so try to pay attention and notice if it is worse when you are outside, driving or just come in from outside....also, when you are driving, try putting the a/c vent directly onto your hand which is affected, i find it helps....muscle spasms, which you have, tend to cause the nerves to jump and be inflamed, they shoot right up the appendage, be it hands/arms or legs/feet. I have it in both of them..

The feeling of bending your neck is called L'Hermittes (sp?) is also caused by nerves....when you bend, and you get the sharp sensations which shoot up your neck, thats all it is..very common with MS, and very common overall...please look it up on the board and see how many people have it..there isnt much you can do for it, unless you try anti-spasticity drugs and muscle is definately worth mentioning to your neuro, and seeing what he suggests....again, nothing to worry about, scary to feel, but not life threatening..

Michelle, I dont want you to be scared. What you are dealing with is very normal....and very controllable...and like most of us, cooler weather will make you feel so much better! (Im praying for fall!). Please try to hang in to your doc about the L'Hermittes and read up on it, and see that what you are describing, thousands of others have dealt with, including myself..its similar to the MS happens, off and on...and its an MS thing.
Healthy wishes for you

shellymay 07-15-2007 01:34 PM

Re: Swelling?

Thank you so much for your reply. I didn't know whether my hands and legs were swollen or not but the feeling is gone today and I look at my legs and hands and I actually have ankles and I can tell that my legs were swollen. Is this normal? I know that I had said that it felt like they were swollen but they might not be. But they were. Is it normal to swell with MS? I will try the ac directly on them. I think the reason my legs and ankles swell so much is due to standing all day. I put in swelling ankles and legs in a search and congestive heart failure came up and scared me to death.

The pain in my neck is not when I bend it. I will just have pain in my neck that shoots up behind my ears. Is this normal? I guess it is kind of hard to answer that. MS affects people so differently and really what is normal!! HAHAHA!!! Could this be related to MS?

Thank you so much for talking with me. You really have helped me a lot since I started coming to this website. You are right the symptoms that we are experiencing is very scary but to have someone to talk with like you is awesome. I can't thank you enough and I hope that you are doing well and I hope that your hand starts feeling better. Thanks again!!!


MSNik 07-15-2007 04:08 PM

Re: Swelling?
Oh Michelle, Im glad Im helping you, cuz right now, Im falling apart myself!

Yes, both the being on the feet alot, as well as the hot weather COULD be causing the swelling...I wouldnt go overboard worrying about it unless you are really in pain and if you have any other symtpoms, high blood pressure, diabetes, things like that, then it could be something more serious....have you had blood work done in the past few months? You might start there...make sure everything is where it should be....thats a simple thing to have done. Youll feel better if you know your sugar, kidney functions and lipids are all in line...

The pain in your neck could very well be related to can be a spinal legion which is causing you can also be "one of those unexplainable MS things". Please trust me when I tell you, MS symtpoms change from person to person, and sometimes, within each of us, from week to week. Example, three weeks ago, I was complaining about something that felt like shin splints in my REALLY HURT. It stopped. Out of the, mh complaint is my left hand feeling swollen, hurting when I bend it..and intense throbbing wont go away, but it does get better on lower humidity days.

I thank you for saying Ive helped you. Its kind of the only thing which keeps me going right now. I dont feel like Im as alone, telling other people they arent alone! Im having personal issues with my husband tonight, and trust me, I feel VERY ALONE. thanks for being there....and try, really hard, not to stress....keep cool, no hot baths, no really hot showers, keep things cool-ish...if you have to take a warm shower, try to end it cooler than you started...keeping your body temp down does really help.

Keep sending out calls for help, Michelle. Ill be here!

shellymay 07-15-2007 05:06 PM

Re: Swelling?

I am so sorry for what you are going through!! If you need to talk just know that I am here for you also!! You have helped me so much, I don't think that I could ever repay you.

I have had the hand swelling and hurting and throbbing when I try to bend it. I know that it is very annoying.

You also try not to stress and remember if you need to talk I'll be here for you.


MSNik 07-16-2007 08:12 AM

Re: Swelling?
Hugs girlfriend. I sent you kudos in the other thread, where I was falling apart! Hope you have an easier week this week, physically....

shellymay 07-16-2007 03:54 PM

Re: Swelling?



moore170 08-17-2007 06:45 PM

Re: Swelling?
My feet swell considerably. My Dr. said it is because of where one of the lesions is in my brain stem. It is not as bad as you are experiencing but maybe you have a lesion in a similar spot.

Chipsgirl 08-18-2007 07:45 AM

Re: Swelling?
[QUOTE=moore170;3161918]My feet swell considerably. My Dr. said it is because of where one of the lesions is in my brain stem. It is not as bad as you are experiencing but maybe you have a lesion in a similar spot.

Does anyone have a problem with swollen lymph nodes? I asked this question before and got a few responses. I still have slight swelling in my lymph nodes in my throat, no pain just slight swelling. I hate to be a worry wart but I'm hoping my doc. isn't wrong by saying, "it's allergies". I also forgot to mention that this occured 2 mos. after the birth of my daughter and I have been off of Avonex for a little over a year. I do plan to get back on, still nursing baby though. Thanks for all of your support.

moore170 08-19-2007 01:55 PM

Re: Swelling?
I had swollen lymph nodes - they bothered me so much that since the Dr. didn't know what was causing them I had surgery to have one removed. There was nothing wrong with it when they had it sent to the lab.
I still get them and they still don't know why but I feel better knowing that it was not cancerous.

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