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    Old 08-09-2009, 09:39 PM   #1
    calientepocket
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    Pain, etc....

    Posted this in General as well, wondering if anyone with MS has had similar experiences.

    After years of experiencing numerous symptoms I have just within the past week started to look at MS. After reading quite a bit I am now curious that issues that began years ago could be related to current problems.

    In 2005 was the first time I noticed numbness & tingling in my feet. It wasn't happening all the time, but often enough that it bothered me. It seemed to happen at random times, but was worse if it was cold and hurt so bad sometimes! Over the years this has continued, but I've always just attributed it to having bad circulation in my feet. Then just last weekend I started experiencing it in my hands as well and it started happening more and more, several time throughout the day. The other night it felt like my entire left arm was going numb, mostly up to my elbow. It is still bothering me as of right now, up to my elbow. It's a dull numb feeling, but it's stronger at my elbow. I also have been having a stabbing feeling in my shoulder that I do not know if is related.

    In addition to my left elbow bothering me, I have also had some very dull pain in my right knee. My arms feel heavy all the time, last night I couldn't even carry my purse it was just too much weight on top of how heavy my arms felt. I sometimes get a pulsing sensation in my arms as well, sometimes my hands twitch.

    Another problem is my back pain. I can't say for exactly how long it's been an issue, but for at least 6 years. Recently it's been worse; it's a dull pain, which started out just every once in a while but has become so frequent that it's bothering me more often that it's not. It's a tolerable pain, but it's getting worse. I don't know how to describe the pain, its like someone is twisting my spine. In my lower back I've been getting a burning feeling and the pain goes up to my neck & shoulders. The feeling in my neck is a strained, tired feeling, like my head is too heavy to hold up.

    Other problems I've experienced are very irregular bowels, but this has also been attributed to my travels. I haven't had any normalcy in my bowels since I went to Costa Rica in 2007. Last summer (2008) I started noticing blue and red spots sometimes, especially when I watched TV, and I've noticed them a few time recently. My vision has also gotten drastically worse over the past 6 months, but this could be because I don't wear my glasses all the time like I am supposed to.

    I'm just really confused with what all these problems may be. At this point the pain I have is tolerable, but I am experiencing it on a near constant basis. I'm hoping that whatever this ends up being, I can get the pain and the numbness to go away, it's starting to make life miserable.

    My boyfriend has been trying to get me to go to the doc all week, but I was just going to wait til my appt on the 10th. After barely being able to cheer for my team last night and the immense pain I am in now (squeezing feeling around my ribcage, pinching pain at the base of my spine that is shooting up my spine and my arms feeling like they weigh 50 pounds) I've decided to go into urgent care today. I've been trying to keep track of all my aches and problems today, its just that they dont stop. I'm dreading going to the doctor, but my boyfriend is going to come with me and I have to do something about this pain, just sitting here I feel miserable. So hopefully by the end of the day I'll be on my way to figuring out what is causing all this pain.

    After I wrote the above I went to the doctor, here is what I wrote after the dr. appt.

    Thursday, spent 3.5 hours at Urgent Care to find out I don't have mono, everything else is normal (except slightly low potassium) and the results of some other test on my thyroid won't be in until sometime today. The dr. told me to go home and get some rest and talk to my pcp on Monday during my scheduled physical. He told me to take Tylenol or Advil for the pain. Well today I already feel worse. The pain I was having in my left arm yesterday is now in both arms, accompanied by a sensation I can imagine feels like if all my bones turned to goo. (I first thought of Harry Potter, when he breaks his arm & one of the professors removes the bones. It was hard to just hold my arm up to drive.) In addition my left pinky and once the ring finger have had little twitching fits this morning. I don't know what I can do but wait this out til Monday when I go see my dr., but it's such a pain!

    Pain has become more frequent, but still intermittent. Most is in my elbows and back, also in thumbs, wrist. The squeezing that goes across my back and wraps around my chest is the worst.

    Thank you for reading this, and if you have anything to share, please do.

     
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    Old 08-10-2009, 09:37 AM   #2
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    Re: Pain, etc....

    I see that by your location you live in Washington. As your location gets an abundance of showers (low pressure systems) you might want to check on fibromyalgia versus MS. Your doctor can help you sort this out. I think it is great you are tracking your pain and problems. There could be some correlation between weather and your onset problems. I have MS and my seasonal problems come during weather system changes and are also temperature related. Low pressure systems do not bother me, but I have a sister with fibro and it bothers her terribly.

    If you are thinking MS, you might want to start with a neurologist with a MS specialty. If you see a family doctor, go through your symptoms and journal with him and see if you need a referral to a neurologist or a rheumatologist. My sister sees a rheumatologist who handles fibro cases.

    Good luck and do let us know the direction of your case. If you are on the way toward MS, you are certainly in the right location- HERE!! If it is fibro, there is a board for that too. Stay positive and kudos to your boyfriend for his support.
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    Old 08-10-2009, 08:02 PM   #3
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    Re: Pain, etc....

    I went to my pcp today. & informed him of my complaints. He thought maybe it could be reynauld's syndrome or a side-effect of adderall (which i don't take regularly). He told me to stop taking the adderall and no alcohol or marijuana. I got blood taken again. He is testing my potassium, SED Rate, ANA screen, Rheumatoid Factor, Immunofix Serum, Vitamin B12, Folate & a Syphilis Screen.
    Other than that he told me to try advil for pain (even though I told him it doesn't help) and to try warm compresses when my limbs go numb.

    I didn't feel so bad yesterday until about 4, then pain started in my wrists and gradually got worse. Had trouble sleeping last night. right now I'm having pains all over, fist in my right side, now in my left knee. My neck hurts, the feeling is like my head is too heavy to hold up. I feel miserable at the moment.



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    Old 08-10-2009, 08:27 PM   #4
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    Re: Pain, etc....

    Long term drug use can affect you with depression, anxiety, or other psychotic symptoms according to the research I have read. If you have depression, alcohol is only going to worsen it.

    Your doctor has taken tests and you need to await for the results while heeding the advice given.

    As with any diagnosis, your doctor needs to "filter" or "sieve" your symptoms while factoring in your lifestyle choices. Though it may seem cumbersome, eventually he should be able to ascertain your condition.
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    Old 08-25-2009, 07:59 AM   #5
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    Re: Pain, etc....

    So I am now taking Nifedipine (a calcium channel blocker that is supposed to help with the numbness) and after 5 days I have noticed no change, other than getting extremely lightheaded after taking my daily dose. I have also stopped drinking & smoking for 8 days. The more I read about MS, the more worried I become that it may be the cause of everything. I was driving back to work from my lunch break today and saw a * Disallowed website removed by hb-mod, moderator * billboard and just started crying because I have been in so much pain recently and I have no idea what the cause is. Every day I spend hours thinking about what I could be doing differently that would make it all stop. But no one can tell me what is wrong. The worst part is that my bf & friends don't get it. My bf says is frustrating that he can't help me, but what he doesn't understand is how frustrating it is to have to deal with my limbs going numb numerous times throughout the day and constant pain throughout my body. The pain also seems to be getting worse. Before I could tolerate it, but if it continues much longer or gets any worse I won't be able to. I am supposed to f/u with my pcp in two weeks. I think that at that point if I still have no improvement I will demand he refer me to a neurologist. I need some kind of answers.

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    Old 08-25-2009, 03:42 PM   #6
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    Re: Pain, etc....

    Have you tried a tepid pool in which you can immerse and exercise? When my hands get especially painful I will place them into cold water for as long as 15 minutes. It alleviates the pain for me.

    i would definitely get a referral to a neurologist if you are not seeing any progress toward a resolution.
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    Old 08-26-2009, 10:59 AM   #7
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    Re: Pain, etc....

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MSJayhawk View Post
    Have you tried a tepid pool in which you can immerse and exercise? When my hands get especially painful I will place them into cold water for as long as 15 minutes. It alleviates the pain for me.

    i would definitely get a referral to a neurologist if you are not seeing any progress toward a resolution.
    thank you for the advice. I tried taking a warm bath on Sunday night because I was having aches, but due to the Nifedipine it just made my dizziness worse. I've been reading on the boards some other symptoms I've experienced that I didn't realize could be related. I haven't had normal bowel movements in I can't even remember how long. Sometimes I am constipated (this lasted for about 3 months earlier this year) and other times I have extremely loose stools. Also, as an avid soccer fan, I go to a lot of games and cheer on my Sounders. the last few games when we were doing a Pogo (everyone jumps up and down and sings "sha-la-la-la-la la...") when I am jumping I loose bladder control and by the end my pants are soaked. extremely embarrassing, but luckily I can just pass it off as a beer getting spilled on me. I've been in contact with my doctor, letting him know about my pain & numbness, but i'm thinking I should just skip all that & see a neuro. I just don't want to sound crazy when if I go in there and say "i think i may have MS..."

     
    Old 08-26-2009, 11:30 AM   #8
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    Re: Pain, etc....

    I think that many of us have felt or been told that it was all in our head. Fortunately, when speaking to a neurologist who deals with MS, much of MS is actually in your head! Physically, that is!! Of course, I have had my mental moments too.

    Bladder problems are always touchy and as adults, quite embarrassing. I sleep with a pad below me in bed just in case. While constipation has not bothered me, frequent bowel movement definitely limits activities!! The next time you "POGO"- try some Depends or other similar items. You need not be embarrassed over something over which you have minimal control- even if only temporarily.

    It is important that your GP or PCP is aware of your Neurological visits. My GP always gets an update. I see my neuro only twice a year, but the GP I can see as needed. Getting a referral may allow you to get to see the neuro more quickly. Otherwise you may have some time to wait, although many neuros have time set aside for new patients as a standard practice.

    Depression and anxiety can set-in. Try to maintain your activities in order not to feel "shut-in". I have a bag of Depends sitting in my closet. I have not used them yet, but I will if needed. I figure that someday there will be an important event that occurs while my bladder is on the fritz. Watching what you consume is also directly beneficial towards your well-being (my opinion).

    Stay strong!
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    Old 08-26-2009, 10:09 PM   #9
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    Re: Pain, etc....

    thanks so much for you kind words Jayhawk. I've been e-mailing with my pcp, keeping him updated with everything, how the Nifedipine is working. since its not, he told me to discontinue and has told me to make an appointment with a neuro. So i will do that tomorrow. some more waiting, but maybe some answers soon. what should i expect when i go see the neuro?

     
    Old 08-26-2009, 10:21 PM   #10
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    Re: Pain, etc....

    Read about the McDonald Criteria. It is the guideline that is generally accepted and used to diagnose MS. Your first meeting might just be coordination and reflex responses as well as your medical history. If your initial results warrant further review, blood tests will also be done in order to remove blood borne diseases from the picture.

    Follow-up's would include a MRI with and without contrast. Ask for a MRI of your Head, Cervical Spine, and Thoracic Spine. Lesions, if you have them, should be visible in at least one of these areas. Nerve conductivity tests, Evoked Potential Tests, and a Spinal Tap may all be ordered. Much of this depends on your doctor.

    As long as you bring as many facts with you as well as arming yourself with information and questions, you should do fine.
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    Last edited by MSJayhawk; 08-26-2009 at 10:22 PM. Reason: add

     
    Old 08-27-2009, 10:46 AM   #11
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    Re: Pain, etc....

    Well, made an appointment, but it's not until October 6. Don't want to wait that long, but waiting is all I can do. My boyfriend is worried since my symptoms are getting worse and he will be going out to sea (he is in the Navy) from October thru January. It's going to be hard once he is gone; he's the only person who knows about what is going on and even then he doesn't know the extent of it.
    I'm a bit scared at this point- I'm trying to stay positive, though there are times when it feels like none of this will stop. I want to thank everyone here, for their kind words & advice.

    peace guys.

     
    Old 08-27-2009, 11:32 AM   #12
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    Re: Pain, etc....

    October 6 is really close, especially to see a doctor regarding MS. Do you have a dog or cat? Dogs can be quite attentive and studies show them to do wonders for depression. I have a service dog who alerts on seizures and helps me when I walk. Dogs are also unconditional in their love and do not judge!

    You might want to do some stretching, yoga, tai-chi, pool exercises etc. If you do have MS, low impact exercise without over-heating will be important. Pool exercises should be in tepid pools. If you are able to walk unaided, take many strolls with stretching too. I am on a passive exercycle and I have been able to maintain muscle tone including my bad leg.

    If you are going to be alone, check with your local MS Association or Society to see if there are active chapters to help you cope.

    Lastly, you can come here to discuss, vent, cry, or ask because you never are really alone.
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    Old 08-28-2009, 02:31 PM   #13
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    Re: Pain, etc....

    another symptom I'm experiencing, starting last night: my right gets blurred, lasts for a bit but goes away. right now i have a feeling like there is something in there, but i've checked, more than once. and my eyes "hurt" (my bf doesn't understand what i mean by this)

    also i seem to be experiencing pain more on my left side than on my right. well maybe not more, just worse. except for in my leg.

    39 days 'til i see a neuro...

     
    Old 08-28-2009, 03:59 PM   #14
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    Re: Pain, etc....

    Caliente, might I suggest that you spend every waking moment being happy that your boyfriend is stil with you and TRY TO TAKE YOUR MIND OFF YOUR PROBLEMS FOR A FEW WEEKS?
    Symptoms seem to appear out of no where, especially when we are stressed out. And you do have a reason to be both scared, and stressed..however, it wont do you any good at all to worry about this stuff right now. Oct isnt that far away- and most people wait up to 6 months for a MS Appointment. You got lucky getting in that quickly...my point is, that you can live basically forever without knowing you have MS and nothing changes when you do find out.....right now, your man- going off to sea, is something to be both proud of and alittle bit worried about. You should be celebrating each day with him right now, and not worrying about the aches and pains.....believe me, Im not trying to diminish your worry- but why worry when you really dont know what to make of the whole thing??
    My stepfather has a saying (he has a very bad case of Parkinsons Disease) when you worry about something that hasnt happened yet- you actually worry twice if it DOES happen.....meaning, if it never happens, you wasted all that energy and time on something that never happened anyway......and, if it does happen, why worry about it twice? You cant prevent whatever is going to happen, but if you make up your mind NOT to let it eat you up...it cant.

    Hang tight. enjoy this time with your man...have an early Christmas! But get your mind off your problems....it wont solve anything.

    Hugs to you.
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    Old 08-28-2009, 08:31 PM   #15
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    Re: Pain, etc....

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by calientepocket View Post
    another symptom I'm experiencing, starting last night: my right gets blurred, lasts for a bit but goes away. right now i have a feeling like there is something in there, but i've checked, more than once. and my eyes "hurt" (my bf doesn't understand what i mean by this)

    also i seem to be experiencing pain more on my left side than on my right. well maybe not more, just worse. except for in my leg.

    39 days 'til i see a neuro...
    Does your eye pain change with lights? My right eye has been sensitive to light since 2002. I use a pair of sunglasses and it has helped. My pain still returns sometimes, but it is rarer nowadays. It is difficult to explain pains and feelings to others. For example, the vacuum cleaner is excruciating. My wife asks me to explain, but alas, it is difficult to communicate the pain.

    39 days is not far away. Some of your pain may be alleviated by simple stretching. Make sure you stretch well and stretch often.

    BTW, I used to be in the Navy and Marines before MS. Sea Duty can be lonely for your BF too. Try to write everyday or two using an aerogramme. Your BF should enjoy his mail call and you might not feel so lonely by writing to him. Mail call is most enjoyable when letters from loved ones arrive!
    __________________
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